Roster Round-Up: Catch Up on Recent Dancer Promotions, Leadership Changes and More

November 11, 2021

In recent weeks, our inbox has seen a flurry of roster updates from around the world. Check out some of the latest announcements on dancer promotions, transitions, retirements and leadership appointments.

Paris Opéra Ballet

The Paris Opéra Ballet promoted several dancers at the conclusion of its annual concours de promotion. Clara Mousseigne, Claire Gandolfi, Guillaume Diop, Nicola Di Vico and Isaac Lopes Gomes have been promoted to coryphée; Bleuenn Battistoni, Ines Mcintosh, Jack Gasztowtt and Alexandre Gasse to sujet; and Jérémy-Loup Quer and Roxane Stojanov to first dancer.

Ballet West

On October 22, Ballet West’s artistic director, Adam Sklute, surprised Jenna Rae Herrera by announcing her promotion to principal artist onstage after the company’s performance of Dracula (check out the video here). Herrera has been dancing with the company for 14 years.

Jenna Rae Herrera stands onstage, her body facing the wings, and looks out to the audience with a huge smile. She pops her right foot up onto point and holds her left hand to her waist while pulling a tambourine close to her chest with her right hand. She wears a tutu with a red bodice and white skirt with red, green and yellow stripes trimming the edge and a white, square-shaped headpiece.
Jenna Rae Herrera in Balanchine’s Tarantella. Beau Pearson, Courtesy Ballet West

Carolina Ballet

Carolina Ballet recently shared three company promotions on social media: Sam Ainley, now in his fourth year with the company, has been promoted to principal, and Bilal Smith and Joseph Gerhardt have become soloists.

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s artistic director, Peter Boal, announced three company promotions during a performance on November 5. Elle Macy has risen to principal after nine years with PNB, and former corps members Miles Pertl and Sarah-Gabrielle Ryan are now soloists. Professional-division students Ashton Edwards, Melisa Guilliams, Zsilas Michael Hughes and Joh Morrill will join as apprentices later this month.

Ballet Arizona

Ballet Arizona recently announced five new dancers to its roster this season. They include former Sarasota Ballet principal Katelyn May, Isabella Seo and Gabriel Wright, as well as two dancers promoted from BAZ’s Studio Company, Alli Chester and Juliette Jones.

Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet has announced that Skylar Campbell will join as a principal dancer starting in January 2022. Campbell is currently a principal with the National Ballet of Canada, where he has danced for 12 years.

Against a white backdrop, Skylar Campbell, wearing a black tank top and bike shorts, jumps up with his right leg out to the side, both legs bent. He lifts his left arm above his head and bends his right arm near his body so that his hand is close to his face.
Skylar Campbell. Courtesy National Ballet of Canada

National Ballet of Canada

National Ballet of Canada principal Jillian Vanstone will retire this spring, following a 22-year career with the company. Vanstone will make her farewell performances March 23–27 in the company premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain, specially acquired for the occasion.

Finnish National Ballet

Javier Torres López has been appointed artistic director of the Finnish National Ballet. A renowned choreographer and teacher for companies like Stuttgart Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and Czech National Ballet, Torres will assume directorship on August 1, 2022.

Joffrey Ballet Academy

Joffrey Ballet has announced Christopher Marney as the new head of the Academy’s studio company and trainee program. Marney began the role on November 3, following his five-year position as artistic director and choreographer at London’s Central School of Ballet.

Tom Mattingly, wearing a gray sweatshirt and blue pants, demonstrates a move with his arms to a large studio full of dancers.
Tom Mattingly choreographing on Richmond Ballet. Sarah Ferguson, Courtesy Ballet Des Moines

Ballet Des Moines

Tom Mattingly has been named artistic director of Ballet Des Moines. Most recently, Mattingly served as a ballet master for Madison Ballet in Wisconsin and has choreographed for Richmond Ballet, Ballet West and Madison Ballet, among others. As a dancer, he performed with Richmond Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet West, as well as the first national tour of An American in Paris.