The Florida Ballet's 2018-19 Studio Company Members
Joshua Abbott, a native of Jacksonville, began his dance training at the age of seven at Jacksonville Center of the Arts under the leadership of Kezia Rolle, Conrad Lewis, and Mayra Fernandez. His training includes ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and West African. Mr. Abbott has won numerous awards and scholarships that have provided him with opportunities to further his training at The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York City.
Mr. Abbott graduated from Jacksonville University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Other notable achievements include an apprenticeship with the highly regarded and respected, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. In addition to dancing with The Florida Ballet, Mr. Abbott teaches ballet, jazz, and modern dance at Jacksonville Center of the Arts.
Olivia Barcia started her dance training in 2005 at Boca Ballet Theatre. In 2007, she moved to Jacksonville and began training at The Florida Ballet under founder and Artistic Director, Laurie Picinich-Byrd. Ms. Barcia attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts from 2013-2015. In the fall of 2015, she joined The Florida Ballet Conservatory program until graduating from Florida Duval Virtual Instructional Academy in 2017. Upon graduating high school, Ms. Barcia attended Florida Ballet's Graduate program for the 2017/2018 season and was an assistant teacher in multiple ballet classes.
Currently, Ms. Barcia is attending The University of Florida's online degree program and working towards her Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management. Ms. Barcia is also one of Florida Ballet's Outreach Programming instructors.
Ms. Barcia's received her professional ballet and modern dance training under the instruction of Laurie Picinich-Byrd, Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins, Chris Alloways-Ramsey, Samantha Austin, Kate Levitz, and Heather Olschewske. Her classical repertoire includes; Clara, Arabian, Lead Marzipan, and Dew Drop in "The Nutcracker", Little Swans in "Swan Lake", Firebird in "The Firebird", Gulnare in "Le Corsaire", Myrtha in "Giselle", and Swanhilda in "Coppelia". She has also performed in original classical and contemporary works choreographed by Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins, Heather Olschewske, Davis Robertson, and Tyler Gilstrap. Her Summer Intensive Training includes The Florida Ballet, Orlando Ballet, and Houston Ballet.
Grace Umberger, native of Jacksonville, Florida, received her early training from Mervyn Rickard at the age of five. She continued her studies with Marta Jackson and later danced with Arts Edge School of Dance. Her serious ballet training began at age 13, when she was accepted to attend The Florida Ballet Conservatory where she trained under Laurie Picinich-Byrd and Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins.
At The Florida Ballet, she advanced through the ABT curriculum obtaining a certificate of high honors at Level 6. Ms. Umberger received merit scholarships at Joffrey Ballet, Orlando Ballet School, and Pittsburgh Ballet School. She expanded her training by attending summer intensive programs at The Florida Ballet, Orlando Ballet School, and Pittsburgh Ballet School.
After attending Pittsburgh Ballet's summer intensive in 2016, she received a Merit Scholarship to attend their Graduate program where she studied for two years and graduated high school. While there, Ms. Umberger trained under School Directors, Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. She also received instruction and staging from School Principal, Jane Popelski, PBT's Ballet Mistress, Mariana Tcherkassky, and PBT's Artistic Director, Terrance Orr.
While at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, she performed for the Company's production of "The Nutcracker" where she danced Snow and Flower as well as Shepherdess for outreach presentations, such as First Night and Phillips Conservatory. Additionally, Ms. Umberger performed as a Tart in the Company's production of Alice in Wonderland. Other repertoire includes; Etudes, Swan Lake's Cygnets, George Balanchine's Western Symphony, and Yoshiaki Nakano's original work, The Symphony. Previously, at The Florida Ballet Conservatory, Ms. Umberger performed in The Florida Ballet's annual Nutcracker production in roles including: Clara, Arabian, Marzipan, Snow, and Bud. She also danced several ballet and contemporary works including Masquerade, Faust, Scrutiny, and The River.