Summer Teachers

Teachers from Brandywine Ballet's 2019 Summer Program

Check back with us this winter for more information on the 2020 Program

Week 1: June 24-28, 2019

Ballet - Mireille Favarel


Mireille Favarel studied ballet for six years with Rosella Hightower at the International Dance Center in Cannes, France and subsequently studied in Paris with Raymond Franchetti, Robert Bestonso, and Lydia Menchova. She began her professional career in 1980 with the Ballet du Rhin in Strasbourg, France and subsequently joined the Royal Ballet of Flanders as a soloist in 1983. Among her principal roles was Swanhilda in Hans Brenaa's staging of Coppelia. In 1984 she joined the Ballet der Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, West Germany and expanded her repertoire to include principal and soloist roles in George Balanchine's Serenade, Heinz Spoerli's Coppelia and La Fille Mal Gardee, and Erich Walter's Tod Und Das Madchen.  In 1986 Ms. Favarel joined Ballet du Nord (Roubaix, France) as a principal dancer. She added to her repertoire many George Balanchine ballets including the role of the Coquette in La Sonnambula, and principal roles in Scotch Symphony, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux, Theme and Variations, Tarantella, Concerto Barocco, Agon, The Four Temperaments, and Who Cares? She also danced the role of Swanhilda in Alfonso Cata's production of Coppelia and danced principal roles in John Taras' Piege de Lumiere, William Dollar's Constantia, Jean-Christophe Maillot's Candide, John Clifford's Fantasies, Bruno Jacquin's Self Control, Cata's La Mer, and Jean-Paul Comelin's Nuits D'Ete, and Mozart Requiem.  Besides appearing with Ballet du Nord during many of its international tours, in 1984 Ms. Favarel was a participant in the first New York International Ballet Competition, representing France, and in 1987 and 1990 appeared in the Competition's Gala performances.

In 1989 Ms. Favarel joined the Milwaukee Ballet as a principal dancer and further expanded her repertoire to include the title role in Giselle, Swanhilda in Enrique Martinez's production of Coppelia, Odette/Odile in Martinez's production of Swan Lake, Marie in Jean-Paul Comelin's The Nutcracker, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the Fairy Godmother in Comelin's Cinderella, Taglioni in Robert Joffrey's Pas Des Deeses, and principal roles in Balanchine's Serenade and Stars and Stripes, John Butler's Carmina Burana, Alvin Ailey's The River, Comelin's Dance Symphony and Mozart Requiem, Gerald Arpino's Confetti and Bruce Wells' Imperial Dances. She created the principal ballerina role in Kathryn Posin's Bach's Lunch.  Ms. Favarel has also appeared as a guest artist in the Lake Erie Ballet's production of The Nutcracker and has also appeared as a guest artist with many regional ballet companies in the United States.  In 2000 Ms. Favarel retired from the stage and from 2000 to 2005, Ms. Favarel was the Milwaukee Ballet's ballet mistress. In 2006, Ms. Favarel was appointed Associate Director of Milwaukee Ballet II and a guest ballet mistress for the Milwaukee Ballet and is also pursuing a career as a freelance teacher.

Contemporary - Joe Cotler

Joe Cotler grew up in Batavia, NY, and trained at his mother Robin Cotler’s dance studio, Images in Dance. He graduated from the University of the Arts in 2009. While at school, he had the opportunity to work with numerous choreographers, including Ronen Koresh and Paul Selwyn-Norton. Mr. Cotler has been a guest dancer with Brandywine Ballet since 2008. Some of Joe’s favorite roles with Brandywine are Snow King and Arabian in The Nutcracker. In addition to performing, he also teaches and choreographs for numerous studios in the Philadelphia area. Mr. Cotler has been a member of Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia since 2009 and is delighted to perform with Brandywine Ballet.


Week 2: July 8 - 12:

Ballet - Sona Kharatian

Sona Kharatian is in her 19th season with the Washington Ballet. She has danced with Orlando Ballet, Ballet Hawaii, the Trey McIntyre Project, and Copenhagen International Ballet. She was a regular guest artist with ARKA Ballet under the direction of Roudolf Kharatian, and has performed as a featured principal with the National Ballet of Armenia and Ballet 2021.  Kharatian has performed principal and featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Choo San Goh, Antony Tudor, Septime Webre, Nacho Duato, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Christopher Wheeldon, Trey McIntyre, Nicolo Fonte, Alexei Ratmansky, Roudolf Kharatian, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Frederick Asthon, Edwaard Liang, Alejandro Cerrudo, and others. Notable roles include Juliet in Romeo + Juliet, Giselle and Myrtha in Giselle, Carmen in Carmen, the Red Queen in ALICE (in wonderland), Myrtle in The Great Gatsby, and Lady Brett Ashley in Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises, among others.  In addition to her work as dancer, Kharatian is a long-time ballet teacher, coach and ballet mistress, teaching classes at the Washington School of Ballet and other schools in the Washington DC area, as well as coaching and staging works locally and internationally. Kharatian began her ballet training at the Choreographic Institute in Yerevan, Armenia, and later studied at the Kirov Academy of Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet. Kharatian is a two-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award.

