Ms. Cafarella has returned to Arizona after spending some time dancing in other parts of the world. As a child she studied at Ballet Arizona under Donald Dadey, Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts and SUNY Purchase. Her career began with Ballet de Cali, Colombia, and continued with Granite State Ballet, Northern Ballet Theater, Portland Ballet, Ballet New England, and Jose Mateo's Ballet Theater.
Since she has been back in the valley, she has performed with Center Dance Ensemble, Terpsicore Dance Company and AZ Dance Group. She has been dance captain and most recently choreographed Carousel for Mesa Encore Theater. Ms. Cafarella has recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with her MFA in Dance.
RaShawn Hart, a dancer from Phoenix, Arizona, while in Arizona RaShawn received his Associates of Fine Arts in Dance from Scottsdale Community College under the directive of Angela Rosenkrans. During his time at Scottsdale Community College he performed with Moving Company and Instinct Dance Corps, getting the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Carley Conder of CONDER/Dance who RaShawn is currently dancing with, Ron Amit former member of Batsheva Dance company, and Kathryn Alter of Limon Dance Company.
In May of 2018 RaShawn graduated from San Houston State University with his Bachelors degree of Fine Arts in Dance. While at Sam Houston State University RaShawn was able to work with Joshua L. Peugh of Dark Circles, Dionne Noble of Noblemotion Dance, and Mike Esperanza of BARE Dance company. RaShawn has since been performing and showing his work in festivals both in Phoenix and Los Angeles.
Alexander Patrick, PhD recently relocated to Phoenix, from New Orleans, LA and is a Residential Faculty member in the Department of Social Sciences at Glendale Community College. Prior to and throughout his dancing timeline, he continued to enjoy being a theater performer. Alex began his dance training with the Baton Rouge Ballet a few years ago and has since danced for Of Moving Colors, the Cangelosi Dance Project, The Atlanta Dance Connection, Magnolia Dance Theatre, KM Dance Project, Scorpius Dance Theatre, Desert Dance Theatre, and CaZo Dance just to name a few. In addition, he has also danced for a number of charities, and is currently dancing as a new member of Convergence Ballet Company. He enjoys a large variety of dance styles and is very thankful for all of the amazing and inspirational teachers, dancers, choreographers, family, and everyone who has supported and nurtured his talents over the past years.
Amy Symonds first began dancing at the age of 13 and discovered a true love for the art a few years later. She has received numerous scholarships and awards at conventions and competitions, including a national title, and her choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally. Amy danced with the Youth American Ballet Company for two seasons performing both soloist and principal roles in The Nutcracker, Firebird, Giselle, and Paquita. Currently, she is training and performing around the valley with Scorpius Dance Theatre, Rogue Dance Theater, Instinct Dancecorps, and Convergence Ballet.
Aubree Dagilis started dancing when she was three at the Dance Studio in Prescott, Arizona. Her attendance to the Southwest Classical Dance Institute Summer Intensives, directed by Natasha and Joshua Brooksher, sparked her interest in ballet, thus starting her classical ballet training at The School of Ballet Arizona under the direction of Nancy Crowley. She continued her training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary for a year. In 2011, she returned to Arizona to continue her training under Daniel Baudendistel. She eventually began to study under Slawomir and Irena Wozniak at Master Ballet Academy and continues to take classes from them. She also went to New School for the Arts and Academics in Tempe, studying under Tricia LaRoche and Angel Castro. She has danced for Terpsicore Dance Company under the direction of Danna Parker in Phoenix, Arizona. Aubree has attended many summer intensives, including Ballet West, American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, The School of Ballet Arizona, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Boston Ballet. She has also competed in World Ballet Competition and Youth America Grand Prix, receiving Top 12 in Classical Variations in San Diego YAGP in 2015. She is excited to be a part of Convergence Ballet!
