MARIA AMBROSE (dancer) grew up in Meredith, NH and began her dance training at age four with Sally Downs. She furthered her training at Lakes Region Dance and Edra Toth’s Academy of Ballet as well as performed with the Boston Dance Company. Maria attended George Mason University on an Academic Scholarship and graduated magna cum laude in May 2011, receiving a BFA in Dance as well as an award for Excellence in Performance. While at George Mason she performed in works by Elisa Monte, David Parsons, Doug Varone, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Patrick Corbin, Christopher D’Amboise, Susan Shields, Robert Battle, and Ohad Narahin. Maria has also performed with LevyDance in their 2012 NYC tour of Romp. She joined EMD as an apprentice in September 2011 and is thrilled to be dancing with the company full time.
CLYMENE BAUGHER (dancer) originally from Jacksonville, Florida, graduated with a BFA in Dance and with an Honors Award for Distinction in Choreography from The Ailey School/Fordham University in 2002. During her time at The Ailey School, under the direction of Denise Jefferson and Ana-Marie Forsythe, she performed for numerous acclaimed choreographers. She also apprenticed with the Sean Curran Company. Clymene then spent several years as dance faculty and choreographer for Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida. Ms. Baugher graduated with a MA in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College in 2006 and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of New York. Clymene is proud to be celebrating her seventh year dancing with EMD.
J. BOUEY (apprentice) was born in Los Angeles, California and spent the majority of his life in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Arizona. J. began his training in contemporary dance at South Mountain High School's Dance Magnet program, and continued his training with the professional modern dance company, Scorpius Dance Theatre, which he was asked to join in 2012. With Scorpius Dance Theatre, J. has performed the lead male role in Lisa Starry's A Vampire Tale as Viktor, the vampire king, and performed internationally around Europe with that show and many other repertory work. J. also recently received his BFA in Dance from Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in 2014.
JOVONNA PARKS (dancer) is a native of Philadelphia where she began her dance training. The Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center is where she began her intense formal training in ballet, Horton, and Graham techniques. She attended the Ailey/Fordham BFA under the direction of Ana Marie Forsythe and graduated in 2012 with her BFA in dance. While in college JoVonna was a member of Ballet Hispanico's second company BHdos. Upon graduation she was invited to work with John-Mark Owen Presents... in his premiere of Requiem. She has attended summer intensives including Dance Theater Harlem: Masters and Mentors, Pennsylvania Governor's School of the Arts and Jacob's Pillow. She has had the pleasure of working with and performing works by Camille A. Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Donald McKayle, Hofesh Shector, Didy Veldman, Robert Battle and many others. In addition to dancing JoVonna currently teaches at Brighton Ballet Theatre: School of Russian American Ballet at Kingsbourgh. Previously she has taught at Brooklyn Dance Project and Centerstage East Brunswick. She also works with Ballet Inc.
ALRICK A. THOMAS (dancer) was born and raised in Harlem, New York, where he began performing at the age of 9. During high school, he trained at The Harlem School of the Arts and The Alvin Ailey School on scholarship under the Fellowship Program. He then went to The University of the Arts and graduated with a BFA Ballet Performance Degree. Upon graduating, Thomas received “The Pennsylvania Ballet Choreographic Award" and "The Outstanding Achievement of Creativity Award.” Thomas has worked with various choreographers such as Heidi Cruz-Austin, Earl Mosley, Sidra Bell, Brice Mousset, Kyle Abraham, Kevin Wynn, Iquail Johnson, Ronen Koresh, Douglas Becker, and many more. He has also set works of choreography on The Pennsylvania Ballet second company which premiered at the annual 2013 Shut up and Dance Benefit; Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts; Harlem School of the Arts; CCPI Arts Program; and other various projects. Recently Thomas was awarded a grant for Harlem Stage's "Fund for New Work 2014" program, where he will be creating new works as well as dancing with Elisa Monte Dance.
THOMAS VARVARO (dancer) began his formal dance training with The Ailey School as a Junior Division student at age 11. He is a graduate of Fiorell H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Ars. Upon graduation Mr. Varvaro was awarded the Jacques d'AmboiseBallet scholarship. In addition, he has studied at The School of American Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet School. In 2010, Mr. Varvaro attended The School at Jacob's Pillow's contemporary program. He was a member of Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre during the fall 2010 season and graduated from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program with dance honors in May of 2012. Mr. Varvaro was a member of Ailey 2 from 2011-2013. During Mr. Varvaro's time in Ailey 2 he had the opportunity to perform on So You Think You Can Dance Poland and Dancing With The Stars Bulgaria. Mr. Varvaro will be appearing as a dancer in an independent film entitled Life of An Actress to be released this fall.
WADE WATSON (Dancer) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He’s had the passion to dance since he was a young child. He began his training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and modern as a freshman in high school under the direction of Marcella Jones. He also attended Long Island University for a year under the direction of Dana-Hash Campbell. After completing a year Wade went on to become a company member in Nimbus Dance Works under Samuel Pott in Jersey City, New Jersey. He has attended many summer intensives including New York Summer State School of the Arts, Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, and others. Wade endured most of his training at Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn, and while training there (starting as a student turned company apprentice) he had the opportunity to perform and train in the Caribbean. Wade has had the opportunity to work with and perform works by Jamel Gaines, Jeroboam Bozeman, Bahiyah Sayeed Gaines, Desmond Richardson, Bradley Shelver, Jeffery Page, Alenka Cizmesija, Earl Mosely, Daniel Ulbrich/ NYCB Company members, and many others. Accompanying Wade’s love of dance, he enjoys fashion/styling, and photography. He currently works with Ballet Inc. This is Wade's first season with Elisa Monte Dance.
SCOTT WILLITS (Dancer) hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota where he began his training at Summit School of Dance. He attended the Ailey/Fordham program under the direction of Melanie Person and graduated with his BFA in dance. Scott has performed works by Matthew Rushing, Fernando Melo, Dwight Rhoden, Darrell Grande Moultrie, Earl Mosley, Norbert De La Cruz III, among others. In 2009, he received a youngARTS Merit award in modern dance from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts as well as the first place contemporary dance award at the Youth American Grand Prix. Professionally, Scott works for RudduR Dance and Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance in New York City. He also worked with Matthew Rushing in the creation process of “ODETTA” for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was part of the cast for Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera (NY). Scott has had the privilege to set Earl Mosley’s work on the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group and was selected as one of NJPAC’s 2016 Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers. In addition to dancing Scott teaches modern at Soul Arts Academy and Dwana Smallwood’s Performing Arts Center in New York.
ROXANNE YOUNG (Dancer) a native of Denver, CO, trained at her mother's studio, Expressions of Dance and Arts Academy and at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School. She attended the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX where she was a member of the Repertory Dance Company I, which allowed her to perform repertoire works by choreographers including Robert Battle, Jessica Lang and Dwight Rhoden. In 2006, Ms. Young was a Semi- Finalist for the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts in Modern Dance, which was held in Miami, FL. After high school she continued her studies at the University of Utah, joining the Department of Modern Dance. While at the university, she was a member of the Performing Dance Company and a recipient of the Orchesis Membership Award. In 2010 she joined the Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, where she performed works by Nycole Ray, Christopher Huggins and Talley Beatty. Ms. Young joined the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (CPRDE) as a member of the Second Company (Cleo II) and was promoted to the First Company after one season. During her three seasons with CPRDE, she had worked with choreographers such as Kun Yang Lin, Milton Myers, Jeanguy Saintus and Winifred Harris. Ms. Young is pleased to be an apprentice this season with Elisa Monte Dance.