Yen-Li Chen's dancing has been praised by critics and audiences from Asia to South America and through out the United States. She has been an invited guest artist at the Festival International de Caracas - Venezuela, The Santiago international Festival - Chile, in Taipei, Taiwan and at several dance companies across North America. A remarkable mastery of technique and artistry in both classical and contemporary repertory has earned Ms. Chen accolades of audiences through out the world. Her repertory includes title roles in Giselle, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, the Nutcracker and numerous others. Yen-Li has thrilled Arizona audiences since 1992. Ms. Chen brings the same passion and artistry of her dancing into the classroom as a master teacher. She has guest taught at numerous ballet schools in Taiwan, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and California. In Taiwan, her early training in Vaganova and other ballet techniques has served her very well as a dancer and a teacher. Yen-Li currently resides in Chandler, Arizona with her husband and former Ballet Arizona principal dancer, Qisheng Zhang, and their two children.
Gail Passey Reed began her training in California with Contra Costa Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School before joining the Marine Ballet. She then danced for two years with Baltimore Ballet, where her leading roles included the title role in Alice in Wonderland, Bluebird Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty and Flower Festival in Genzano. Ms. Reed joined Ballet Arizona in 1985, its inaugural year. She received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Swanhilda in Michael Uthoff's Coppelia. Other principal roles include the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Sugar Plum Fairly in The Nutcracker, George Balanchine's Valse Fantasie, Grand pas Classique, and John Cranko's Opus1. She retired from the stage in 1997 and began teaching and administrating for The School of Ballet Arizona. Ms. Reed is married to former Ballet Arizona dancer Michael Reed and they have one little girl Liliana. Gail is very happy to join the faculty of Yen-Li Chen Ballet School.
Daniel Baundendistel has trained with Jonathan Watts, Larry Long at the Ruth Page Foundation, Roger Tully in London, and David Howard in New York. He danced with American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet, and The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. He has been featured with the BBC of London and appears in the documentary film "Ballet Russes." He was televised in Russia dancing with Ekaterina Maximova at the Kremlin Palace, as well as appearing with Gala Des Etoiles in Montreal. He is noted for his partnering skills and dramatic roles. As a teacher he has worked with students at the ABT Summer Intensive in New York, The Joffrey Ballet and continues to coach dancers privately around the world. He is noted for his knowledge of kinetic principles, music theory and understanding of the classical form as it relates to the dance. He was Professor of dance at the New School University Eugene Lang College in New York City. Mr. Baudendistel was awarded First Prize at the Saint Sauver International Choreographic Competition. He has choreographed ballets for the ABT Studio Company, Oregon Ballet Theatre and ABT Summer Intensive Programs. He has also directed and choreographed for The Hiroshima Opera Company. His last review in The New York Times had this to say: "Mr. Baudendistel has a special gift for making something fresh of classical ballet, not only working with the vocabulary but also evoking the look and mood of 19th century classical 'tutu ballets.' It is not pastiche choreography but his work, scented with an indefinable perfume of its own."
Lauren Tomasulo is currently the owner and instructor at Pilates by Fitness Solutions, Inc. Where she is teaching the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. She has been teaching in Arizona since 1995, and enjoys seeing the changes people can make in their bodies and the wonderful feeling they get from performing the Pilates Method. Ms. Tomasulo hails from New York and has extensive training in ballet, modern, jazz, and musical theatre. She has performed in many dance companies and musical theatre productions. Among some of the shows in Phoenix, Little Shop of Horrors; Fiddler on the Roof; Once Upon a Mattress; and in New York, The Boys from Syracuse; The Gondoliers; Carousel; Kismet; USS Pinafore; The Most Happy Fella; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Brigadoon; Cabaret; High Button Shoes; Oliver; Nine; How to Succeed In Business; Showboat. Ms. Tomasulo has received a BFA in Dance from Adelphi University, an MA in Educational theatre from New York University, and MS from Hunter College in Elementary Education. She is happy to be teaching at the School of Ballet Arizona and the Yen-li Chen Ballet School.
