Alessia of Chelsea Ballet

Alessia started ballet at the age of four at Teatro Bellini School of Ballet, Catania, Italy. She continued intermittently, due to many ballet related injuries, until the age of twenty. As a young dancer, she performed in prestigious Italian theatres including Teatro Antico of Taormina and Opera Theatre of Sanremo. After a seventeen year gap without ballet, during which she embraced latin american dances, Alessia’s love and passion for ballet prevailed, and she made her comeback to the ballet world as an amateur dancer in London. She was thrilled to join Chelsea Ballet in 2008; she feels privileged and grateful for the opportunity to perform different roles in the many wonderful ballets of Chelsea Ballet repertoire.

Atsuko Hotate

Atsuko Hotate of Chelsea Ballet

Atsuko had dreamt of being a ballet dancer ever since she was a young girl and, in her 30s, she finally made her dream come true. She fell instantly in love with ballet and has been enjoying daily lessons ever since. Ballet has truly changed her life, turning her from an office worker to a pilates instructor and massage therapist.

Since joining Chelsea Ballet in 2007 Atsuko has enjoyed performing on the stage and in the community shows. Her repertory includes The Dying Swan, Odette's variation from Swan Lake (Act II), Medora from Le Corsaire (Act III), Prelude from Les Sylphides, Princess Aurora's variations from The Sleeping Beauty (Acts I & III), variations from Paquita, Gamzatti's Variation from La Bayadère (Act I), Giselle's variation (Act I) and the Pas de Deux from Giselle (Act II).`

Cassandra Jacobs

Cassandra Jacobs of Chelsea Ballet

Dance has been part of Cassandra's life since the age of four when she joined a local ballet school. After gaining a degree in Creative Arts, she studied mime and mask work, before touring Europe performing commedia dell arte. Cassandra became a mother, but the desire to dance was still there and in 1991 she joined Chelsea ballet where she found a friendly group of people with a passion for ballet. As well as all the dancing she has designed and made costumes for the company, which helped her get work as a professional costumier.

Cassandra choreographed Impressions of Inuyasha, which the company has performed on a number of occasions, as well as Taming of the Shrew, a pas de deux which is a much loved staple of the community performances.

Claire Downing

Claire Downing of Chelsea Ballet

Claire was born in Essex and started training at a local RAD school when she was four-years-old. She trained to Elementary (now Intermediate) standard, but when she was told that she "wouldn't make it as a dancer" and to train further would mean travelling to London for more expensive exams, she decided her future lay elsewhere.

When marriage brought her to London, a desire to keep fit found her taking up ballet at a local evening class. A friend had recently joined Chelsea Ballet and she convinced Claire to “have a go” as well. Claire now considers the close knit, friendly and supportive group of great friends at Chelsea Ballet to be her extended family.

Since joining Chelsea Ballet Claire has danced some fantastic roles including a fairy and the Queen from The Sleeping Beauty; the Countess and a Wili in Giselle; a friend in Coppélia; a swan in Swan Lake; and many more fabulous roles in a great number of performances.

Eleonara Moratto

Eleonara Moratto of Chelsea Ballet

Eleonora began ballet classes at the age of five in Italy and was trained in Vaganova Russian stile from a variety of schools, including Scuola di Ballo del Teatro di San Carlo.  She participated to intensives at La Scala di Milano, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Ecole de Danse Cannes-Mougins Rosella Hightower and was trained by international teachers from the Wiener Staatsballett School and the National Opera of Bucharest. During her high school years she was a permanent member of the FVG New Space ballet company and whose repertoire includes Paquita, Giselle, Don Quixote, Bayadère, the Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Coppélia.

Since moving to London in 2014 for her biology degree at Imperial College London she has been taking classes at Danceworks London and English National Ballet. She is also member the Imperial dance club and teaches repertoire at the Imperial Dance Company.  Eleonora joined Chelsea ballet in 2016 and has performed in their productions of Paquita and the Sleeping Beauty.

Katrina Austin

Katrina Austin of Chelsea Ballet

Katrina is a full time translator/ manager and a fully qualified ballet teacher (IDTA Associate). She has been with Chelsea Ballet since 2001, in which time she has danced some fantastic roles and made some friends for life.

