Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins
Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins’ career as a dancer, teacher and choreographer spans over 35 years as a professional. She studied as a scholarship student with the Joffrey American Ballet Center in New York, Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance and the Ed Parish Dance Foundation in Chicago. She studied with Robert Joffery, Ruth Page, Larry Long, Ed Parish, David Howard, Ben Stevenson, Yves Casiti and many others. As a dancer, she appeared as soloist with the Chicago Ballet, Kiel Ballet (Germany) and the National Ballet of Peru (South America) dancing the full range of classical repertoire including “Swan Lake”, “Nutcracker”, “Les Sylphides”, “La Sylphide”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Giselle” and a full list of modern and contemporary ballets with choreographers such as Rosemary Helliwell, Anthony Taylor, Heinz Weitz, Ruth Page and Larry Long. Ms. Jenkins was Director of the Florence (Ala) School of Ballet, the Academy of Nevada Dance Theatre, Dance with Distinction at Jacksonville University, Pharcyde Dance Center and Principal Ballet Teacher for the School of Ballet Oklahoma. She has conducted workshops and taught Master Classes for Dance Educators of America and the Cecchetti Council of America. In 1989, Ms. Jenkins and 9 of her students traveled to Moscow, Russia to study with the Bolshoi Theatre School. Ms. Jenkins completed her BFA in Dance at Jacksonville University. In Jacksonville, she has taught at Jacksonville University, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Landon Middle School of the Arts, and Pharcyde Dance Center. From 1993-1997 Ms. Jenkins was the Artistic Associate for the First Coast Nutcracker. From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Jenkins was Administrative Director and Ballet Faculty for The Florida Ballet. In 2014 Ms. Jenkins was a grant panelist for the Florida Department of State - Division of Cultural Affairs. In 2014 she became Artistic Director with the passing of Founding Director Laurie Picinich-Byrd., continuing the established standard of excellence. Ms Jenkins is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® National Training Curriculum Teacher Training Intensive in PrePrimary through Level 7 & Partnering.
Christopher Alloways-Ramsey graduated cum laude, Harvard University, June 2003. He has danced for Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet West, BalletMet Columbus and Alabama Ballet. As a student, Christopher received the majority of his classical training from Mira Popovitch and Dame Sonia Arova. Subsequently, he trained on full merit scholarships at The Kirov Academy, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Christopher graduated from high school at (Universty of) North Carolina School of the Arts.
As a guest artist with regional ballet companies around the US, Christopher's repertory includes Siegfried in Swan Lake, The Prince in Sleeping Beauty, Sugar Plum Cavalier in Nutcracker, Albrecht in Giselle, Paris in Romeo and Juliet, The Blue Boy in Les Patineurs, and Monotones 1.
Christopher's Balanchine repertoire includes Concerto Barocco, Western Symphony, Symphony in C, Rubies and the Third Theme pas de deux from The Four Temperaments. Mr. Alloways-Ramsey has also performed roles in the ballets of 20th-Century masters Cranko, Van Dantzig, and Jose Limon.
As an educator, Christopher was previously on the faculty at Boston Arts Academy, American Academy of Ballet, Boston Youth Moves, Boston Ballet and Boston Conservatory.
Christopher was a 2013 recipient of National Artists Teacher Fellowship Award.
From April 2014 until June 2016, Christopher was the Ballet Master for Cape Dance Company and Head of the Classical Ballet Department at Cape Academy of Performing Arts, in Cape Town, South Africa. During his tenure, he was responsible for creating and implementing the Professional Track School for 9-18-year-old students, a dedicated Men's Program, and a full-time tertiary program for classical ballet majors. Christopher was the teacher and coach of 2016 South African International Ballet Competition Gold Medalist, Neline Theron.
Martha Lemire joins The Florida Ballet as Administrative Director. A New Hampshire native who now calls North Florida home, Martha brings over 30 years of experience in business and arts management to the organization. Her work experience includes the general management of a small business for 19 years in her hometown of Hampton, NH, member of the management team for three seasons at Prescott Park Arts Festival, Portsmouth, NH, and former Executive Director of Ballet New England, Portsmouth, NH. Ms. Lemire has an extensive background in volunteer development, fundraising event coordination, communications, marketing and strategic planning.
In addition, Ms. Lemire’s experience in the performing arts includes musical theater choreography for several middle and high school productions, stage management of community theater performances and production coordination for all types of presentations including dance, theater, pageants, and music.
CO-BRAVO COORDINATOR/PHYSICAL THERAPIST
Mitzi Cavin joins Florida Ballet as a Pilates Instructor. Ms. Cavin is a Physical Therapist and Certified Manual Therapist with over 30 years of experience in the field. Her expertise in the area of movement analysis combined with her 20+ years of training and teaching in Dance provides our dancer with a unique Pilates experience. She is also our resident consultant for musculoskeletal complaints and offers a clinic on Saturday mornings for the evaluation and treatment of complaints and injuries common to dancers.
Mary Laine is a native of Jacksonville, growing up in Ponte Vedra Beach and now resides in Saint Augustine with her husband and children. She earned her Master of Humanities from Tiffin University and focused on Art and Film. Mary has experience with both non-profit organizations and ballet companies, but serving as BRAVO Co-Coordinator is her first opportunity to combine those experiences. Her previous work includes book publishing and teaching at a school for at-risk youth. With a gift for strategic planning, she loves helping parents and dancers make the most of their education at Florida Ballet. Of her five children, two currently dance with the organization. Mary has a deep love of the performing arts and theatre, and she is also an accomplished screenwriter.
Melissa Ridener joins Florida Ballet as the photographer/ videographer. Melissa has two children; both of which decided dance sounded like a great profession. This brought plenty of auditions, intensives, rehearsals, and performances to reach their goals.
While her children learned to dance, she learned to photograph the dancers during auditions, rehearsals and performances for 15 years. Melissa loves the challenge of capturing their best moments on stage prompting her to start Light Touch Studios to help share those moments!
COSTUME DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
A long-time resident of the First Coast, Julie brings to The Florida Ballet over 30 years of leadership experience in finance, administration, and human resources. From the re-opening of the Florida Theatre in 1983 to her role here, Julie's broad experience spans such fields as arts and culture, human and social services, and various professional services. Additionally, Julie has participated in several community forums and initiatives, and has written and presented both public and private lectures/workshops. Julie has enjoyed a lifelong passion for the Arts, having participated in 48 Hour Film Projects, sketch comedy, choral and a cappella groups, and has appeared on stage as Elsa Schrader in The Sound of Music and Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter.