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About Us

OUR MISSION

The Ballet Herald is an independent voice in the cultural conversation. We are influenced and motivated only by the desire to share our passion for the arts and to express the impact they have – or have had – on our lives.

The views expressed in any given non-news article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire team. It is with this individual and company-wide integrity that we bring you stories related to the dance industry.

OUR HISTORY

The Traveling Ballerina was a seed planted in Fall 2018 as a result of not having access to a consolidated site to find ballet performances worldwide. Over time, it has grown in team size, content, and readership as well as gone through a couple of makeovers.

It is now being cultivated into a more encompassing online newspaper – The Ballet Herald – with a more sophisticated design aimed at enhancing the user experience and creating a space for future expansion.

OUR TEAM

Editor-in-Chief

Cherilyn J. Lee

Cherilyn J. Lee

Cherilyn's lifelong passion for ballet has opened the door to the next chapter of her journey. Her strong foundation includes training at the School of American Ballet, being a featured dancer with Hartford Ballet and Carolina Ballet, and being co-director/owner of City Ballet Raleigh. She was granted the Affiliate Teacher Award after successfully completing the ABT National Training Curriculum®. A professional career in the industry along with extensive global travel provide her with a unique set of experiences to draw upon as a journalist and audience member. Cherilyn is excited to be sharing her insight about ballet around the world.

Contributors

Kasey Broekema

Kasey Broekema

Kasey Broekema is a reporter for The Sun US, as well as a freelance writer with work published from her fiction appearing in literary magazines, to getting the latest dance scoop, to neuroscience journals. She found her passion for dance twirling in a small studio in Kalamazoo, Michigan and her training included time with The School of Nashville Ballet, Vanderbilt University Dance Program, New Dialect, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Broekema attended summer programs with Suzanne Farrell on Cedar Islands, with Brooke Desnoës and Violette Verdy at L’Académie de Danse de Paris, Joffrey Ballet NYC, Ellison Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. She obtained her BA in English from Columbia University, Class of 2021. She is also a freelance dancer based in New York City and loves supporting small local companies. You can often find her scheming up story plots in dimly lit coffee shop corners, goggling in awe at her favorite dancers at Lincoln Center, and geeking out over Ancient Egyptian art at The Met Museum. Photo by John DeAmara.

Oksana Khadarina

Oksana Khadarina

Oksana Khadarina is a Washington, DC–based dance writer. She has been covering dance at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as in New York City and internationally, since 2006. She has written for Dance Magazine, Pointe , DanceTabs, and Fjord Review, among other publications.

Gavin Larsen

Gavin Larsen

Gavin Larsen is a writer, teacher, and former professional ballet dancer. During her 18-year career, she performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet, as a soloist with Alberta Ballet and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and as a principal dancer with Oregon Ballet Theatre. Since retiring from the stage, Gavin has written for numerous dance and literary journals, including Pointe, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, From the Green Room, Oregon ArtsWatch, Dancing Times, Artslandia, Threepenny Review, Page and Spine, and The Maine Review. Her memoir, Being a Ballerina: The Power and Perfection of a Dancing Life, was published in 2021 by the University Press of Florida. She loves living, teaching and writing about dance from Asheville, NC.

Mimi Liu

Mimi Liu

Mimi Liu is a full-time middle school dance teacher with the New York City Department of Education. She also teaches at The Brooklyn Ballet, as well as on her own YouTube channel Plié For The People. Mimi attended the American Ballet Theatre New York summer intensives three years in a row as a teenager, then graduated from the Boston Conservatory where she obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Dance. After moving to New York City, Mimi earned her M.F.A. in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and her M.A. in Dance Education from Hunter College on Full-Tuition Scholarship. Mimi is certified in levels Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum and she is enthused by anything ballet!

Stone Meredith

Stone Meredith

Stone Meredith is the founder of The Clever Chicas Project, a collaborative network that highlights ordinary women doing extraordinary things. The project promotes cultural literacy through a series of educational initiatives. Initiative collaborators include The Florida State Theatre and The Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest Georgia. She is an accomplished online instructor of college-level literature, philosophy, and writing.

Nicolás Pérez

Nicolás Perez

Nicolás Pérez is a professional ballet dancer with Varna International Ballet (Varna State Opera) in Bulgaria. He started his ballet studies at the Conservatorio Profesional de Danza Fortea in Madrid and continued his training there before moving to London. After three years studying at the English National Ballet, he graduated with a Trinity College of London’s Level 5 Diploma in Professional Dance. He then moved to Bucharest to study in the Taina Morales Professional Programme in order to prepare for auditions. After only six months, he got offered a contract with the Varna State Opera, where he has been a corps de ballet member for two years. He has toured internationally to Mexico and the UK, dancing both corps de ballet and demi-soloist roles such as the Spanish dance in both Swan Lake and The Nutcracker and Franz's Friend in Coppélia.

Stefan Smith

Stefan Smith

One of Stefan Smith's proudest professional accomplishments has been helping create a start-up venture called Music Audience Exchange that has pioneered ways to connect musicians with new audiences through innovative brand partnerships, multi-media content creation, and live stream and other events. In that role, he has developed expertise in the areas of music and personal image licensing. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Avant Chamber Ballet and volunteer with youth groups in the Dallas area. Stefan is a practicing attorney who studied at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas School of Law. In his spare time he loves travel, cooking, fitness, nature, and the arts.

Jillian Verzwyvelt

Jillian Verzwyvelt

Jillian Verzwyvelt is a freelance writer who focuses on arts, culture, and travel. Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, she trained at Lafayette Ballet Theatre before moving to Fort Worth, Texas to pursue bachelor’s degrees in economics and communication studies from Texas Christian University. Here, she discovered how to translate her passion for the stage to the page. Jillian is now working toward a dual master’s degree in global media and communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Southern California.

Nadia Vostrikov

Nadia Vostrikov

Nadia Vostrikov is a former television actress and dancer for Boston Ballet II, Alberta Ballet, and numerous freelance dance companies. She currently works as a Digital Marketer in NYC. Photo by Katrina Cunningham.