Katrina is also acts as assistant to the director and has participated in, taught at and helped to run Chelsea Ballet’s summer schools. She staged the whole of Act III from Napoli in Richmond in July 2007 and Act III from Paquita at the same venue at Christmas 2009. Trying to get 25 people to fulfil her vision was often stressful, but ultimately rewarding.

Her performance roles with Chelsea Ballet have included Swanhilda (Act I), Work, Dawn and Dance of the Hours from Coppélia; Kagura from Impressions of Inuyasha (a role specially created for her); pas de six and tarantella from Napoli; Mercedes (Act I) from Don Quixote; cupid variation and pas de trios from Paquita; The Girl from The Bracelet; cygnet, fiancée, waltz and pas de quatre from Swan Lake; autumn, fairy and guest from Cinderella; Moyna, Zulme and villager from Giselle; Fairy of the Crystal Fountain, Princess Florine, Aurora (Act III variation), White Cat, Red Riding Hood, Aurora’s friend, jewelled fairy, lilac fairy attendant and nymph from The Sleeping Beauty; Clara’s (male) cousin, snowflake, mirliton and Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker; and frostflake, snowdrop and vodka-swigging peasant from The Snow Maiden. Katrina has also danced solos from La Bayadère, Les Sylphides, Raymonda and Don Quixote, as well as group pieces such as Palladio, Pas de Déesses, Bach Concerto, Waltz Ballerinas, The Gathering and Pas de Valse. She as toured to Ireland, Bristol and Barcelona with the company.

Katrina is tremendously grateful to Chelsea Ballet for giving her the opportunity to dance this repertoire, which as a teenager she could never have imagined performing, especially at her nadir when she appeared on stage as a cabbage leaf. However, while she has enjoyed all these parts, her ultimate ambition is still to be a duck.

Kizzie Burkett

Kizzie Burkett of Chelsea Ballet

Kizzie began dancing at the age of three, and hasn’t stopped since. Until the age of 18, she studied at the Welland School of Dancing, achieving distinctions in her RAD Advanced 1 ballet and ISTD Advanced 2 modern exams, and a merit in her ISTD Advanced 2 tap exam. During this time, she danced with the English Youth Ballet, performed in professional pantomimes and competed in local dance competitions.

She left to take up a place to study Geography at the University of Cambridge, where she immediately joined as many dance societies as possible. Whilst there, she performed as much as she could, gaining roles such as the summer and winter fairies in Cinderella, the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, and a Jewel in The Sleeping Beauty. She also took up the position as President of the Ballet Club, where she directed a full-length production of Alice in Wonderland.

Laura Fletcher

Laura Fletcher of Chelsea Ballet

Laura started dancing in Sussex when she was very little and all she ever wanted to do was dance. In her teens, she was accepted full time to The Corona Academy of Theatre Arts in Hammersmith and after graduating tried to make her way in the tough dance world. After several injuries, she swapped dance for the fashion trade and now runs a textile agency with her husband.

Laura joined Chelsea Ballet in 2005 and it has changed her life. She has danced in Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppélia, The Sleeping Beauty, Napoli, La Bayadère, Paquita and pieces choreographed by other Chelsea Ballet members as well as many community performances. Laura enjoys every moment and feels privileged to dance each and every role.

Maria Iu

Maria Lu of Chelsea Ballet

Maria did ballet briefly as a child but properly found her passion for dance during university, and she has not stopped since. She has previously performed with London Amateur Ballet and London Performance Company, and has recently completed her first Royal Academy of Dance vocational exam.

She first read about Chelsea Ballet as a child and was delighted to join the company in May 2018. She danced in her first show that Christmas and looks forward to more productions ahead.

Melanie Bailey- Melouney

Melanie Smith of Chelsea Ballet

Melanie began RAD ballet at the age of 9 at a local school and has been dancing ever since. She joined the University's dance society at Kent when study took her away from London where she tried many different styles, ballet remaining her first love. During this time she performed in a number of shows in original choreography. She joined a local school in Canterbury on the completion of her studies before returning to London and joining London Amateur Ballet in 2013. During her time with the company she performed in Les Sylphides, Manon, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Le Corsaire.

