Amanda Farris was born and raised in Central California, training in ballet with Central West Ballet, Valley Oak School of Dance, and during summers with Boston Ballet. Ms. Farris was a medalist in the Russian Pointe USA national ballet competition in 2004. She attended Long Beach State on a full academic scholarship where she studied both cultural anthropology and dance. There Ms. Farris trained in modern dance and ballet under world renowned faculty. After graduating summa cum laude, she joined The Georgia Ballet where she quickly rose to dancing principal roles, many of which were created on her. Some featured roles include those in Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Pas de Quatre, Janusz Mazon’s Pinnochio and The Firebird, and Alexandre Proia’s The Four Seasons. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2014, Ms. Farris has danced in works by Val Caniparoli, Lew Christensen, Robert Dekkers, Sonya Delwaide, Sean Kelly, Trey McIntyre, Bruno Roque, Danielle Rowe, Christopher Stowell, Sally Streets, Norbert Vesak, the Pas de Deux in La Fille Mal Gardee, Black Swan Pas de Deux, Flames of Paris, The Sleeping Beauty and George Balanchine's Apollo and Who Cares?. She has had works created for her by Robert Dekkers, Sonya Delwaide, KT Nelson, Danielle Rowe and Michael Wells. Ms. Farris has enjoyed being a Teaching Artist with Diablo Ballet's PEEK Outreach Program and she is the President of Diablo Ballet's Prima Ballerina Club. In 2019 she joined Diablo Ballet School's faculty.
Felipe Leon was born in Bogota, Colombia and trained on full scholarship at Ballet Academy East in New York City. He performed with Compania Colombiana de Danza, in Bogota and has danced soloist and principal roles in works by Maurice Berjart, Wendy Whelan, Matthew Neenan, Margo Sappington, Lisa de Ribere, Claudia Schreier and Alan Hineline. Mr. Leon’s repertoire includes Coppélia, Alice in Wonderland and The Nutcracker and since joining Diablo Ballet in 2016, he has performed ballets by Julia Adam, Bruno Roque, Lew Christensen, Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly and Sally Streets. Mr. Leon has performed in Flames of Paris, and has had works created for him by Julia Adam, Sonya Delwaide and Danielle Rowe. Since 2016 he has been a Diablo Ballet PEEK Outreach Program Teaching Artist and in 2019 he joined Diablo Ballet School's faculty. In 2021, Mr. Leon created Diablo Ballet's Dance Laboratory, a space created to offer upcoming local choreographers the opportunity to create a new work and explore their craft.
Walker Martin was born in Clinton, Oklahoma and trained at the Western Oklahoma Ballet Academy. In the summers, he studied on scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre® (ABT) Summer Intensives in New York City, and was named an ABT® National Training Scholar from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Martin continued his training at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy, where he performed with Houston Ballet in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker and Stanton Welch’s Cinderella. He then danced with Ballet Quad Cities for a season before joining Oklahoma City Ballet in 2013. He was promoted to Soloist in 2016. With Oklahoma City Ballet, Mr. Martin performed leading and feature roles, including The White Rabbit in Septime Webre’s ALICE (in wonderland), Melancholic in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Jonathan Harker and Renfield in Michael Pink’s Dracula, The Champion Roper in Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, Gurn in August Bournonville’s La Sylphide, Mercutio and Benvolio in Robert Mills’ Romeo & Juliet, Hans/The Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Cavalier in Mills’ The Nutcracker, Puck in Mills’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Prince Ivan in Mills’ The Firebird, Prince Eric in Mills’ The Little Mermaid, as well as the title role in Paul Vasterling’s Peter Pan. Additionally, Mr. Martin’s repertoire with Oklahoma City Ballet included works by Twyla Tharp, Jorma Elo, Stanton Welch, Helen Pickett, Toni Pimble, and Amy Seiwert, and he has also created roles in works by Cayetano Soto, Matthew Neenan, Brian Enos, Ma Cong, Sarah Tallman, and Robert Mills. Mr. Martin is certified in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum, and is an ABT® Fellowship Teacher, having successfully presented students for examinations. Since joining Diablo Ballet in the Fall of 2021, he has performed the role of The Nut Boy in Julia Adam's The Nutcracker Suite and he is a member of Diablo Ballet School's Faculty..
