Houston Ballet Announces Promotions and Additions to Company for 2013-2014 Season
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Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch announced plans today for the company's 2013-2014 season, including eight promotions and additions of several new dancers. Houston Ballet's roster now stands at 53 dancers.
Jessica Collado and Katharine Precourt have been promoted from soloist to first soloist, and Christopher Gray has been promoted from corps de ballet to demi soloist. Apprentices Dylan Lackey, Zecheng Liang, Madeline Skelly, Alyssa Springer (all graduates of Houston Ballet Academy) and Derek Dunn have moved up to the corps de ballet.
Houston Ballet II graduates Asia Bui, Silken Kelly, Rhys Kosakowski, Bridget Kuhns, Hayden Stark, and Joel Woellner join the company as apprentices. Mr. Woellner placed sixth overall out of 78 international contestants and won the Contemporary Dance Prize at the 2013 Prix de Lausanne Dance Competition. Renee Kester, who trained at Southland Ballet Academy and Washington Ballet, also joins the company as an apprentice.
Houston Ballet has six ranks of dancers: apprentice, corps de ballet, demi soloist, soloist, first soloist, and principal, the top level in the company.
Jessica Collado on being promoted:
Ms. Collado remarks, "I couldn't be more excited about my promotion to First Soloist. I only hope that with this promotion I will continue to be pushed and challenged as a dancer and as an artist. It has been a wonderful journey so far...I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead."
Jessica Collado was born in Coral Springs, Florida and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She trained with the Gwinnett Ballet Theater under the direction of Lisa Sheppard Robson. During her summers, Ms. Collado attended programs at South Carolina University and Boston Ballet. Between 2001-2003, Ms. Collado attended Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy Summer Intensives as well as a year with Houston Ballet II on full scholarship. Upon her graduation from the academy in the spring of 2004, she received the Michael Wasmund Memorial Award. Ms. Collado joined Houston Ballet as an apprentice in July 2004, was promoted to the corps de ballet in July 2005, to demi soloist in March 2009, to soloist in July 2011, and to first soloist July 2013.