She joined Chelsea Ballet in January 2016 and looks forward to many great performances ahead.

Michelle Samson

Michelle Samson of Chelsea Ballet

Michelle started dancing aged four years old at The McKee Ballet School in Liverpool. After a few years break and lots of gymnastics, she re-engaged with dance at Bluebell Studios and worked her way through ISTD examinations in ballet, modern and tap. Aged 15, she returned to The McKee Ballet School and shortly afterwards to Dance Art Studio. Here, under the watchful eyes of Gaynor and Freddie Zwaagstra, she embarked upon the RAD ballet syllabus whilst dipping in and out of jazz and contemporary dance classes.

In 1997 she moved from Liverpool to study psychology at the University of Manchester and kept up with her ballet both in Liverpool and at Northern Ballet School’s RAD classes. After graduating she took a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in teaching English and returned to Liverpool as a secondary school teacher. Back at Dance Art Studio she passed her RAD Advanced 1 before deciding it would make sense to also qualify as a dance teacher. Alongside her job as an English teacher she trained part time as a ballet teacher with the RAD, supported by her teachers at Dance Art Studio.

Keen to then fulfil an ambition to merge her psychology and teaching experience, Michelle trained as an educational psychologist at Bristol University. Since 2006 she has been a practicing educational psychologist in London and attended three ballet classes a week. One of her proudest moments was in 2007 when she passed her Advanced 2 and became an associate of the RAD.

Michelle discovered Chelsea Ballet in 2008 and has thoroughly enjoyed dancing with such a dedicated and passionate group of dancers in several ballets, including Cinderella, Paquita and Impressions of Inyuasha. She was delighted to have been able to choreograph Palladio for the company in 2010 and hopes to choreograph more pieces in the future.

Naomi Smart

Naomi Smart of Chelsea Ballet

Naomi started dancing aged 10 at a school where Ballet, Jazz, and Modern were part of the daily timetable – and has never looked back. Moving to attend school in Yorkshire aged 16, she was soon dancing for fifteen hours a week and became Dance Captain in her final years of school. Alongside studying English Language at university, Naomi took her teaching qualifications in Ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance and Modern Theatre with the ISTD, but whilst teaching dance is a passion for her, she missed the buzz of performing.

After discovering Chelsea Ballet in 2018, Naomi found herself immediately feeling at home amongst the company. As well as enjoying the beauty and positive challenges that performing ballet brings, the opportunity to dance a variety of pieces within such a close-knit group have made the decision to join one of the best of her life.

Nicky Jones

Nicky Jones of Chelsea Ballet

Nicky’s love of dancing began over thirty years ago when he took ballet classes for two years at his local adult education centre. After a gap of many years and following the end of a long career as a health professional, he began attending a local dance and fitness class from 2012 until 2013. This very positive experience encouraged him to enroll in English National Ballet’s (ENB) adult ballet programme in 2013 which he now attends at an intermediate level. Always keen also to perform repertoire, Nicky joined London Amateur Ballet (LAB) in 2013. He subsequently performed in excerpts from The Nutcracker and La Sylphide in the LAB annual gala at the Bloomsbury Theatre in 2014 and in the following year, excerpts from Le Corsaire and Les Sylphides, at the same venue. In July 2016 he played the role of the KIng in the London Performance Company's production of Sleeping Beauty.

Nicky is also an enthusiastic amateur community dancer. Under the auspices of ENB, he performed the Big Dance Pledge, choreographed by ENB, in Lyric Square, Hammersmith, in 2013, and the Big Dance Pledge, choreographed by Scottish Ballet, at Westfield, in 2014. He also took part in the Big Commonwealth Dance, Beats for Peace, held in Trafalgar Square in the summer of 2014. In July 2016 he performed the Big Dance held in Trafalgar Square and choreographed by Akram Khan. He was absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to join Chelsea Ballet.

