Grand Rapids Ballet School has long enjoyed a reputation for providing the highest quality of dance training . The School offers a complete curriculum designed to achieve a unified style. The distinguished and diverse faculty of thew GRBS is comprised of current and former dancers from the Grand Rapids Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, PNB, Slovak National Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Luna Negra, St. Louis Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Chicago and the Romanian National Ballet.
Lara began her ballet training under Charthel Arthur and Robert Estner of the Grand Rapids Ballet School as well as with Sally Seven. She received additional training from teachers such as Cherie Noble, George DeLaPena, Rebecca Wright, Paul Sutherland, Beatrice Rodriguez, Edward Villella and Trinette Singleton. Lara danced professionally with Ballet Magnificat! touring throughout the United States and Canada. After touring professionally, Lara graduated Magma Cum Laude from Hope College with a B.A. in Performance/Choreography. While attending Hope College, Lara performed with Ariel Dance Theater under the direction of Linda Graham and Steven Iannacone while also teaching at Grand Rapids Ballet and doing freelance work as a choreographer. In 1999, Lara founded Turning Pointe School of Dance in Holland, MI, where she served as Artistic Director until the Spring of 2014. She has received two awards: the Florence Cavanaugh Award in 1998 and the H.J.Kuiper Award in 2002.
Connie began her ballet training at the age of thirteen after an injury forced her to take a break from competitive gymnastics. The bulk of her training occurred at the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet under her parents Rose Marie Wurzer and Charles Flachs. She supplemented this training on scholarship at summer programs with the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, the Akhmedova Ballet Academy, Tulsa Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Connie received an honorable mention in the 2010 Young Arts competition, won the Grand Prix Award at the 2011 regional Youth American Grand Prix competition and was chosen to perform in the last round of the New York City finals. She performed on live television for the 2012 ArtPrize Finale.
Jillian grew up in Gowen, Michigan where she began her dance training at the age of 11. She was classically trained in Ballet through the Cecchetti method and in many dance styles including pointe work, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip-hop, as well as the opportunity to participate in competition teams. She is a 2011 graduate of Hope College where she earned a bachelors degree in dance with a focus on performance and choreography and a minor in psychology. During her time at Hope College, she performed and choreographed many original pieces. Post graduation she had the opportunity to travel to Buffalo, New York and take part in the Lehrer Dance summer intensive. She has enjoyed five years of teaching experience and continues to share her passion for dance by teaching and choreographing at various locations.
Ednis was born in the Dominican Republic, where he began his training at Expresiones y Danza Soraya Gallardo at the age of 16. In 2007, Ednis moved to Madrid, Spain, where he was chosen to study choreography and interpretive dance in the Alicia Alonso institute at King Juan Carlos University. While studying, he danced as a soloist at Ballet de Camara de Madrid for five years. Returning to the Dominican Republic, Ednis danced Choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and others with the National Ballet. In 2014, he was invited to dance as a guest in Grand Rapids Ballet’s production of Midsummer.
Steven began his ballet training at the age of 6 in his hometown of Portland, OR. He has studied at Metro Dancers, Portland Community Ballet, Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, and the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. He also spent summers studying on scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. Steven joined Oregon Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in 2004, was made a full company member in 2005, and was promoted to soloist in 2007. He joined the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011. Steven had performed nationally and internationally in Japan, Korea, Juneau and Anchorage, Alaska, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall in Seattle, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Gina McFadden began dancing at the age of 9, studying all forms of dance and training under Sherry Moray, Jefferson Baum, Gus Giordano, Homer Bryant, Charthel Arthur, Mark Goldweber, and Cameron Basden. She was a Youth America Grand Prix Gold Medalist in Chicago for contemporary, as well as winner of the Carrie Rose Winski Scholarship. Gina’s professional career began with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and later transitioned to Ballet Pacifica where she danced soloist and principal roles. Gina also danced with State Street Ballet and the National Choreographer’s initiative. In 2009, Gina graduated summa cume laude from Ferris State University with degrees in Business Administration and Legal Studies. Gina is also a registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. Gina has been a dance educator for the past 18 years. She has choreographed several award-winning pieces for Youth America Grand Prix. Most recently, Gina was a faculty member at Boston Ballet School. She is very excited to be “home” in Grand Rapids and is thrilled to be joining Grand Rapids Ballet School’s faculty.
Attila was born in Kisvarda, Hungary. He received his early training at the National Ballet Institute in Budapest. After moving to the United States, he joined the Joffrey Ballet School. He has performed as a guest artist with Mobile Ballet, Bravo Dance, Harrisburg Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Attila spent sixteen years as a company dancer and is currently in his sixth season as Ballet Master. As a company dancer, a few of his notable roles include The Prodigal Son in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Max in Septime Webre’s Where The Wild Things Are, Charlie Chaplin in Gordon Peirce Schmidt’s Flickers, Tibalt in Mario Radacovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, and Melancholic in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Attila became the Artistic Director of the Grand Rapids Ballet School’s Junior Company in 2011. Since becoming the Artistic Director, Attila has choreographed Snow White, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Carnival of the Animals and Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes for the Junior Company. He and his wife Mindy have one daughter and one son, Vivian and Cameron.
