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Guest Artists 

Sterling Baca grew up in Larkspur, Colorado. He began his ballet training at the Academy of Colorado Ballet at age eleven and then studied with German Zamuel. He attended five ABT summer intensives as a National Training Scholar and Bender Foundation Scholar and enrolled in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in 2009 on full scholarship. Baca was an inaugural recipient of the Dizzy Feet Foundation Scholarship and performed at the Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala in 2009 at the Kodak Theater.

Baca joined ABT II in September 2010. His repertoire included George Balanchine's Stars and Stripes pas de deux and lead roles in Jerome Robbins' Interplay and Antony Tudor's Continuo. Baca also danced in Balanchine's Allegro Brilliante, Aszure Barton's Barbara, Jodie Gates' A Taste of Sweet Velvet and the world premiere of Jessica Lang's Vivacce Motifs.

Baca joined ABT as an apprentice in May 2011 and became a member of the corps de ballet in December 2011. His roles with the Company include Demetrius in The Dream, the Officer in Gaîté Parisienne, the Spanish Dance in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker, the Spanish Suitor in The Sleeping Beauty, von Rothbart (Ballroom) and Lead Czardas in Swan Lake, Stephano in The Tempest and roles in Aftereffect, Bach Partita, Duets and The Final Frame by Zhong-Jing Fang.

Mr. Baca was chosen for and featured on the cover of Dance Magazine'sJanuary 2016 '25 to Watch' issue. Mr. Baca has been featured on Dance 212 Season 4 and 'On a Grass Field' Winner of Best Short Film at the Golden Door Film Festival 2014 in New Jersey.  Mr. Baca joined Pennsylvania Ballet as a Principal Dancer for the 2016/2017 season.

Nayara Lopes Born in Curitiba, Brazil, started dancing at age 6.  Lopes trained at the School of Theatre Dance Guaira in Brazil and American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York City.


Following her early training, she joined Orlando Ballet II in 2010, where she performed roles in Carmen, Giselle and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  In 2011, she joined The National Ballet of Canada as an Apprentice where she performed in many full-length ballets including The Nutcracker, Giselle, La Fille mal Gardee and Alice in Wonderland.


Ms. Lopes also competed in ballet competitions such as the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP)- finals (New York, NY) where she received the Mary Day Special Award and the YAGP- Regionals (Columbia, SC) where she was the Grand Prix Winner in 2011. 


She has worked with choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, James Kudelka, Lindsay Fischer, Robert Hill, Raymond Lukens and Jessica Lang. Additional roles include Kitri in Don Quixote Dream Scene, Allegro Brillante, Black Swan and the Sleeping Beauty Pas de Deux. She joined Dance Theatre of Harlem in 2015.

Ms. Lopes joined Pennsylvania Ballet for the 2016/2017 season as a member of the Corps de Ballet. 

Connor Holloway, born in Louisville, Kentucky, started performing at the age of six in school musicals and then moved on to local professional theatre companies. At the age of thirteen, he began taking ballet classes at the Louisville Ballet School while attending a magnet performing arts high school as a vocal performance major. After completing two years, he was accepted into the Boston Ballet pre-professional program at the age of sixteen and was promoted to the trainee level. During his trainee year, he performed corps de ballet roles with Boston Ballet.

Holloway became a member of the ABT Studio Company in 2014. His repertory with the Studio Company includes roles in Continuo, Great Galloping Gottschalk and Larry Keigwin’s Studio.

Holloway joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in December 2014 and joined the corps de ballet in June 2015. His repertoire includes the Spanish Dance in The Nutcracker and a role in Company B as well as roles in all the Company's full-length ballets.

Catherine Hurlin was born in New York City, Catherine Hurlin began her dance training at Scarsdale Ballet Studio and Westchester Dance Academy. At the 2007 Youth American Grand Prix New York City Finals she was awarded the Hope Award. The following year she received a full scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre under the direction of Franco De Vita. She was awarded the first Angelina Ballerina Stars of Tomorrow Scholarship in 2010 and was a Northern Trust Scholar in 2011. She attended ABT's Summer Intensive as a National Training Scholar in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Hurlin performed as "Clara" in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall for three years. She has also performed in gala benefits for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and Dancers Responding to AIDS.

Hurlin joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in November 2013 and became a member of the corps de ballet in June 2014.

Misty Copeland was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland began her ballet studies at the age of 13 at the San Pedro Dance Center. At the age of fifteen she won first place in the Music Center Spotlight Awards. She then began her studies at the Lauridsen Ballet Center. Copeland has studied at the San Francisco Ballet School and American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive on full scholarship and was declared ABT's National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000.