Belinda DePasquale began her training in Massachusetts and has trained with Maria Vegh, at Boston Ballet’s Dance Lab, and at David Howard’s Summer Dance Intensive, and trained privately under Daniel Baudendistel. This is Belinda’s fourth season dancing with Convergence Ballet. She has also danced with Terpsicore Dance Company and as a guest artist for Yuma Ballet Theater and Southwest Ballet Theatre. As a choreographer, she has worked with Bard College dance majors, Terpsicore Dance Company and as Assistant Choreographer to Daniel Baudendistel for Southwest Ballet Theater’s production of The Nutcracker. Belinda is Assistant Director and Ballet Mistress at Ballet Theatre of Phoenix. As a ballet instructor, she has also taught at Arizona School for the Arts, The School of Ballet Arizona, Scottsdale School of Ballet, and at Mesa Community College as Adjunct Professor of Dance. Belinda DePasquale is an ABT® Certified teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National training Curriculum. Belinda is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT).
Jessica Berroth began dancing at the age of 3. She trained with several notable instructors including Barbara Crocket(founder of Sacramento Ballet), Truman Finney(former dancer at New York City Ballet), Alexander Vetrov(Bolshoi Ballet), Paul Mejia(former dancer at New York City Ballet), Slawomir Wozniak(Master Ballet Academy, and Daniel Baudendistel(former dancer at ABT). She attended intensives at Boston Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet and State Street Ballet. Jessica's professional career began in 2008 with Terpsicore Dance Company where she danced until 2014. She danced with Convergence Ballet Company for their first season in 2010. Jessica performed as a guest artist with Yuma Ballet Theater and Southwest Ballet Theatre. The last 4 years Jessica spent as a ballet instructor at Southwest Ballet theatre. She is excited for the opportunity to perform with Convergence again.
Originally from Canada, started her dance training at the age of 15 at The Scottsdale School of Ballet, AZ. She then moved back to Canada and continued her training at the International School of Ballet, where she had the opportunity to perform soloist roles in productions such as “The Nutcracker” and “Coppelia”.
In 2016, she was accepted into Victoria Academy of Ballet Post-Secondary Bridge Program, a 2 year post graduate diploma program in Victoria, BC, Canada. During her time there, she had the chance to work with various guest teachers and choreographers (Jorden Morris- Former Artistic Director of Citie Ballet, Edmonton, Canada, John Alleyne- Former Artistic Director of Ballet BC, Christopher Anderson- Associate Artistic Director of Alberta Ballet) and got a chance to be a part of the ensemble piece in YAGP Seattle semi-finals, winning first place and outstanding school award. In May 2018, she was chosen as 1 of 8 dancers to rehearse and perform alongside professional dancers of Ballet Kelowna in John Alleyne’s ballet “ A streetcar named Desire.” Katherine graduated in spring 2018, and is thrilled to join Convergence Ballet.
Maggie Rupp, 25, Began ballet at the early age of 3. She started her training at Westside Dance Academy where she studied not only ballet, but tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, and theatrical dancing. She then decided to pursue ballet and studied at for one year at Oregon Ballet Theatre, then trained at The Portland Ballet from 2008-2012 where she got to perform many principal roles under the artistic directors Jim Lane and Nancy Davis and under their Balanchine repeteur John Clifford. Maggie joined the Sacramento Ballet as an apprentice dancer in 2012, and was promoted the next year to the company. While at Sacramento Ballet she has performed many principal roles such as “Tinkerbell” in Ron Cunningham’s brand new Production of Peter Pan, Myrtle Wilson in Ron Cunningham’s The Great Gatsby, “Sugarplum Fairy” in Ron Cunningham’s The Nutcracker, “Fortuna,” In Ron Cunningham’s Carmina Burana, many Balanchine works and the title role of Giselle. Rupp has also spent the last two summers dancing with National Choreographers Initiative. Along with dancing, Maggie loves to sing and act and recently got the opportunity to star in Helen Driftmier’s short film, Briar Rose. Since returning to AZ, Rupp has recently founded Scottsdale City.
