OBT Dancers and Trainees 2016-17 Season
Charles Gordon · grew up in Walla Walla, WA and started dancing at the age of 5. He has trained in jazz, and contemporary at the Walla Walla Dance Company, and ballet at The Dance Center of Walla Walla. He attended Summer Dance Lab for 3 summers as well as other intensives. Charles moved to Seattle this June and has participated in the Strictly Seattle dance festival, and Ballet Bellevue’s Romeo and Juliet prior to joining Olympic Ballet Theatre.
Christine Hamstra has been dancing for more than ten years and has studied ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary dance. She joined Olympic Ballet Theatre as a company dancer in 2008 and has since danced many roles in company performances including Giselle, Coppelia, The Nutcracker, Nyman, Petrushka, Accordingly, and others. Christine has been on the faculty of Olympic Ballet School since 2010.
Arashi Kunita is from Osaka, Japan. He started dancing at the age of three, at the Rei Mika Dance Studio in the Hyogo Prefecture, and continued his training at Studio Maggoto in Osaka. He has competed in several ballet competitions in Japan, including the Namyu Competition in Kobe, the Japan Ballet Competition in Ishikawa, the NBA competition in Osaka, amongst others.
Kyohei Masaoka · began training at the Fumiko Ballet School in Japan. In 2013, he attended The Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia for a year before returning to Japan to train at Prima Stella Ballet, and then S Ballet in 2015. Mr. Masaoka has competed in the Youth America Grand Prix competition in Japan, Philadelphia, and at the finals in New York. He has also competed in the 2013 Osaka ballet competition where he took 5th place, and the 2015 ballet competition in Nagoya, where he took 1st place.
Miri Orido · is from Yokohama, Japan, and received her training with Y Dance Company. She has also attended summer programs in Munich, Berlin, and on full scholarship in Vancouver B.C. Ms. Orido is the recipient of the Akaikutsu prize of the 2013 Yokohama ballet competition, and is the first prize winner of the 2014 international ballet competition in Riga, Latvia, and the 3rd prize winner of the 2016 Surrey Festival of Dance in British Colombia.
Beatrix Paulay · is an Olympic Ballet School alumnus and has performed in numerous Olympic Ballet Theatre productions. She has attended summer intensives at Boston Ballet School, Ballet Arizona, Cincinnati Ballet, and on scholarship at Oklahoma City Ballet. From 2013-2015 Ms. Paulay attended Pittsburgh Ballet School’s Graduate Program, frequently performing in Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre productions.
Mana Sasaki · began training at age four, with Sayuri Sasaki in her native Japan. She continued at the S Ballet Studio, and attended the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in 2011. Ms. Sasaki has competed in the 2013 Kobe Dance competition, where she took 1st place, the 2014 Tokyo National Ballet Competition, where she took 2nd place, the Asian Grand Prix, where she was awarded Gold, the Bari International Ballet and Contemporary Competition, 2nd and 3rd places, and is the special prize recipient of the 2016 Korea International Ballet Competition.
Riho Shimada · was born in Nagano, Japan. She began her training with the Hakucho Ballet Academy in Japan and is a recent graduate of the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ms. Shimada has previously performed in a school production of The Nutcracker at the Mariinksy Theatre, dancing soloist roles of snowflake and Chinese divertissement.
Mayuka Takamura · received her training from Kashino Takayuki and Akiko Kimura at the Asuka Sakurako Ballet School in her native Japan. She has also studied at the Shanghai City National Dance School, and in New York. Ms. Takamura is the winner of the Nagoya Jr. Ballet competition, and semi-finalist of the 1999 Asia Pacific international ballet competition. She most recently danced with the Kansai Ballet Art Theater and also served as a ballet mistress, assisting with the annual dance festival in 2013 and 2016.
About Trainee Program
The program was established in 2015 to supplement OBT’s productions. It consists of talented pre-professional dancers ages of 18-23 and is an excellent chance to continue education while gaining performing experience.
Accepted dancers receive partial and full scholarships to Olympic Ballet School as well as performance stipends based on experience. To schedule an audition please email the Artistic Directors at firstname.lastname@example.org &
email@example.com. Preliminary audition by video accepted. Interested candidates should send a head shot, resume, and class or performance footage to the Artistic Directors at: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
2016-17 Trainee Program is supported in part by Lucky 7 Foundation, Hazel Miller Foundation, & Tulalip Tribes Charitable Contributions.