our dancers




MARY CARMEN CATOYA Prima ballerina of Miami was born in Venezuela. She began her training at the age of six in Caracas and began her professional career at the age of 13. She danced with the Youth Ballet of Venezuela, the Contemporary Ballet of Caracas, Cleveland Ballet and as a principal with the National Ballet of Caracas, where she was coached and trained by Ballet Master Vladimir Issaev. She danced as a principal at the Miami City Ballet from 1999 to 2015. Her repertoire includes works of George Balanchine, Vicente Nebrada, Dennis Nahat, Alberto Mendez and Vladimir Issaev. Ms. Catoya has danced extensively abroad at many festivals and galas, including an international gala before the King and Queen of Spain, the inauguration of the Theater Simon Bolivar in Brazil, Dance Aspen, and the Gala of Stars at the Festival International de Santander and was the prima ballerina responsible to open the Arsht Center in Miami with her interpretation of Don Quixote.  She has also dancer at the Gala Night at the Mikhailovsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia and at the Orlando Competition Gala of the Stars. She has danced with both Taras Domitro and Daniel Sarabia in Queretaro, Mexico and with Rolando Sarabia at the Fire Island Festival in New York City.
In July 2011 she was the prima ballerina for Les etes de la Danse at the theatre du Chatelet in Paris with Miami City Ballet.
She received the award "Premio Casa del Artista" as Best Classical Dancer of the Year in 1999  and Premio Municipal de Danza 2002 as best dancer.
Mary Carmen have been coached and trained by remarkable artists such as Jose Pares, Vicente Nebrada, Vladimir Issaev, Rafael Portillo, Zane Wilson Karelia Moreno, Elena Madan Vera at the Ballet Nacional de Caracas, Dennis Nahat at Cleveland Ballet, Ileana Lopez, Violette Verdy, Jean Pierre Frohlich, Maria Cagliari, Mary Ashley and Edward Villella at Miami City Ballet. Most recently she performed in Poland, Mexico and Indonesia next to her ballet master Vladimir Issaev.
Ms. Catoya is principal dancer of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida since 2015.

DANIEL SARABIA was born in Cuba. He joined the Provincial School of Ballet Alejo Carpentier in Havana in 1993, and graduated from the Cuban National Ballet School in 2002. He began his professional career with the Cuban National Ballet in 2002 under the direction of prima ballerina Alicia Alonso.  He has danced internationally in Latin America, the United States, Asia and Europe, performing principal roles as Basilio in Don Quixote, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Siegfried in Swan Lake choreography of George Balanchine, In the Night by Jerome Robbins, Three Preludes by Ben Stevenson for the Gala of Stars in Houston, Texas. He has also performed in the principal roles in such works as the Diane and Actéon Pas de Deux, the Black Swan Pas de Deux and Le Corsaire. He danced with the Boston Ballet in 2005-2006; the Miami City Ballet in 2007. He was principal dancer of the Béjart Ballet of Lausanne (2012 - 2014). He recently danced the Nutcracker Grand Pas de Deux with Lorna Feijoo, principal ballerina of Boston Ballet (December, 2013).
Mr. Sarabia joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in January of 2015 as a principal dancer. Since then he has danced Fritz in Coppelia, Le Printemps in The Four Seasons, and principal role along Ms. Catoya in A Celebration to Klimt, all choreographies by Vladimir Issaev. Most recently he performed in Queretaro and has been invited to dance at the Gala of the Ballet de Camara de Lima in Peru.

Daniel Sarabia is looking forward to a new and exciting season with Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida.

KAZUYA ARIMA began his training at the Akamatsu Masaru Ballet School. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 2nd prize in the 7th Ballet Competition for Youth In Hukuoka, the 2nd prize in the 24th Kobe Dance Competition and Best 12 in Youth America Grand Prix 2012 in Japan. He studied at The Washington School of Ballet under Kee Yuan Han for a year and later joined Milwaukee Ballet II as a principal. He also performs as a guest all over Japan. His repertory includes Nutcracker, Le Corsaire, La Sylphide and Paquita among other classical roles. He joined Milwaukee Ballet II as a principal in 2012 after performing as a guest all over Japan. He recently joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida since then he has performed soloist roles in Vladimir Issaev’s The Nutcracker, Four Seasons and A Celebration to Klimt. Kazuya is excited to perform during the 16-17 season of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida.

STEPHANIE BROWNING is from Orlando, Florida. She received most of her training at the Orlando Ballet School, and has also studied at Central Florida Ballet. Stephanie danced as a trainee at Florida Dance Theatre.  She has attended summer intensives at Orlando Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet Academy, Festival Ballet Providence, The Pennsylvania Ballet, and Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. Stephanie has had numerous roles in the ballets of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, Hansel and Gretel, Le Corsaire, Paquita, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty. She placed in the top 10 Senior Classical Women at the Universal Ballet Competition and was awarded a scholarship. Stephanie joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida as an apprentice in 2015 and has been recently promoted to the member of the company

HINANO ETO was born in Osaka, Japan and trained at the Setsuko Hirano Ballet School under Setsuko Hirano’s tutelage. She attended the New Zealand School of Dance after being awarded with a scholarship during the Youth America Grand Prix in 2010. She then studied at The Washington School of Ballet in 2010 under Kee Juan Han for two years. Hinano has been awarded several times in different competitions such as Prix de Lausanne and Youth America Grand Prix. Her repertoire includes Snow White, La Sylphide, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Sleeping Beauty among other classical roles. She also has an extensive contemporary repertoire. She danced with Milwaukee Ballet II in 2012. After performing as a guest in Japan, she joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in 2015. Since then, she has performed important soloist roles of the repertoire of the company such as: Paquita, Eros Game, Don Quixote Grand Pas, Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Four Seasons, Glinka Suite Fantastique and A Celebration to Klimt. Most recently Ms. Eto participated with the company in the International Young Dancers Festival in Indonesia. Hinano is excited to rejoin the company for the upcoming season.

ROGER FONNEGRA, received his dance training at the Teresa Carreno Ballet School of Caracas with Vladimir Issaev, and shortly after he joined the National Ballet of Caracas, directed by Vicente Nebrada as an apprentice. He trained at the School of American Ballet and with Whilhelm Burmann. He later returned to his native Venezuela where he danced with the Ballet National of Caracas on an international tour. Since he relocated to the US in 2003, he has danced with Columbia Classical Ballet, the Pennsylvania Ballet in John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet, Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami, Sierra Nevada Ballet, New Haven Ballet, and Seiskaya Ballet.  He performed for the past seven years with Festival Ballet Providence in RI under the direction of Mihailo Djuric. Past roles include George Balanchine's Rubies, Donizetti Variations and Allegro Brillante, and The Leaves are Fading, Agnes de Mille's Rodeo, La Camorra and Short Stories, and several soloist roles in The Nutcracker. In 2012 to 2013 he joined Ballet Idaho, dancing in the productions of Serenade by George Balanchine, and Nutckracker, Carmen, Don Quixote and Swan Lake. Roger continues to perform with Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida since 2014 in different roles in Vladimir Issaev’s productions of The Nutcracker, Fairy Doll, and Dr. Ouch among others. Mr. Fonnegra considers Vladimir Issaev his mentor and is looking forward to new roles in new productions.

YASAMIN HAGHAYEGH began her ballet training at Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet at the age of 10. Since then, Yasamin has expanded her extensive repertoire by performing in all of the company’s productions such as The Nutcracker, Firebird, Doctor Ouch!, Petrouchka, Taiko, Suite of Waltzes, Fuga con Pajarillo, Harlequinade, Fairy Doll, Chipollino, A Celebration to Klimt, among other classical and neoclassical pieces, as well as contemporary pieces by choreographers J. Garant, Yanis Pikieris and Edgar Anido. She has also consistently demonstrated her vigorous dedication to her training, by attending all Summer Intensive Programs of Russian Technique. She has traveled around the world with the company to participate in various renowned dance festivals in Germany (2008), Denmark (2009), Mexico (2010), Poland (2012) and Germany (2014). After 2 years as an apprentice Yasamin begins the 2016-2017 season as member of the company.

LUSIAN HERNANDEZ was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela where she started her ballet training at 7 years old at the Fundacion Escuela de Ballet Clasico del Edo. Lara. She has participated in many local and international dance festivals including the Festival Danza Joven in Colombia in 2009 and has been awarded several times with scholarships from programs such as the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Minneapolis where she attended in 2008. In 2010, she was awarded Bronze Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Caracas, Venezuela repeating the same accolade for 2011. After attending the Summer Intensive Program of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in 2011, she was invited by Vladimir Issaev to join the company’s apprentice program. Since then, she has performed the repertoire of the company including Yanis Pikieris’ Danzon, and Issaev’s The Nutcracker, Chipollino, Suite of Waltzes, Dr. Ouch!, Shostakovich Suites, Vicente Nebrada’s Pentimento, Alberto Mendez’s Tarde en La Siesta, A Celebration to Klimt, Coppelia, Paquita, and Glinka Suite Fantasique among others. Ms. Hernandez is happy to continue as a member of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida for the upcoming season.

LILIAN HILL is a native Floridian. She began her training at Pro-Am Dance and Magda Aunon School of Classical Ballet in Fort Lauderdale. While attending Dillard Center for the Performing Arts as a dance major, she apprenticed with Jubilee Dance Theater. Upon graduation, she joined Richmond Ballet and began working towards a BFA in dance at Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, she has attended Summer Intensives at Orlando Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. She joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in 2011 and has danced solo roles in Issaev's Harlequinade, Fairy Doll, The Nutcracker, El Encuentro, Coppelia, Le Corsaire, Chipollino, Donizetti Variations, Fragmentos by Edgar Anido, Danzon by Yanis Pikieris, Pentimento by Vicente Nebrada and Tarde en la Siesta with music of Lecuona and choreography by Alberto Mendez. She has performed Vladimir Issaev's piece Fuga con Pajarillo at the Latin Choreographers Festival in New York in 2012 and toured with the company to Peru, Germany and Indonesia.

JANIS LIU was born in Hong Kong and began her ballet training under Ivy Chung School of Ballet in Hong Kong. After being accepted into the pre-professional program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School in 2012, she joined Coastal City Ballet of Vancouver, Canada in 2013 and until 2016 she was a soloist at Columbia Ballet. In the summer of 2013 she was asked to perform in Swan Lake with the Hong Kong Ballet Company at the Guangzhou Theatre and in 2014 she was a guest artist for Charleston Ballet. Ms. Liu has won numerous international and important awards competing in many significant competitions including the prestigious Varna International Ballet Competition held in Varna, Bulgaria, USA IBC in Jackson, and the Asian Grand Prix. We welcome Janis Liu for the 2016-2017 season of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida.

ZIHAN MIN was born in China. He is a graduate with a major in Ballet from the Shanghai Theatre Academy, started his ballet training at the Guangzhou Art School. He also trained with Vadim Pisarev. Among his repertoire he has danced Don Quixote, Blue Bird, Corsaire, Giselle, Napoli, Swan Lake Nutcracker, La Bayadere among many other classical ballets. He has performed with the Royal Academy of Dance, the HK Academy for the Performing Arts, and had a TV special appearance in Berlin, Germany, dancing Napoli. Among his accolades he has received the Excellence of Performance Award in 2012 at the Shanghai Theatre Academy College Cup Technique Competition; the Golden Prize for “Theme and Variation” in 2013 and in 2014 he was awarded First prize for his performance in La Sylphide. In 2015 he joined the Suzhou Ballet Theatre where he danced Flames of Paris and Giselle. ZiHan is now joining Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida for the 2016-2017 season.

SAORI MORIOKA is from Nara, Japan. She started her ballet training at Mami Ballet Land in Japan and completed her training at School of Alberta Ballet, Canada.  She attended the Colorado Ballet Summer Program in 2013. She has been awarded at the Nara Ballet Competition in 2009, was a finalist in 2015, finalist at Sendai Competition in 2010 and participated in World Ballet Competition in 2015. Ms. Saori joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in 2014 and has danced soloist roles in Petrouchka, The Nutcracker and Vladimir Issaev’s the Rite of Spring, Coppelia, Glinka’s Suite Fantastique,  A Celebration to Klimt, among others. This will be Saori’s third year with Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida.



MAI NAKAZAWA is from Osaka, Japan. She attended the Odette Ballet School in her hometown and later at the Seiko Kuramoto Ballet School. Among her teachers we find Dominique Khalfouni, Seiko Kuramoto, Asami Maki and Fukagawa Hideo. She has received first place in several competitions such as the Osaka Prix Classic Ballet Competition, the Educational Ballet Competition, The Ballet Concourse in Osaka and the Ballet Competition 21 in Japan. She has performed with the Hyogo Dancers Associations and the Hideo Hukagawa at Seiko Kuramoto Ballet. She has also danced the soloist role of Raymonda in Ukraine and in Tokyo with the Japan International Ballet Company. She comes from dancing with Columbia Classical Ballet in South Carolina. Mai joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in 2015 when she participated in the Spring Ballet Gala of that year. Later on she performed soloist roles in Laurencia, Don Quixote, Alberto Mendez’s Tarde en la Siesta, and Issaev’s Coppelia. Mai looks forward to her second season with Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida.


JAIME REYTOR was born in Matanzas, Cuba in 1991 and started dancing at the age of 9 at the Alfonso Perez Isaac Elementary School. He finished his training at The National Ballet School “Ena”.  Upon graduation, Jaime joined The National Ballet of Cuba where he danced many roles in the classical Ballets including, Giselle, Coppélia, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Sleepy Beautiful, and many others. He also worked with some contemporary companies in Havana. He recently arrived in the United States and has been a part of The Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami. Jaime joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida early this year and performed in Vladimir Issaev’s Coppelia, Glinka’s Suite Fantastique, A Celebration to Klimt and Issaev’s Four Seasons. Jaime is looking forward to the 2016-2017 season.

RENEE ROBERTS started her ballet training with Vladimir Issaev. During her years as a student she performed roles such as Snow Queen and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Winter and Fall in The Seasons, as well as other original classical works by Mr. Issaev that were performed in both Poland and Germany. She continued her training with the dance department at Butler University, performing in classical pieces such as Gerald Arpino’s “Viva Vivaldi” and Finger Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty,” as well as modern works like Paul Taylor’s “Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal),” and an original contemporary work, “Displacements” choreographed by Marek Cholewa which was performed at the International Concert of Schools of Dance in Bratislava. She graduated cum laude majoring in Dance Performance, and received the Lynnette Jordan Schisla scholarship. Renee began her professional career last season where she had great opportunities such as dancing a soloist role in Alberto Mendez’s Tarde en la Siesta, and solos in pieces such as Don Quixote Grand Pas, Coppelia, Glinka Suite Fantastique, Taiko-Women, Verdi’s Four Seasons and A Celebration to Klimt. Renee also had the honors to attend the International Young Dancers Festival in Indonesia, this past summer. She is also a promising modern chorographer. Renee will be continuing her professional career next to her Ballet Master Vladimir Issaev.

