Ballet Hawaii Performing Ensemble - Ballet Hawaii
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Ballet Hawaii Performing Ensemble

The Ballet Hawaii Performing Ensemble

was founded in January 2019 with the intention of presenting Classical and Contemporary Ballet works to the public and to provide our dancers with expanded performance opportunities.  Students are selected, by invitation, from the three highest levels in the school, based on technical ability, maturity, and commitment to their rigorous training.  The dancers participate in additional rehearsals and perform both original works by the Ensemble’s choreographers as well as Classical repertoire.

 

To enquire about hosting a performance with the Ballet Hawaii Performing Ensemble, please contact performingensemble@ballethawaii.org.

The Dancers

Charlie Ahlgren-Folkert

Bio

Charlie Ahlgren Folkert is a freshman at Henry J. Kaiser High School. She has been dancing since the age of four with Ballet Hawaii. She has placed as an overall division winner in multiple dance competitions, most recently placing 4th in KAR in L.A. Her favorite productions that she has danced in are Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, and The Sleeping Beauty. In addition to attending Ballet Hawaii’s Summer Intensive programs over the years, she participated in the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive in New York City in 2021. She is currently working on a high school production of Guys and Dolls and is looking forward to participating in Alvin Ailey’s Summer Intensive 2022. In her spare time, Charlie enjoys creating visual art, such as drawings and paintings.

Emma Baynes

Bio

Emma Baynes is a 9th grader enrolled at Hawaii Technology Academy. Emma has been dancing for 12 years at various studios around the world. She has been dancing with Ballet Hawaii for just over 2 years. Ms. Baynes attended San Francisco Ballet’s Summer Intensive in 2020 and is planning to go back this summer. Her favorite roles she performed so far are Party Girls and Solitude. She enjoys surfing and baking during her free time.

Emma Belatti

Bio

Emma Belatti is a Junior at McKinley High School and has been dancing for 13 years with Ballet Hawaii, since the age of 4. She is currently a member of the GWK McKinley Dance Team which competes in hip hop competitions, and she will be leading the team as the next president during her senior year. Emma will also be attending Ballet Chicago’s 2022 Summer Intensive where she will be focusing on classical ballet and partnering. Emma’s favorite dance pieces include Snow in Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker, Performing Ensemble Raymonda Act II Variation, and her GWK Hooligans Varsity 2022 Honozulu Dance Competition piece. In her free time, Emma enjoys surfing with her dad in Waikiki and around Diamond Head.

Maggie Book

Bio

Maggie Book is a student at Island Pacific Academy. She has been dancing for 8 years at both Ballet Hawaii and Next Generation Ballet in Tampa, FL. Maggie has participated in multiple summer intensive programs at both locations. Some of her most memorable roles include Butterfly and Ballerina Doll in NGB and Ballet Hawaii’s productions of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake ensemble. During her free time, she enjoys surfing, writing, and listening to music.

Sophie Chen

Bio

Sophie Chen is attending Punahou School as a 10th grader. She has danced for 12 years, 9 of which have been with Ballet Hawaii and 3 at Punahou Ballet. Her favorite role that she can remember was one of the Butterflies in Ballet Hawaii’s 2019 The Nutcracker; this was her first role on pointe. Some of her favorite pieces she has danced in are Mrs. Susan’s, The Fire Within, and Mrs. Christine’s, Solidarity from Ballet Hawaii’s 2022 Performing Ensemble. Outside of dance, Sophie enjoys playing the piano and viola at home.

Aine Des Pres

Bio

Aine Des Pres, a freshman at Kaiser High School, began dancing when she was 3 years old. Previously with Honolulu Classical Ballet in Kaimuki, Aine joined Ballet Hawaii in early 2022.  Her favorite dances include Fairy Doll and a Kitri variation. Outside of ballet, Aine enjoys hanging out with her friends.

Alana Haydu

Bio

Alana Haydu is a sophomore attending Mid-Pacific Institute. She has been dancing since the age of three and danced at Hawaii State Ballet before transferring to Ballet Hawaii at age ten, where she has enjoyed attending the Summer Intensive Program. One of her favorite pieces that she has performed is the Hawaiian Warrior in Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker. Outside of the dance studio, Alana enjoys reading.

Aria Kaneshige

Bio

An island girl, born and raised on Oahu, Aria’s love of dance and ballet began at a young age when she was enrolled in her very first class at Ballet Hawaii. She loved it! Aria has since danced with Ballet Hawaii for the past 12 years in their Performing Arts School, Summer Intensives, annual productions of The Nutcracker, and with Ballet Hawaii’s Performing Ensemble. Aria is currently a student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa pursuing a degree in Creative Media. She was recently accepted into The Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders Student Alumni Program and is currently interning with Hawaii News Now. Aria loves being able to inspire other little budding ballerinas to find joy in dancing.

Meg Huffman

Bio

Meg Huffman is a Sophomore at Myron B. Thompson Academy. She has been dancing with Ballet Hawaii since she was 4 years old. She has participated in many of Ballet Hawaii’s productions, such as Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and The Sleeping Beauty. Her favorite roles include Orchid and Chinese Umbrella Girl from The Nutcracker. Outside of dance, she enjoys playing the piano and baking.

Harper Okamoto

Bio

Harper Okamoto was born and raised on Oahu and started her dance training with Ballet Hawaii when she was just four years old. Since then, she has performed in many of the annual Spring Showcases and has been a member of Ballet Hawaii’s Performing Ensemble for several seasons. In addition to her regular training, Harper has also served as a teacher’s aide at Ballet Hawaii and an instructor at Manoa Dance Studio. She is currently attending Leeward Community College with a major in Digital Media to pursue her passion for graphic design. Harper is looking forward to sharing her love for movement and dance with students of all ages and hopes to encourage them to discover their own individual creative spirit.

Janie Okamoto

Bio

Janie Okamoto is in 11th grade and has been homeschooled her entire life. She began her dance training with Ballet Hawaii when she was five years old. Since then, she has participated in many of their Spring Showcases and has been a member of Ballet Hawaii’s Performing Ensemble for multiple seasons. One of her favorite pieces that she has danced has been the Act 3 variation from Raymonda. Outside of dance, she often enjoys expressing herself with drawing traditional and digital art.

Jadyn Pang

Bio

Jadyn Pang is currently in 11th Grade at Myron B. Thompson Academy. She has been at Ballet Hawaii since she started dancing almost 13 years ago. She attended The Washington School of Ballet Summer Intensive in 2020. Her favorite roles so far are Seafaring Girlfriend and I’iwi Bird from Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker. Outside of dance, Jadyn enjoys traveling and visiting new places.

Mia Perkins

Bio

Mia Perkins is in 11th grade at Waialua High School. She started ballet at age four and has been dancing for over 12 years. Mia has been with Ballet Hawaii for 7 years and danced at the Conservatory of Movement in Reno, NV prior to island life. Mia has attended several of Ballet Hawaii’s Summer Intensive and Master Class opportunities and has enjoyed learning from and dancing alongside such renowned professionals. She is looking forward to this summer’s BH Intensive as well as a contemporary-focused Intensive at Backhausedance Company in Orange, CA. Mia has enjoyed all her roles in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and the Ballet Hawaii’s Performing Ensemble. Her favorite ballet piece thus far has been Crown Flower from the 2021 Nutcracker. She also loves Snowing, a contemporary dance that the Ensemble is currently performing. Outside of dance, Mia loves to bake, go to the beach, and spend time with her friends.

Olivia Butterfly Rodriguez

Bio

Olivia Butterfly (OB) Rodriguez is in the 9th grade at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls. She discovered ballet at age 2 when she spent most classes staring at the other girls twirling around. Once she found her legs, she never stopped. She became a part of the Ballet Hawaii family when she moved to Oahu from Spokane, Wa. just three months before the pandemic drove ballet online. In Washington, as a student of Sara Donally of the Spokane Ballet Studio, Olivia Butterfly performed in State Street Ballet’s Nutcracker, which included her favorite role as a rat. There she received an honorable mention at the Pacific Northwest Music Fest. OB enjoys playing basketball and thrift store shopping when she is not dancing and has grand plans of becoming a well-rounded human and contributor to her community.

Shiina Tsuchiya

Bio

Shiina Tsuchiya is a junior attending Kalani High School. She has been dancing ballet for 10 years at Ballet Hawaii since she was 6 years old. This upcoming summer, she will be attending Ballet Hawaii’s Summer Intensive. Her favorite roles are the I’iwi Bird and Seafaring Girlfriend from Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker. Aside from ballet, she also enjoys hiking.

