Martha Lemire, a New Hampshire native who now calls North Florida home, 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.
Mr. Forleo was born in Bari, Italy and trained at Scuola di Balletto Classico Cosi-Stafanescu (Reggio Emilia-Italy) and at Ecole Atelier Rudra Béjart Lausanne (Switzerland), where he studied with Azari Plisetzki, Sulamith Messerer, Suzanne Farrell, David Howard, Colette Milner and Michel Gascard. Mr. Forleo has an extensive career working with numerous companies, including Grupo Corpo, Brazil, Bejart Ballet Lausanne,Switzerland, Rambert Dance Company, England, Malandain Ballet Biarritz, France, Les Ballets Grandiva, Japan and has toured internationally to six of the seven continents. Within these companies, Mr. Forleo performed an extensive repertoire in soloist and principal roles working closely with many choreographers such as Pedro Pederneiras, Maurice Bejart, Christopher Bruce, Thierry Malandain, Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Wayne McGregor, Christophe Garcia and Marie-Laure Agrapart. Mr. Forleo was principal dancer with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in NYC before moving to Maine in 2013.
Mr. Forleo is a graduate of the Centre National de la Danse Pantin-Paris (France) as a certified ballet teacher and is also a certified ABT teacher (American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum) from Pre-Primary through level 7. He was the director of the CORPS program, the pre-professional program of Portland School of Ballet in Maine. His choreography has been seen in Portland Ballet’s Boy Meets Girl, the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s Peter and the Wolf (Discovery Series), and in 2018 his Alice was presented in collaboration with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Maine College of Art. He joined the faculty at Bates College (Lewiston, ME) in 2016 and until recently was the Artistic Director of Bangor Ballet in Maine and a full-time faculty member and principal dancer at Maine State Ballet. Mr. Forleo joined The Florida Ballet in August 2019 as Associate Artistic director and during his first year choreographed Creatures of Prometheus in collaboration with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.
Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins, Training Center Director / Curriculum Coordinator
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.
Katie Slattery, Company and Conservatory Coordinator
Katie Slattery began her ballet training in Gainesville, Florida. As a young dancer she attended summer programs at the Joffrey Ballet School, The Rock School, American Ballet Theatre and Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. She attended Virginia School of the Arts high school program and then became a trainee with the Joffrey Ballet School and performed with the Joffrey Ballet II Concert Dancers. Katie then danced as a member of Milwaukee Ballet II for two seasons. She returned to Florida to join Orlando Ballet under the direction of Fernando Bujones, where she was a company dancer from 2001-2008. Following that, she joined Sarasota Ballet from 2007-2009.
Ms. Slattery danced in many of the classic ballets including Swan Lake, Giselle, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Spartacus, Coppelia, Raymonda, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, La Fille Mal Gardee, and The Nutcracker. She also danced in ballets choreographed by George Balanchine, John Cranko, Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton, Dame Ninette de Valois, and Fernando Bujones.
Ms. Slattery began teaching at Orlando Ballet School in 2002, and she took a full-time position as Artistic Assistant/Faculty in 2011. Aside from her work in the pre-professional divisions, she was proud to teach and help develop the Come Dance With Us program for children with physical challenges. She has worked as a guest teacher and judge for various organizations, and she enjoys writing articles on ballet for Pointe Magazine. Ms. Slattery is a certified teacher of the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum from Pre-Primary through Level 7, and she has presented students for exams as an affiliate teacher with the ABT NTC. She is excited to be joining the faculty at The Florida Ballet!
Photography by NH Photography. All rights reserved.