Julia Meister was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. At age six, she began dancing at St. Croix Ballet. She continued her training as a New Artist at Next Generation Ballet in Tampa, Florida under Peter Stark, Philip Neal, Laurie Jones, and Ivonne Lemus, performing leading roles in Coppélia, Giselle, and George Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations. During her time at NGB, she also attended summer courses at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and National Ballet School of Canada, and was selected as a 2016 National YoungArts Foundation winner in Dance/Ballet. From 2017-2019, Ms. Meister studied in the Professional Division at Pacific Northwest Ballet School under the direction of Peter Boal, performing in both Company productions and works by Margaret Mullin and Kiyon Ross. Since joining Diablo Ballet in the Fall of 2021, she has performed the role of Clara in Julia Adam's The Nutcracker Suite. Ms. Meister has taught ballet at the Croix Ballet in Stillwater Minnesota and is on faculty at Diablo Ballet School. She continues to strive to inspire and bring joy to others through her love of dancing.
Olivia Powell is a native of the Boston area and received her ballet training from the Boston Ballet School. She attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ dance department and received her BFA with first class honors at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, in Hong Kong. Ms. Powell then joined The Alabama Ballet where she performed in works such as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, as the dew drop fairy, and Tarantella. She also performed in Jiri Jylian’s Sechs Tanze, Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo, and Roger Van Fleteren’s Romeo and Juliet and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In 2014, she joined Ballet Memphis where she worked with many choreographers including Mark Godden, Steven McMahon, Uri Sands, Joshua L. Peugh, Gabrielle Lamb, Julia Adam and Julie Marie Niekrasz. Ms. Powell has also choreographed several works for Ballet Memphis’ “Pairings” and The Alabama Ballet’s “Choreographic Showcase”. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2019, Ms. Powell has performed in ballets by Julia Adam, Sean Kelly, Sally Streets and Bruno Roque. She has also danced the female variation in Esmeralda, the principal role in Coppélia and in George Balanchine’s Who Cares?.
Jackie McConnell, from Salem, Oregon, trained with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She danced with Nevada Ballet Theatre, toured with the Portland-based company, Bodyvox, and continues to work bi-coastally with the contemporary ballet company, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance in New York City. In the Bay Area, she has danced with Company C Contemporary Ballet, Post: Ballet, Garrett and Moulton Productions, Menlowe Ballet, Oakland Ballet and the San Francisco Opera. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2015, Ms. McConnell has performed in works by Val Caniparoli, Lew Christensen, Robert Dekkers, Sean Kelly, Trey McIntyre, KT Nelson, Bruno Roque and Penny Saunders. She has danced the Pas de Deux from Raymonda and Carousel (A Dance) by Christopher Wheeldon and George Balanchine’s Apollo and Who Cares?. Ms. McConnell is a Teaching Artist with Diablo Ballet’s PEEK Outreach Program.
Lucas Tischler began dancing at the Metropolitan Ballet Academy in Pennsylvania. At age 12 he joined the School of Pennsylvania ballet and performed roles in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carnival of the Animals with the main company. At age 16 he moved to Manhattan, New York to join Ballet Academy East. At BAE he worked with teachers such as Wendy Whelan, Maxim Beleserkovsky, and Darla Hoover. Mr. Tischler performed the principal male role in George Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations and works by Alan Hineline, Claudia Schreier, and Jenna Levin. During the summers, Mr. Tischler studied with the American Ballet Theater, Bolshoi Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet. At age 18 Mr. Tischler moved to Chicago to join The Joffrey Ballet as a trainee and had the opportunity to perform Episode 31 by Alexander Ekman . He then joined Oklahoma City Ballet and performed works by Robert Mills and Michael Pink. Mr. Tischler’s repertoire includes The Nutcracker, Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, and The Firebird. Since joining Diablo Ballet in the Fall of 2021, he danced the role of Jack Frost in Julia Adam's The Nutcracker Suite.