She has danced Kitri in Don Quixote and the Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in The Nutcracker. Copeland joined ABT's Studio Company in September 2000 and then joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2001 and was appointed a Soloist in August 2007.


In March 2014 Copeland's autobiography Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina was released.  She became a sponsored athlete for Under Armour, with 'I Will What I Want.'  Copeland has been named to the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Copeland became a guest judge for the 11th season of FOX's So You Think You Can Dance.  On August 14, 2014, New Line Cinema optioned Life in Motion for a screen adaptation




Gillian Murphy was raised in Florence, South Carolina, Gillian Murphy began her ballet training at the age of three in Belgium and continued her ballet classes at the age of five in South Carolina.After training in South Carolina as a member of the Columbia City Ballet, she continued her studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

At the age of 15, Murphy was a finalist at the Jackson International Ballet Competition. IShe was awarded the Prix de Lausanne Espoir after performing the final round at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. She was a National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Dance, and honored with a Princess Grace Foundation-USA grant. The Princess Grace Foundation awarded her its highest honor, the Statue Award, in 2009.  In May 2014, Murphy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Murphy joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet in August 1996, was promoted to Soloist in 1999 and Principal Dancer in 2002.  She created Clara, the Princess in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker and leading roles inGlow-Stop, Kaleidoscope, One of Three, Rabbit and Rogue, Thirteen Diversions and Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison.

Murphy danced Odette-Odile in the ABT telecast of Swan Lake and also appeared in the ABT telecast of Le Corsaire. Other television credits include the Washington Opera's Die Fledermaus and, in November 2010, an appearance on the series "Gossip Girl." During November 1999, she also participated in the Melissa Hayden Project, part of the Balanchine Foundation's video series filming dancers, who worked with George Balanchine, teaching their roles to young performers. The Foundation filmed Hayden teaching Murphy the pas de deux from Stars and Stripes and Donizetti Variations. Murphy was seen in the feature filmCenter Stage and also appeared in the sequel, Center Stage 2: Turn It Up.

Yuriko Kajiya Born in Aichi, Japan, Yuriko Kajiya began her training at the age of eight. At ten, she moved to China and became one of the first foreign students to study with and graduate from the Shanghai Ballet School on scholarship. During her stay in China, Kajiya performed many times on Chinese national television.


In 1997, at age 13, Ms. Kajiya won the Best Performance Award in the senior category at the Tao Li Bei National Ballet Competition. In 1999, she became one of the youngest finalists at the Third International Ballet Competition in Nagoya. In January 2000, she won the renowned Prix de Lausanne Scholarship which enabled her to study at the National Ballet of Canada School in Toronto.


Ms. Kajiya starred in the 2007 documentary Passion Across a Continent in Japan. She also appeared on the Tokyo Talk Show and presented the American Ballet Theatre documentary Dancers.  Most recently, she appeared in a 90-minute documentary entitled Yuriko: Ballerina.  


Ms. Kajiya joined American Ballet Theatre's Studio Company in September 2001. She became an apprentice with the main Company in 2002 and was promoted to the corps de ballet in June. She was appointed a soloist with American Ballet Theatre (ABT) in August 2007.

Ms. Kajiya joined Houston Ballet as a first soloist in 2014.

Jared Matthews was born in Houston and received his early ballet training there under the guidance of Victoria Vittum and Gilbert Rome. He was awarded a full scholarship to study at North Carolina School of the Arts summer program as well as the School of American Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. While attending American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensive Program in 2001 as a Coca Cola Scholarship winner, he was invited to join ABT's Studio Company.


Mr. Matthews joined American Ballet Theatre (ABT) as an apprentice in 2002 and as a member of the corps de ballet in April 2003. He was appointed a Soloist in August 2007.  

As a guest artist, Mr. Matthews has appeared with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and with both the Noriko Hara Ballet and the Kamakura Ballet Company in Japan. He has toured as a guest artist with Les Ballet GranDiva. He has also appeared in the 2008 Hopes and Prize Gala in Japan. In America, he has danced with Rochester City Ballet, Civic Ballet of Chicago, Houston Repertoire Ballet, New England Dance Ensemble, West Virginia Dance Festival and the 2007 and 2008 Chicago Dancing Festival. Mr. Matthews appeared on So You Think You Can Dance, performing the pas de deux from Don Quixote.


Mr. Matthews has taught technique and partnering classes for the David Howard Foundation's A Month of Sundays program, West Virginia Dance Festival, at workshops in Yokohama, Japan and at local dance studios in the United States.

Mr. Matthews joined Houston Ballet as a first soloist in 2014.

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