Modern – Jessica Lynn Daly

     Jessica Daley was born in Philadelphia, PA. She began her training at Jason Douglas Dance and continued at The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet and later the Alvin Ailey School at Fordham University, training under Troy Powell. While earning her B.F.A. at The University of the Arts, Jessica received the Promising Artist Award and the Pulawski Award. From 2002-2004, she performed with Eleone Dance Theater and upon graduation from UArts, Jessica received the award for Excellence in Modern Performance.  In 2004, Jessica joined Koresh Dance Company led by the brilliant Ronen Koresh and happily made that her home for eleven years. While at Koresh, she performed original works including Robert Battle’s ‘Embattled’ and Paul Selwyn Norton’s ‘Pieces of Nine’. She also performed in Itzik Galili’s ‘Things I Told Nobody’ and, concluding an intense Gaga training with Ohad Narahin, Jessica was selected to perform the duet ‘Passomezzo’. In 2008, she guested with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Company at the Spoleto International Arts Festival in Italy. As a principle member of KDC, Jessica has performed for audiences in Spain, Israel, Istanbul, South Korea, Guatemala, Mexico, and Belarus. She is proud to be part of the inception of the ‘Come Together Festival’ which now hosts over 33 dance companies, annually in Philadelphia. Jessica has been featured in Dance Magazine, PhillyMag, and TimeOut NY. Her choreography has been presented at The University of the Arts, Jacksonville University, Belvoir Terrace, BHuman Dance Company in San Jose. Jessica’s collaboration with Cuban musician Francois Zalas and Breaker Vince Johnson resulted in an original ballet featured for the Jazz residency at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Jessica has been hailed as an outstanding teacher and mentor worldwide with credits at universities and festivals nationwide, as well as international residencies in Istanbul, Israel, Spain, South Korea, and Belarus.

Week 3: July 15-19

Ballet – Julia Erickson

Julia Erickson, originally from Seattle, received her training on scholarship with Pacific Northwest Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School.  She toured to Europe and Asia with PNB and danced with Texas Ballet Theater for two seasons prior to joining PBT in 2001. She was promoted to soloist in 2004 and to principal in 2009. Among her principal roles, Julia has performed Swan Lake (Odette/Odile), La Bayadère (Nikiya), The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora, Lilac Fairy, Carabosse), La Sylphide (the Sylph), Le Corsaire (Gulnare), Diana and Acteon; Balanchine’s Theme and VariationsWestern Symphony (4th Movement), Who Cares?, Prodigal Son, Sylvia Pas de DeuxAgon, and Serenade; and Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite (Anita), In The Night and Fancy Free. She has also danced the roles of Lady Capulet in Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette, Myrtha in Giselle, “An Episode in his Past” in Antony Tudor’s Jardin Aux Lilas (Lilac Garden), the Wife in Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, and featured roles in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena, Hippolyta), The Four Temperaments (2nd Theme) and Divertimento No. 15. Her contemporary repertory includes Paul Taylor’s Company B; Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper RoomNine Sinatra Songs, and Octet; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort and Sinfonietta. Julia also dances for Santa Monica-based Barak Ballet, received Pittsburgh’s 2014 BRAZZY Award for outstanding female dancer and is an entrepreneur and writer.

Modern – Steve Vaughn

STEVEN VAUGHN (BFA,MFA) was born in the Midwest and raised in Massachusetts. He graduated with Honors from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, earning a BFA in Modern Dance, focusing on choreography. As a senior at the University of the Arts, Steven began working with Parsons Dance as an apprentice, performing at the Joyce Theater with the company while finishing his BFA. At graduation, he was honored with the Stella Moore Prize for Four-Year Achievement and the Award for Excellence in Modern Dance. Upon graduating he then joined Parsons Dance full time, under director David Parsons; touring and teaching with the company. He danced with Parsons both domestically and internationally, including Italy, China, Brazil, Russia, and more. This opportunity afforded him the opportunity to work with Monica Bill-Barnes, Kate Skarpetowska, and Robert Battle. Additionally, Steven taught throughout the United States including various dance college programs, the Broadway Dance Center and Joffrey School, as well as, masterclasses in Italy and Israel. His choreography has been set on the Philadelphia based SHARP Dance Co. under director Diane Sharp- Nachsin. SHARP Dance Company commissioned several of Steve’s early choreographies and continues to tour his work nationally. Steven’s work was selected for the 2014 Emerging Choreographer Commission for Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, and Harvard University, among others. Steven is featured twice in Jordan Matter’s New York Times Bestseller, “Dancers Among Us” and TV and film experiences include Teddy Forance and Jon Arpino’s dance documentary “Movement One” starring Stephen “tWitch” Boss, “Operatic Heat: Parsons Dance presents ‘Remember Me’”, “All the Right Moves”, the feature film “Now You See Me” and “Law and Order: SVU”. Since relocating to Philadelphia, Steven earned a MFA in Dance from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA (2017). He is on Faculty at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ.