Yumi La Rosa began her dancing career in modern dance in Tokyo, Japan at an early age participating in competitions and performing at prestigious theaters. She has studied flamenco in both Spain and US from well known artists such as Belen Maya, Rafaela Carrasco, Isabel Bayón, Antonio Granjero, La Tania, Antonio Hidalgo, and Lydia Torea to name a few. She started performing in Phoenix, AZ in 1999 as a company dancer with Viva Flamenco directed by Lydia Torea, and a soloist with Calo Flamenco, Ballet de Martín Gaxiola in 2004. Currently, she is a featured soloist with Mosaico Flamenco at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale. In 2005, she started her own show monthly at Casa Rincon in Sedona, Arizona. Her flamenco career has extended out as a performer and teacher throughout the Southwest and Mexico. Her teaching experience includes Flamenco workshops and on-going classes throughout the valley and Northern Arizona; such as Arizona Ballet School, Montessori Middle School, Pat Smith Dance School, Arizona School of Classical Ballet, Paradise Valley Community College, Scottsdale Community College, and Coconino Community College. She has joined Arizona Commission for the Arts to educate and preserve the art of flamenco. She also promotes workshops in the Phoenix area inviting well qualified artists from all over US and Spain.
Anthony Aquino started training with Vladmir and Patricia Doukadovsky at New York Conservatory of Ballet. He also trained at Alvin Ailey, Broadway Dance Center, and Steps Studio. Mr. Aquino performed on Broadway in "Alcazar de Paris" with Liliane Montevecchi and in "The Nutcracker On Broadway" as Uncle Drosselmeyer; his stage credits also include Paul in "A Chorus Line," Phaedra in "La Cage Aux Folles," Tony in "West Side Story" and dance ensemble/Factory Worker in "The Pajama Game." He has danced in productions of "Romeo and Juliet," "Cinderella," "Beauty and the Beast," "Peter and the Wolf," "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" and "Nutcracker," as well as appearing on Star Search 1989. He has performed abroad in "The Golden Musicals of Broadway" (based out of Basil, Switzerland) which travelled all throughout Europe. He has taught and choreographed in Europe and Scandinavia; as well as in New York City at Steps Studio and Broadway Dance Center; and in New Jersey at New Jersey School of Ballet, and Montclair State University. He moved to Arizona in 2005 and hopes to continue his artistry and expertise in The Valley Of The Sun's dance community.
Lara Adams received her ballet training at the Edra Toth School of Ballet and the Boston Ballet school. She went on to dance with the Atlanta Ballet, Eugene Ballet, and the Nevada Dance theatre. Favorite roles have included Swanhilda in Coppelia, Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, and second soloist in Balanchine's Concerto Barocco, among others. She had a featured role in the original multi-million dollar Las Vegas production show "EFX" and was a principal adagio dancer onboard several luxury cruise ships touring throughout Europe. In 2004, she and her husband received the "Gardel Award" at the first Argentine Wcarte competition for their artistic contribution and later that year took first place in the USA Argentine Tango Dance Competition in Houston, Texas.
Andrea Nash began training at Yen-Li Chen Ballet School at the age of 10. There she performed "Giselle" in the ballet Giselle, a solo in Paquita, and "Prayer" in Coppelia. Andrea was one of the original company members of Southwest Youth Ballet in 2007 and continued in the company through May 2009 dancing "Snow Queen", "Dew Drop" and "Sugar Plum" in The Nutcracker. In the past couple years Andrea performed as a "Maid" and the "Arabian lead" in this past Nutcracker. Andrea also attended the pre-professional summer intensive at Ballet Met in Ohio. There she performed "Juliet" in Romeo and Juliet, and solo roles in Swan Lake and Maquillage.
Caitlin Nelson began her dance training at the age of four and has studied all forms of dance including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, flamenco and modern. Caitlin has received extensive classical ballet training through Yen-Li Chen Ballet School. She has participated frequently in master classes and has attended numerous pre-professional summer intensives with Yen-Li Chen, Ballet West and American Ballet Theater. Caitlin most recently danced for several seasons with Southwest Youth Ballet Theatre. Her roles have included: Coppelia, The Nutcracker Ballet's Sugar Plum Fairy Pas de Deux, Snow Queen, Dew Drop, Spanish Dancer and Snow Corps de Ballet, Pas de Trois from Les Sylphides, Pas de Trois and Variations from Paquita, Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle and Candle Dance from La Bayadere. Caitlin has worked with Laurence Pech in his original work entitled "Rhythmania," Jimmy Hao in his work "Claire De Lune" choreographed to the music of Debussy, Inna Stabrova in her pieces "Glory of Spirit" and" La Danse Vivante" and Jill Hammond in a solo work choreographed to "Simple Gifts" from Copland's Appalachian Spring. Caitlin previously danced within the corps de ballet and as a soloist with the Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet Theater for five productions of The Nutcracker Ballet. Caitlin began her dance studies at Kimberly Lewis School of Dance where, as a member of the KLSD Ballet and Tap Companies, she participated extensively in numerous dance conventions and competitions in Arizona and Southern California. Caitlin is honored to join the dance faculty of Yen-Li Chen Ballet School.