KAYCI RODRIGUEZ, started taking ballet lessons at Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet under the tutelage of Vladimir Issaev, Olga Mekhonoshina and Liza Maltseva. Kayci has an extensive experience on stage, dancing the most challenging classical and neo classical repertoire in The Nutcracker, Paquita, Raymonda, La Bayadere, Shostakovich Suites, Taiko, Dr. Ouch!, Harlequinade, Chipollino, Fairy Doll, Firebird, Petrouchka, Fuga con Pajarillo, Danzon, Fragmentos by Edgar Anido and Vicente Nebrada’s Pentimento. She has also been fortunate to have been invited to participate in the International Young Dancers Festival in Miami, Mexico, Poland, Germany and most recently to Indonesia in addition to the Choreographers’ Festival in New York in 2012. During her first season as a professional dancer in 2015, she performed Alberto Mendez’s Tarde en la Siesta, Paquita and Fuga con Pajarillo in the awarded Ballets with Latin Flavor performances, later on she danced in the Spring Ballet Gala of 2016 Glinka’s Suite Fantastique, A Celebration to Klimt and Four Seasons along with Jaime Reytor. She is looking forward to a wonderful 2016-2017 season.


KEVIN ZONG, is a recent graduate from the Ellison Ballet of New York where he studied for the last three years trained by Edward Ellison himself and under full scholarship. He started his ballet training at the First State Ballet Theater in Wilmington, Delaware under the tutelage of Pasha and Kristina Kambalov. He also attended the Shanghai Dance School, and summer programs at the American Ballet Theater, Next Generation Ballet in Florida, the School of American Ballet and s short –term apprenticeship at the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2015. His repertoire includes Swan Lake Pas de Trois, Napoli, Villanelle, Carmen, Flams of Paris, Le Corsair among many others. He has been awarded Silver Medal at the Indianapolis International Ballet Competition in 2015, and First and Second prize awards at the Youth American Grand Prix Semi-finals in 2014 and 2015 along with several full merit scholarships. Kevin will begin his professional career this season at Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida.



DIANA HERNANDEZ was born in Santiago de Cuba. She started her ballet training at the age of 4 at the Taller Vocacional Jorge Lefebre, and later on joined the Escuela Vocacional the Arte (EVA), where she got the opportunity to participate in several choreography competitions obtaining first place in her category. At the age of 12, Diana joined the Miami City Ballet School, participating in their summer programs, performing in some of their company productions, and graduated after six years training. In 2016, she attended The Arts Ballet Theatre summer intensive, and she will be joining the company as an apprentice for the 2016-2017 season.

CLAUDIA SUAREZ was born in Venezuela. She began her ballet studies at the age of 5 in EFPDanza and had additional training in Central School of Ballet, in London. Later on she continued at Fundación Ballet de Las Américas in Caracas and Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet, where she graduated. She has participated in numerous festivals in her country and twice at an International Festival in La Habana, Cuba as well as taken different workshops at English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet School in London.  In 2010, Claudia was awarded with the Silver Medal at Caracas National Ballet Competition and Top Ten Dancer at Universal Ballet Competition in 2015. In 2012, she won a scholarship to attend Arts Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive which she also attended in 2014 and 2015. After one year as a trainee in the company Claudia has been promoted to an apprentice position for the 2016-2017 season.


ASTRID ZULUAGA was born in Venezuela. She began her training at the age of 6 at the Fundacion Escuela de Ballet Clasico del Edo. Lara, she also attended Allegro Estudio de Ballet where she graduated. In 2012 she became an apprentice with Ballet Nacional de Panamá where she had the opportunity to dance “The nutcracker”, “Coppelia”, as well excerpts of ballets of the classical repertoire. Astrid participated in the International Ballet Competition in Caracas, Venezuela and in The Star of the 21st Century International Ballet Competition in Panamá, where she got to be one of the ten finalists of her category. In 2013 she decides to audition for Miami City Ballet School to improve her technique where she graduated after a year and a half training. In 2015, she attended Arts Ballet Theater summer intensive when she joined as an apprentice.










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