Week 4: July 22-26

Ballet -  Andrew Veyette

Andrew Veyette was born in Denver, Colorado, and began his dance training at the age of 9, studying with Betty Downs at Dance Arts in Visalia, California. Mr. Veyette continued his studies at Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, California. While at Westside Ballet, Mr. Veyette trained with Yvonne Mounsey and was personally coached by Nader Hamed. Mr. Veyette entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in the fall of 1998. While at SAB, he studied under the Janice Levin Scholarship.  In the spring of 2000, Mr. Veyette became an apprentice with New York City Ballet, and later that season he joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. In March of 2006 he was promoted to soloist. In May 2007 Mr. Veyette was promoted to principal dancer.  Mr. Veyette has performed as a guest artist with American Ballet Theatre, appearing in Balanchine's Theme and Variations, and with Pennsylvania Ballet, in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker® and Balanchine's Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.  Mr. Veyette appeared in the film NY EXPORT: OPUS JAZZ, a scripted adaptation of the Jerome Robbins ballet of the same name, which aired on PBS and won an Audience Award at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival. 

Lyrical -  Sonny Leo

Sonny Leo is a Wilmington native and has been teaching for The Anna Marie Dance Studio for over 35 years.

Although Delaware has been his home, his performing career has taken him across the country and back. Sonny’s professional performing credits span over three decades as well, including touring with Freda Payne in the Broadway production of Sophisticated Ladies, working with Anthony Newley in the pre-­‐Broadway show Chaplin, and working with many other greats, including Maurice Hines and Dee Hoty. Locally, Mr. Leo has been a featured performer at The Walnut Street Theater in 42nd Street, State Fair, Forbidden Broadway, Oliver and Elf, The Musical, to name a few. Other local performing credits include productions at The Kimmel Center, Society Hill Playhouse and Act II Playhouse, where he will be performing the role of Cosme McMoon in their 2019 production of Souvenir.

When not on stage, Mr. Leo is the resident choreographer and music director for The Cape and Sword Drama Society at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia. He continues to teach dance and coach singing privately to aspiring amateur and professional performers. Most recently Sonny choreographed the Delaware Theatre Company’s 2018 spring musical, Honk!.

Choreography and Yoga for All Four Weeks:

Nancy Page - Choreography

A native of West Chester, PA, Ms. Page trained at a young age at The Dance Center under the direction of Donna Muzio and was promoted to principal dancer with the Brandywine Ballet during her high school years. She won full scholarships to train with the Milwaukee Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet upon graduation. She apprenticed with the Pittsburgh Ballet before accepting a company position with Florida Ballet, where she danced the Gold Medal Pas de Deux choreographed by world-renowned choreographer Norbert Vasak. She later became a member of the Tampa/Colorado Ballet, dancing solo and principal roles in classical and contemporary works. Ms. Page eventually accepted principal positions with Sarasota Ballet and Ballet Eddy Toussaint USA, dancing many original, contemporary ballets that were set on her as well as performing the various classics, such as Paquita, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker.

Ms. Page returned home in 1993 to perform as Principal Dancer with the Brandywine Ballet. In 1994, she danced the title role in the company's premiere of David Kloss' Cinderella, with long-time partner Steven Jackson. While dancing full-time with Brandywine Ballet, Ms. Page continued to guest alongside professional dancers from Ballet West and Joffrey Ballet and also performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet. In 1998, she was the first Principal Dancer in the newly formed Brandywine Ballet Theatre, the professional arm of the company, dancing alongside Zdenek Konvalina (presently with the English National Ballet) for two years.

In 2000, she had the pleasure of working with the Samuel Barber Foundation to set one of her first ballets, Voices, to his magnificent score Adagio for Strings. In 2008, the Brandywine Ballet collaborated with the Brandywine Singers, and Ms. Page choreographed Mozart’s Requiem, bringing together a powerful array of dancers, vocalists, and musicians. Ms. Page has also choreographed several full-length ballets, such as Dracula, which has been performed numerous times since 2004, Beauty and the Beast, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and most recently The Rock Ballet, another collaboration, performed with vocalists and musicians from the School of Rock. In addition, Ms. Page is a principal teacher at The Dance Center, Official School of Brandywine Ballet, and continues to mentor and train dancers at The Dance Center and Brandywine Ballet.

Libby Piper - Yoga Teacher & Certified Yoga Therapist

Libby has a B.A. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Maryland. She is originally from the DC area where she worked as a Behavioral Therapist with a focus on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder while pursuing her graduate studies in Speech and Hearing Sciences. In 2004, she and her family were relocated to Phoenixville, PA, where she first began practicing yoga. Libby holds an Advanced ChildLight Yoga Training certification including additional training in Yoga 4 Classrooms & Every Kids Yoga (for children with special needs). When she’s not practicing yoga she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons traveling, cooking or skiing.