Madison Young

Bio

Madie Young is a 7th grader at ‘Iolani School. She started dancing ballet at age 3, in preschool, with St. Laurent School of Dance. She danced at Queen Emma Ballet for two years, before moving to Honolulu Classical Ballet, where she danced for the next six years. Madie joined Ballet Hawaii at the end of 2020 during the COVID pandemic. She plans to attend the 2022 summer intensives at San Francisco Ballet and Ballet Hawaii. Her favorite role is Pizzicato variation from Raymonda. Outside of ballet, Madie enjoys baking and hanging out with her dog, Toby.

Junior Members

Faith Button

Bio

Faith Button is a sophomore who dances with Ballet Hawaii West. She recently moved from Indiana where she danced at the Fort Wayne Ballet Academy under Karen Gibbons-Brown for 12 years. This summer she will return for Fort Wayne Ballet’s summer intensive for the third year, training under Sarah Wingo, David Ingram, and Kim Sagami. She has been dancing with Ballet Hawaii since January. At Fort Wayne Ballet she was a part of the Youth Company and did many performances with them. Some of her favorite roles include Benjamin Bunny in Peter Rabbit and Shere Khan (the tiger) in Jungle Book. As part of her dance training, she has done jazz, modern, musical theater, tap, contemporary, and of course, ballet. Outside of dance she enjoys volunteering at the local library and with the younger dancers as a teacher’s assistant. Faith self-identifies as an introverted bookworm

Drew Cai

Bio

Drew Cai has just currently finished 8th grade and is moving into their freshman year at Punahou School. They’ve been dancing for a little less than 7 years all of which were at Ballet Hawaii. This coming year, they are going to be attending the summer program that Ballet Hawaii is providing. She doesn’t have a favorite dance she has done before and outside of dance she enjoys eating.

Ella Garcia

Bio

Ella Garcia is a junior at Leilehua High School and has been dancing since the age of three. Being a military child, Ella has danced at various studios across the United States including Cornwall, New York; Killeen, Texas; El Paso Texas; Carlisle Pennsylvania and Falls Church, Virginia. Ella came to Ballet Hawaii in 2019 after dancing at BalletNova Center for Dance just outside of Washington D.C. Ella’s favorite performance to date was dancing La Soirée Enchantée in Ballet Hawaii’s Spring Showcase 2022. Outside of dance, Ella is on her school’s speech and debate team, golf team and serves in a leadership position for her class.

Max Latu

Bio

Coming soon..

Kendel Martin

Bio

Kendel Tallil Martin is a high school sophomore and lifelong homeschooler. She has been dancing ballet for nearly 9 years. She first took lessons at a small ballet school in Korea for one year, and then took her second year at a studio on Hickam Air Force Base. However, she transferred her training to Ballet Hawaii and found that they could supply her with a much more professional training experience. Through Ballet Hawaii, she has had the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker each winter since she arrived at the school when she was nine years old, bringing a new role and new opportunity each year. In addition, she has attended the school’s Summer Intensive program several times and started taking classes in contemporary dance about 5 years ago. Thus far, Kendel’s favorite role was playing the Lead Chinese Girl in The Nutcracker of 2020. In addition to dance, Kendel has been able to pursue her interests in other areas, most recently, becoming the drummer for her church youth band.

Cocomi Mehring

Bio

Cocomi Mehring attends Sacred Hearts Academy as a freshman in high school. She’s been dancing for 3 years in total, those 3 being with Sacred Hearts Academy, and has most recently been attending Ballet Hawaii for 6 months. This upcoming summer, she will also be attending her first summer intensive with Joffrey Ballet. One of her favorite roles she has danced has been the corps de ballet for Paquita. A few things she enjoys doing outside of dance are reading, tennis, and bodyboarding/spending time at the beach.

Gabriel Salonga

Bio

Gabriel Salonga is an 8th grader at Mid-Pacific Institute. He has been dancing with Ballet Hawaii for 10 years, but he has been dancing for 12 years total. Last year, Gabriel attended American Ballet Theater’s Summer Intensive program. This summer he will be attending the Alvin Ailey summer program in New York City. Gabriel also studies dance at Mid-Pacific. His favorite performances have been in Ballet Hawaii’s The Nutcracker and a variation from Raymonda. When he’s not dancing, Gabriel enjoys computer programming.