The Florida Ballet Staff

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Martha Lemire

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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.

Linda Reifsnyder Jenkins

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

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.

Katharine Graham

ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR

Katharine Graham graduated magna cum laude from Goucher College in May 2016. Her studies at Goucher included a dance major with emphasis on performance and choreography and a minor in communications. While in attendance she had the privilege of performing works by choreographers such as, Ronen Koresh, Michou Szabo, Gina Patterson, and Darrell Grand Moultrie. She attended the American College Dance Association’s Mid-Atlantic conference three out of her four years of study, performing works for adjudication and taking a variety of classes from different artists around the country.

In Spring 2015, Ms. Graham spent the semester abroad studying dance at the University of Roehampton in London. Ms. Graham’s dance training has also stemmed from numerous intensive programs that she has attended including, Doug Varone and Dancers, Bates Dance Festival, and the Paul Taylor summer intensive. Ms. Graham received her Progressing Ballet Technique certification for Junior, Senior, and Advanced programs in April 2017.

Roberto Forleo

ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Mr. Forleo is a former dancer with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. He 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 and Colette Milner. Mr. Forleo has performed with numerous companies, including Grupo Corpo in Brazil, Bejart Ballet Lausanne in Switzerland, Ballet Biarritiz in France, Les Ballets Grandiva in Japan and has toured internationally to six of the seven continents.

Mr. Forleo was the director of the CORPS and pre-professional programs of the school at the Portland Ballet. His choreography has been seen in Portland Ballet’s Boy Meets Girl, the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s Peter and the Wolf (Discovery Series), and his Alice was presented in 2015, in collaboration with the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Maine College of Art. Mr. Forleo is a graduate of the Centre National de la Danse Pantin-Paris (France) as a certified ballet teacher and he is also a certified ABT teacher (American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum). 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 ballet faculty member at Maine State Ballet.

 

Julie Michael

ACCOUNTANT

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.