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Betsy McBride, Simon Wexler, Paola Hartley, and Karen Scalzitti-Kennedy Announced as Faculty For The Shreveport Dance Academy's Summer Intensive

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BETSY McBRIDE, SIMON WEXLER, PAOLA HARTLEY, and KAREN SCALZITTI-KENNEDY will be members of the guest faculty for the Shreveport Dance Academy's Summer Intensive in Shreveport, Louisiana. Ms. McBride and Mr. Wexler will be teaching from July 27-31, 2020, and Ms. Hartley and Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy will be teaching from August 3-7, 2020.

BETSY McBRIDE is originally from Coppell, Texas. She began her training at the Ballet Academy of Texas. At age 14, she continued her training at Texas Ballet Theater's School. She performed Clara in The Nutcracker with Texas Ballet Theater and joined the company under O.B.E. Ben Stevenson at age 15.

Ms. McBride was an American Ballet Theatre National Training Scholar and performed in George Balanchine's Mozartiana during ABT's tour of Texas at age 11. She was awarded the Grand Prix at the 2007 Youth American Grand Prix Regional Competition and was a finalist at the 2012 Helsinki International Ballet Competition.

Ms. McBride danced for Texas Ballet Theater, rising through the ranks to principal dancer, from 2007 to 2015. Some of her principal roles include Ben Stevenson's Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and The Nutcracker, Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow, Svetlana in Stevenson's Dracula, Green Lady and Solveig in Stevenson's Peer Gynt, Waltz Girl and Dark Angel in George Balanchine's Serenade, Solo Girl in Balanchine's Rubies, pas de trois in Glen Tetley's Voluntaries and Stevenson's Sylvia Pas de Deux, as well as roles in Jiří Kylián's Petite Mort, Val Caniparoli's Lambarena, Jonathan Watkin's Crash, Stevenson's Five Poems and Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria.

Ms. McBride joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in June 2015. Her repertoire with the Company includes a Flower Girl and the Lead Gypsy in Don Quixote, the peasant pas de deux in Giselle, Columbine and one of the Nutcracker's Sisters in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, Rosaline in Romeo and Juliet, Snow in The Seasons, Fairy Fleur de farine (Wheat flower), Fairy Miettes qui tombent (Breadcrumb), Silver Fairy and Red Riding Hood in Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty, the pas de trois, a little swan, the Hungarian Princess and Lead Czardas in Swan Lake, a leading role in Symphonic Variations and featured roles in AfterEffect The Brahms-Haydn Variations, Deuce Coupe, Dream within a Dream (deferred) and A Time There Was.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, SIMON WEXLER immigrated to the United States in 1993 when he was only nine months old. At age eight Mr. Wexler started his dance training at the Academy of Ballet in Tucson, Arizona under the guidance of Linda Walker and Gary McKenzie. Mr. Wexler began his intensive ballet training, at 13 years-old, at the prestigious Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. where he trained under the guidance of Anatoli Kucheruck and Vladimir Djouloukadze.

Upon graduation from the Kirov Academy of Ballet, Mr. Wexler joined Orlando Ballet II where he trained with Peter Stark, Olivier Munoz, and Artistic Director, Robert Hill. While with Orlando Ballet, Mr. Wexler danced featured roles in Cinderella, The Nutcracker, and Le Corsaire as well as performing the Basilio male variation in Don Quixote for a charity gala. In 2010, Mr. Wexler left the Orlando Ballet and joined Texas Ballet Theater under the directorship of Ben Stevenson O.B.E. Mr. Wexler has since danced various soloist and principal roles. Mr. Wexler was promoted to the rank of First Soloist in 2013 and in 2014 was again promoted to the rank of Principal.

Mr. Wexler's repertoire includes the roles of the Cavalier and Snow Prince in Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker, Blue Bird in Stevenson's Sleeping Beauty, Pas de Trois in Stevenson's Swan Lake, Renfield in Stevenson's Dracula, Benvolio and Paris in Stevenson's Romeo and Juliet, Cupid in Stevenson's production of Don Quixote, Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle, Camile in Ronald Hynd's The Merry Widow, and the Male Principal Lead in George Balanchine's Rubies, as well as George Balanchine's Theme and Variations.

Mr. Wexler has also distinguished himself in contemporary ballets including roles in Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort, Glen Tetley's Voluntaries, Kenneth MacMillan's Gloria, Val Caniparoli's Lambarena, Stevenson's Four Last Songs, Stevenson's Mozart Requiem, Stevenson's Sylvia Pas de Deux, and Stevenson's Five Poems.