Reiko Mori

Reiko Mori of Chelsea Ballet

Reiko was born in Tokyo, Japan. She trained in classical ballet at the Miwako Tadano Ballet Studio, Yoko Tsukano Ballet Studio and Aikawa Ballet School, where she also worked as an assistant teacher, before moving to the UK in 1999.

Reiko joined Chelsea Ballet in 2003. Her repertory includes Odette, lead swan, pas de trois, Hungarian dance and Russian dance from Swan Lake; Swanhilda and Player from Coppélia; Nikiya from La Bayadère; Aurora, fairies, Aurora's friends and Princess Florine from The Sleeping Beauty; Medora from Le Corsaire; pas de quatre from the Romantic era; the sylph from La Sylphide; waltz from Les Sylphides; Arabian dance, Columbine and waltz flower princess from The Nutcracker; and Kitri and Queen of the Dryads from Don Quixote.

Ruth Wenham

Ruth Wenham of Chelsea Ballet

Ruth starting dancing aged three and made her stage debut that same year as a farmer in the classic ‘one potato two potato’ song and dance. She continued to learn ballet, modern and tap dance and performed with various local dance schools until her teens, when she changed track and decided that she would have more chance at employment if she studied another passion of hers, art. She gained her degree in art and went on to become a graphic designer. Her love of ballet and performing never waned however and at 34 she rejoined classes and is now once again studying for her RAD exams and making up for lost dancing years. Ruth joined Chelsea Ballet in 2013 and is grateful for the opportunity to perform once again.

Shana Bonneteau

Shana Bonneteau of Chelsea Ballet

Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Shana spent most of her school years involved in team sports such as volleyball, basketball and softball, finishing with rugby in her senior years. At the age of 21, she traded in her rugby boots for tutus and pointe shoes and ventured into the world of ballet. She began her RAD vocational training at Cameron Dance Academy and remained there until she moved to London in 2014, where she continued her training at RAD HQ.

Shana has previously performed with Cameron Dance Academy, London Amateur Ballet, Crystal Ballet and Balletomane and is currently kicking the can down the road preparing for her RAD Advanced 2 exam. Some notable performances through the years have been Vintner's March (Giselle), Waltz of the Flowers (Nutcracker), Serenade (Balanchine), Swanhilda and her Friends (Coppelia), Waltz of the Hours (Coppélia), Candied Fairy (Sleeping Beauty), Cupid (Don Quixote) and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux Variation (Balanchine) as well as many original works.

When she isn’t indulging in all things ballet, Shana enjoys exploring new places, trekking up mountains, and anything involving bacon and maple syrup.

Sharon Vit

Sharon Vit of Chelsea Ballet

Sharon has been dancing on and off since she was seven, at both Chichester School of Dance and Arabesque School of Dance, and taken part in numerous shows and festivals whilst still at school. As well as ballet, Sharon studied modern, jazz, classical Greek and a little bit of tap, which she quickly gave up thanks to a fear of slipping over in her tap shoes.

At 14, Sharon had to choose between music and dancing and she chose music. She graduated from the University of Surrey with a music degree and promptly started working in a bookshop.

Sharon joined Chelsea Ballet in 2004, which was a bit of a shock to the system having not danced at all in seven years. With a little bit of persuasion, and a lot of sore toes, she has danced in Swan Lake (her favourite), Giselle, The Nutcracker, Coppèlia, Bayadère, Paquita and a variety of shorter pieces. She has also performed in Bristol, Ireland and on the Lilian Baylis stage at Sadler’s Wells, as well as Chelsea Ballet’s usual London venues.

In 2007 Sharon went back to university to study diagnostic radiography and then yet again in 2015 for an MSc! She is now working in a London hospital as a research and clinical radiographer and has also returned to playing clarinet, this time in two medical orchestras. Despite a couple of years off due to injury, Sharon will soon be back to spending nearly every free moment taking class, rehearsing or watching ballet and, although it means she never gets quite enough sleep, she can’t imagine doing anything else.

© Chelsea Ballet

We use cookies and other services to give you the best possible experience on our website. If you continue without changing settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. You can change the settings at any time via the Privacy Page