Mindy has been teaching at the Grand Rapids Ballet School for the past 22 years. She received her early training under the instruction of Charthel Arthur and Robert Estner at Grand Rapids Ballet School. Mindy danced professionally with Grand Rapids Ballet for 15 years before retiring in 2009. She was the company’s Ballet Mistress for 2 years before becoming the School Curriculum Coordinator in 2011. Mindy is married to Attila Mosolygo (Ballet Master and Junior Company Director). They have a daughter, Vivian, and a son, Cameron.
Claire is from Alanson, Michigan. She studied year round with the New York City Ballet‘s academy, The School of American Ballet, for three years starting at age 15. In her graduating Workshop performances Claire danced the soloist role of the "Waltz Girl" in George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnaght Ballet. Claire then went on to study with the Boston Ballet‘s Trainee program, getting to perform with the main company’s Corps de Ballet in many full length works by such choreographers as Mikko Nissinen, Florence Clerc, Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine. Claire‘s summers were devoted to Suzanne Farrell’s ballet intensive at The Kennedy Center, Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell, spending five summers there as a student, and two summers as a chaperone. Upon studying with Ms. Farrell, Claire was offered a place in the Suzanne Farrell Ballet Company, where she performed at The Kennedy Center Opera House, and on tour, primarily dancing works by George Balanchine. Claire was a guest artist with the Grand Rapids Ballet for the Nutcracker in 2015, and stayed on as a full time faculty member for the 2016 and 2017 school years.
Yuka was born in Japan where she received her training from Hitomi Takeuchi Ballet School. In 2006, Yuka attended English National Ballet School in the UK where she also danced many soloist roles. Upon graduating, Mario Radacovsky invited Yuka to join the Slovak National Ballet where she danced a variety of roles. Yuka was then invited to join the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011 where she has since danced principal roles in ballets by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Olivier Wevers, and Penny Saunders. Yuka has won many competitions in Japan including NBA All Japan Ballet Competition, Saitama All Japan Dance Competition, UB All Japan Ballet Union Competition, International Ballet Competition in Yokohama and others. In 2013, Yuka had the honor of performing Olivier Wever’s The Sofa at the Joyce Theatre in New York and reprised her role in Seattle, WA. Yuka performed Le Corsaire Pas de Deux in the gala at The National Theatre in Tokyo and the Pas de Deux from Le Carnaval de Venise in Fukushima. In 2014, Val Caniparoli choreographed Clara on Yuka for the world premiere of The Nutcracker. She also choreographed Tomorrow Never Comes on Grand Rapids Ballet for their MOVEMEDIA program in 2015.
Taryn started dancing at a local studio in North Branch, Michigan at the age of seven where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. In 2015 she received her bachelor of fine arts in psychology from Aquinas College where she was a member of the Aquinas College Dance Team. During her time on the team, she competed at a collegiate level in multiple styles of dance. She began volunteering with the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2012 as an assistant teacher in the Explorer Dance program. In 2013 she became a faculty member of Grand Rapids Ballet School and continued her work with the Explorer classes. Since then she has expanded her work into the Dance Immersion program where she shares her passion for ballet and dance to students at various local schools.
Kara was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At the age of seven, she started taking ballet classes at the School of Grand Rapids Ballet under Chartel Arthur and Robert Estner. This began Kara’s development as a dancer, growing from being a member of the Junior Company to a professional career. Kara also found time to study with Joffery and Milwaukee Ballet. Kara began teaching at the GRBS in 1998. In 2008, Kara retired from her professional career at GRB. She continues to express her love for ballet by teaching others to dance. Kara had such a wonderful experience with SGRB that she hopes to impart the same experience she had to the children she teaches.
Jessica grew up studying at the Grand Rapids Ballet School and performed alongside the professional company as a member of the GRBS Sr. Company. She attended Grand Valley State University and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. As a member of GVSU’s Dance Ensemble, she performed soloist roles in works by many artists including Thang Dao of Thang Dao Dance Company, Patrick Corbin, Mary Beth Cabana of Ballet Tuscon, and Michael Philips of Rioult. While at Grand Valley, Jessica was also member of GVSU’s Laker Dance Team, which competes nationally. After college, she danced professionally as a member of MoreDances Contemporary Dance Co. (Detroit), The Dance Hall Twigs (Chicago), and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (Chicago) before returning to Grand Rapids. Jessica has also been able to spread her love of dance through teaching. She has taught ballet, contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop styles at studios throughout Michigan and the Chicago area.
SarahJean Bos, School Administrative Director
Mindy Mosolygo, School Curriculum Coordinator
Mary-Ann Carpenter, School Receptionist
Madeline Harrington, School Receptionist