From 2015-17 Mr. Wexler was a member American Ballet Theatre, and he expanded his repertoire to include roles in Frederick Ashton's Sylvia, and La Fille Mal Gardee, Kevin McKenzie's production of Swan Lake, Anna-Marie Holmes' production of Le Corsaire, Alexei Ratmansky's The Golden Cockerel (Skomorok), Chamber Symphony, and Whipped Cream, Benjamin Millepied's Daphnis and Chloe, and Balanchine's Prodigal Son.

Mr. Wexler is currently pursuing a career as a freelance guest artist and master teacher.

In May of 2020 Mr. Wexler graduated Magna cum Laude from Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts in Financial Economics.

In 2010, Mr. Wexler won the Silver Medal at the Youth American Grand Prix Competition in Orlando, Florida and later that year was named a Semi-Finalist at the Jackson International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2012, Mr. Wexler traveled to Helsinki, Finland to compete in the Helsinki International Ballet competition where he made it to the Semi-Finals.

In 2011 Mr. Wexler performed alongside American Ballet Theater and San Francisco Ballet principal dancers in the "Stars of Russian Ballet Gala" in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In 2012, Mr. Wexler was a guest artist with the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet where he performed as the Jester in their production of Cinderella, and in 2015 Mr. Wexler was on the faculty for the Shreveport Dance Academy's Summer Program.

In 2013, Mr. Wexler appeared as a guest artist with Studio A Dance, where he performed the Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote alongside fellow Texas Ballet Theater principal dancer Betsy McBride for a gala performance in Dallas, Texas.

PAOLA HARTLEY was born in Bonn, Germany and grew up in South Africa and Chile where her parents danced with the PACT Ballet and Ballet de Santiago. In Chile Ms. Hartley studied with Karen Connolly and at the School of the Teatro Municipal. Ms. Hartley pursued her ballet studies in the United States at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the guidance of Melissa Hayden, Duncan Noble, Gyula Pandi, Dianne Markham, and Trish Casey.

In 1993 Ms. Hartley joined Ballet de Santiago which was then under the direction of Marcia Haydee. In 1997 Ms. Hartley was promoted to the rank of soloist by Ballet de Santiago's artistic director, Ivan Nagy after performing the role of Myrtha in Giselle with guest artist Igor Zelensky.

Ms. Hartley worked with many guest artists who appeared with Ballet de Santiago including Jose Manuel Carreno, Maximiliano Guerra, Carlos Acosta, and Lauren Anderson.

Her repertoire included Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis in Giselle, Olga in John Cranko's Onegin, The Mad Lady in Ben Stevenson's Peer Gynt, The Countess in Ronald Hynd's The Devil To Pay, Spring and Autumn Fairies in Stevenson's Cinderella, the Sugar Plum Fairy in Stevenson's The Nutcracker, Mercedes in Don Quixote, and created the role of Stella in the world premiere of Mauricio Wainrot's A Streetcar Named Desire.

In 1998 Ms. Hartley joined Ballet Arizona rising to the rank of principal dancer. Ms. Hartley continued to expand her repertoire to include Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, the title role in Giselle, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanhilda in Coppelia, the title role in La Sylphide, Hermia and Helena in Ib Andersen's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Juliet in Andersen's Romeo and Juliet, the Sugar Plum Fairy in Andersen's production of The Nutcracker, and Kitri in Don Quixote.

Ms. Harley has danced with guest artists, Marcello Gomes (La Fille Mal Gardee Pas de Deux), Nikolaj Hubbe (Napoli), and Gael Lambiotte (Swan Lake).

Ms. Hartley has also danced principal roles in the Balanchine ballets, Agon, Allegro Brillante, Apollo (Terpsichore and Polyhymnia), Concerto Barocco, Divertimento No. 15, Duo Concertant, Serenade, Theme and Variations, Rubies, Stars and Stripes, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and The Four Temperaments, and in Jerome Robbins' In The Night. She has also danced principal roles in Alejandro Cerrudo's Off-Screen, and Alexei Ratmansky's Le Carnaval des Animaux, and created a principal role in Ib Andersen's Symphonie Classique, and Andersen's Topia. She has also danced leading roles in Ib Andersen's Play, Indigo Rhapsody, Amoroso, and Mozaic.

Ms. Hartley has received critical acclaim for her performances in contemporary works including principal roles in Kevin O'Day's HeliBlondeGroove, Paul Taylor's Company B, Julia Adam's Before, Twyla Tharp's Sinatra Suite and The Golden Section, and Dwight Rhoden's Ave Maria, and the world premieres of Rhoden's Scarlet Symphony, and Skinny Puzzle, and Moses Pendleton's Opus Cactus.