Samantha Lupascu was raised in Yuma, AZ, She began dancing at age 8, and trained primarily in ballet with Thom Clower. She began training in modern dance at the University of Arizona and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance. She has performed Jane in Bartlesville Civic Ballet’s production of Tarzan, in Bartlesville, OK., Sugar Plum Fairy and Arabian in Nutcrackers, Glinda the Good Witch in Wizard of Oz and soloist roles for Center Dance Ensemble, Terpsicore Dance Company, Funhouse Movement Theater, Yuma Ballet Theatre, Southwest Ballet Theatre and independent artists bridging the gap between dance, art and culture. She is currently a member of Stilo Dance Company and Sentidos Dance. She is also a Physical Therapist and has two wonderful children.
Originally from San Diego, CA, Shayda moved to Ohio at a young age and spent most of her life there, until moving this year to Arizona. While studying in Ohio, she attended Toledo Ballet under the direction of Lisa Mayer. In early 2018, Shayda competed in Youth America Grand Prix, and placed Top 12 in Contemporary, from her piece Mariposa Libre, which was created on her by Michael Lang. Some of her favorite roles in Toledo Ballet‘s Nutcracker were Spanish, Columbine, Sweets, and Flutes. Shayda has attended American Ballet Theatre in Austin, TX summer of 2018, and Ballet West and artÉmotion this past summer. Shayda is so grateful for this opportunity with Convergence Ballet. She can’t wait for a wonderful season with them.
Originally from Long Beach, CA, Skylar began his formal training at Lauridsen Ballet Centre in Torrance, CA under the artistic direction of Diane Lauridsen. After graduating from Long Beach City College, Skylar’s aspirations of dancing professionally came true when he joined Utah Metropolitan Ballet. Throughout his training and professional career, he has worked with renowned choreographers such as Garrett Ammon, Jacqueline Colledge, Heather Gray, Alan Hineline, Robert Kelley, Eva Stone, and Repetiteurs of the George Balanchine Trust. Skylar was also selected to perform in Garrett Ammon’s Winter with Wonderbound in Denver, CO. He has set original works on South Bay Ballet and Utah Metropolitan Ballet II that were selected to perform at RDA/P annual festivals. He recently had the opportunity to hold a Ballet Master’s position with South Bay Ballet for two years. Skylar is looking forward to joining Convergence Ballet for the 2019/2020 season.
Stacey Pirozzi began her dance training at Betty Johnson School of Dance (now Bender Performing Arts) in Arizona and later trained in New York, Chicago, and L.A. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Arizona where she received her BFA in Dance and BS in Physiology. Performing credits include Twyla Tharp's Movin' Out National Tour (Dance Catain, Judy, Brenda U/S), Radio City Music Spectacular (Rockette), La Traviata with LA Opera, the 2013 Emmy Awards, performances with Le Ombre, and films Ted 2 and Gone with the Bullets. She is currently teaching various dance styles including ballet at Bender Performing Arts and has previously taught at Thrive Dance Center, Degas Dance Studio, and as the dance director at La Reina High School in California. She has two precious daughters, a remarkably supportive family, and is incredibly honored to perform with Convergence Ballet this season!
Vivianna DeSantiago is from Yuma, Arizona and received ballet training with Yuma Ballet Academy under the direction of Jon Cristofori and Kathleen Sinclair. She attended various Regional Dance America Festivals where she received full tuition scholarships to summer programs such as Ballet Arizona, National Choreography Intensive, and Orlando Ballet. She continued her training in Modern, Jazz, and Ballet at the University of Arizona School of Dance, where she has performed works by Martha Graham, Larry Keigwin, Sam Watson, and Michael Williams. She has also trained with contemporary and modern companies such as New Dialect, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Company. She is super excited to be dancing with Convergence Ballet for their Nutcracker Swing this season.