Leonardo Victorino, born in Taubaté, SP/Brazil began his pre-professional studies at the Maestro Fego Camargo School of the Arts and then received a full scholarship at the Bolshoi Ballet School. In 2010, he performed with the Companhia Brasileira de Ballet (Rio de Janeiro), where he toured extensively throughout South America. He has performed principal roles in Don Quixote, Giselle, The Magic Flute and The Nutcracker. Mr. Victorino was a member of the Companhia de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) under the direction of Dalal Achcar and danced with Theatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro in partnership with Companhia de Ballet do Rio de Janeiro. He has performed with the Moscow Ballet for their United States National Tour in 2013 and performed with Albany Berkshire Ballet (NY), and Lake Erie Ballet (PA). Mr. Victorino performed with the Columbia City Ballet under direction of William Starrett and the Washington Ballet under the direction of Septime Webre. He was also a principal dancer with American Contemporary Ballet in Los Angeles. Mr. Victorino has been on faculty at the Center for Dance Education at Ann Brodie's Carolina Ballet where he directs the classical character program and is a master teacher in the pre-professional training program. This is Mr. Victorino's first Season with Diablo Ballet.
Danielle Troyano began her training on Long Island, NY at Seiskaya Ballet and with Sara Knight at SLK Ballet, in NYC. She spent her summers at the Rock School, Walnut Hill School and HARID Conservatory on scholarship, and has received training from the Gelsey Kirkland Academy and Ellison Ballet. Ms. Troyano also studied in London at the Central School of Ballet as part of an exchange program with SLK Ballet. Her professional career started at age 19 with Montgomery Ballet. Ms. Troyano joined Ballet Idaho in 2015 under the direction of Peter Anastos performing Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, Spring Fairy in Edward Liang’s Cinderella, and Pas De Trois, and Lead Czardas in Peter Anastos’ Swan Lake. She has had the honor of performance Agon, Concerto Barocco, Valse Fantasie and Allegro Brilliante by George Balanchine. She has also performed works by Penny Saunders and Danielle Rowe. Ms. Troyano remains a permanent guest artist with Albany Berkshire Ballet under Madeline Culpo, where she’s performed A Midsummer Nights Dream, Carmina Burana, and The Nutcracker. She joined Diablo Ballet in 2020, where she performed in Coppélia and The Sleeping Beauty and in ballets by Julia Adam, Sally Streets, Michael Wells, and Sean Kelly. In addition to dancing, she is passionate about teaching and helping others. Ms. Troyano remains on permanent guest faculty at Hinsdale Dance Academy in Chicago and the School of Ballet Indiana, where she teaches Adaptive Dance, a movement based class tending to children with special needs. She is also a certified Dance for Parkinson’s instructor and is on faculty at Diablo Ballet School, where she teaches all levels including the Power of Dance class.
Michael Wells, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, began his formal dance training at Decatur School of Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and later the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He started his career as a trainee with Atlanta Ballet, working with world renowned choreographers and teachers for three seasons before moving to New York City. In New York he performed with Ballet Hispanico’s second company before joining New York Theatre Ballet for several years and two national tours. In 2016 Wells moved to California to dance with Smuin Ballet, and later Diablo Ballet. Since joining Diablo Ballet in 2017, he has danced many principle roles and been a key part in the creation process for a wide array of new works. He is a faculty member of the Diablo Ballet School where he teaches modern and ballet technique. In February 2021, Mr. Wells will premier his third work choreographed for Diablo Ballet.
Liv Cole received her formal training with Artistic Director and RAD-certified instructor Patty O'Reilly at the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance. In addition to performing seasonally with SCD, she spent her summers expanding her experience studying with Ballet West, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, American Ballet Theatre faculty and in Cuba at the National Ballet. Ms. Cole has worked with notable artists and choreographers Isabelle Sjahsam, Evan Johnston, Tom Weinberger, and Courtney Mazeika. She also received training in acting and musical theatre, performing in Schoolhouse Rock and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. In 2019, Ms. Cole became one of Diablo Ballet’s first professional trainees performing in The Nutcracker Suite by Julia Adam and in La Esmeralda. In the Spring of 2020, she was named Diablo Ballet’s first apprentice. Since then, she has been featured in Two One Self by Michael Wells and Derion Loman, and has danced in ballets by Julia Adam and Sean Kelly including classics such as the Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella's Wedding, Flames of Paris and Coppélia. Ms. Cole is also Diablo Ballet's School Administrator. She is excited to continue to share the human experience by emitting emotion and passion through her performances.