Ms. Hartley has toured in Stuttgart, Buenos, Aires, Budapest, and New York.

Ms. Hartley, partnered by Astrit Zejnati, performed at a Gala in Albania in 2005, and represented Ballet Arizona in the Miami International Dance Festival in 2006. In 2008 Ms. Hartley was featured in North Carolina's Manteo Summer Festival, as an alumna of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In 2012 Ms. Hartley appeared as a guest artist in the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet's production of The Nutcracker.

She has been seen by millions performing as a guest artist in the Chilean TV talent show, "Rojo Fama Contrafama", where her father was a judge.

During 2008 and 2009, Ms. Hartley performed with Novaballet, and is a popular teacher in the Phoenix, Arizona area. She has worked with upcoming choreographer Emery LeCrone in Pulling to Break , performed Vicente Nebrada's Our Waltzes, and restaged David Palmer's and Yanis Pikieris' Adiemus.

In 2013 Ms. Hartley joined The Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a soloist where she performed the role of Juliet in Paul Meijia's Romeo and Juliet, Odette in George Balanchine's production of Swan Lake Act II, and principal roles in Balanchine's Episodes, Agon, Tempo di Valse, Allegro Brillante, and Pas de Dix.

In 2015 Ms. Hartley left Ballet Arizona and joined the Suzanne Farrell Ballet as a principal dancer while also pursuing a career as a freelance guest artist and teacher. In 2018 Ms. Hartley was appointed balletmistress of the State Street Ballet in Santa Barbara, California.

In 2011 and 2012 Ms. Hartley was a guest faculty member for the Goh Ballet Academy's Summer Intensive in Vancouver, Canada. In 2014 and 2018 Ms. Hartley was a guest faculty member for the Shreveport Dance Academy's Summer Intensive.

Ms. Hartley has also taught ballet at several dance academies in Arizona including the Tempe Dance Academy, the Master Ballet Academy, and the School of Ballet Arizona.

KAREN SCALZITTI-KENNEDY was born in Hawthorne, New Jersey and received her formative training at the Irine Fokine School of Ballet and with Jeremy Ives.

Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy joined Ballet West and rose to the rank of principal dancer. She danced the role of Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty during Ballet West's engagement at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy joined Boston Ballet as a soloist in 1988 and was appointed a principal dancer in 1991. Her repertoire included Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the title role in Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, Titania in Bruce Wells' A Midsummer Night's Dream, Columbine in Fokine's Carnaval, the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, the Pas de Trois in Fernando Bujones' staging of Raymonda Act III, the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Juliet in Choo San Goh's Romeo and Juliet, Tatiana in John Cranko's Onegin, Caroline in Antony Tudor's Jardin Aux Lilas and Irma in the reconstruction of Auguste Bournonville's Abdallah; a role she had also danced in Ballet West's production.

Her contemporary repertoire included principal roles in Jiri Kylian's Symphony in D, Frederick Ashton's Monotones, Maurice Bejart's Le Sacre du Printemps, David Bintley's Allegri Diversi and in the Balanchine ballets, Bourree Fantasque, Who Cares?, The Four Temperaments and Theme and Variations.

Among her frequent partners had been Fernando Bujones, Roland Price, and Devon Carney.

During the summer of 1990, Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy toured with Fernando Bujones and the Stars of the Boston Ballet performing in Romeo and Juliet, Giselle and Don Quixote Pas de Deux in Puerto Rico, Miami and San Antonio. In 1991, 1996, and 1999 Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy appeared as a guest artist in the Brighton City Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. In 2002 Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy appeared as a guest artist in the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet's production of The Nutcracker, and in 2003 Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy appeared in the Gala des Etoiles in Montreal, Canada. Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy has also appeared as a guest artist with many regional ballet companies in the United States.

In 1994, Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy joined the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre (which became known as Ballet Internationale/Indianapolis) as a principal dancer and added the following roles to her repertoire: the title role in Alberto Alonso's Carmen, the title role in Martin Fredmann's Cinderella, the title role in La Sylphide, the title role in Firebird, the title role in Phaedra, Lisette in Oleg Vinogradov's production of La Fille Mal Gardee, the title role in Raymonda Act III, Princess Tiger Lily in John McFall's Peter Pan, Mina in Michael Pink's Dracula, and principal roles in Leonid Yakobsen's Creation of the World, Carnival in Venice, Pas de Dian, A Thousand and One Nights, Paul Taylor's Company B, Vladimir Angelov's Interzone, and Val Caniparoli's Lambarena.

In 2005 Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy left Ballet Internationale to pursue a career as a freelance teacher, and coach. Ms. Scalzitti-Kennedy is on the faculty of the Indianapolis School of Ballet in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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