Samantha Lewis began her training at BalletMet and is a graduate of the Professional Training Program. As a student, she was a recipient of the Daryl Kamer, Lucy Porter, and Nancy Strause scholarships. Ms. Lewis studied for two summers with American Ballet Theatre in New York City, as an apprentice with the Chautauqua Ballet and also spent one season as a trainee with BalletMet. She has enjoyed dancing soloist roles in classical repertoire such as Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Napoli, Alice In Wonderland, Symphony in C and Raymonda. She has particularly enjoyed dancing contemporary roles by Adam Hundt, Harrison McEldowney, Jerome Robins (Fancy Free) Ma Chong, Amy Seiwert, Darrell Grand Moultrie, James Kudelka, Mark Diamond, David Nixon, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, and Edward Lang, among others.
Jessica Brown, 2017 Emmy winner of Television Arts and Sciences, received her training at American Dance Center and under instruction from Paula Weber, Professor of Dance at the UMKC. She joined the BalletMet Trainee program in 2005 and has worked her way through the years to become a leading artist. Ms. Brown’s roles have included the principal female role in Carousel, Fool’s Paradise, Lucy in Dracula, Tiger Lily in Peter Pan, Principal couple in Movements 1 and 3 from George Balanchine’s Symphony in C, as well as Jumping Girl in Who Cares?, Waltz Girl
in Serenade, Cinderella and the Blue Bird pas de deux in Sleeping Beauty. She has enjoyed working with choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, Michael Pink, Val Caniparoli , Jimmy Orrante, Attila Bongar, Kristopher Estes-Brown, James Kudelka, David Nixon, Stanton Welch, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Dwight Rhoden, and Amy Seiwert. Ms. Brown has had the honor of performing with BalletMet in the Moscow International Contemporary Dance Festival in Russia and performed Edwaard Liang’s Vicissitude at the National Choreographer’s Initiative for their 10th anniversary.
Michael Sayre started dancing at age 3 at Southold Dance Theater in his hometown of South Bend, Ind., before attending the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago for four years. After graduating from the trainee program at Joffrey, he joined BalletMet in 2013. Over his five years at BalletMet, he has performed soloist and principal roles in ballets by choreographers such as Edwaard Liang, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and others. Some of his most memorable roles in story ballets include Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and the Prince in Dorothy and the Prince of Oz, as well as the Nutcracker Prince in The Nutcracker. Last season, Michael had the privilege of performing the improvisation solo at the beginning of Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16 and dancing James Kudelka’s Man in Black in BalletMet’s autumn program “Parallel Connections. He thanks his family and all who have supported him in his training and career.