Astrid Audet, Artistic Director
Astrid Audet began her ballet training at the late age of twelve at the Fort Lauderdale Ballet Classique under the direction of Magda Auñon and went on to study at the world-renowned Harid Conservatory under full scholarship at age sixteen. At these prestigious schools she performed soloist and principle roles in such famous Ballets including: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Le Corsaire, Cinderella, La Bayadere, & Paquita, among others. It is during this time that she discovered and developed her true passion and love for the art and beauty of Ballet.
In 1990, Astrid received the coveted Presidential Scholar in the Arts award from hundreds of high school senior applicants nationwide and was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC before President George Bush and the first lady. Astrid’s other awards include: 1st place recipient for the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and 3rd place recipient for the National Arts and Letters Recognition Competition. She also received numerous scholarships to study at America’s finest Ballet schools and companies including: American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, & Pennsylvania Ballet, among others.
From 1990 to 1992, at age 17, Astrid became among the youngest members to dance professionally with the acclaimed Boston Ballet. It was here that she gained her experience and expertise training among the best of dancers and ballet masters worldwide. She also enjoyed touring throughout the Northeast region and dancing repertoire from many famous Ballets and new contemporary works as well.After a difficult year of injury, Astrid came home and began her college studies at Florida Atlantic University and also began teaching ballet locally as she tried to heal her body. It was during this time that she discovered her love for teaching and working with children. In 1996, Astrid graduated with high honors from the New World School of the Arts in Miami earning her BFA degree in Dance and Teaching Certificate from the University of Florida in Gainesville.
For the past 25 years, Astrid has been teaching and choreographing throughout South Florida’s finest dance academies including her very first ballet school, Magda Auñon School of Ballet and Meg Segretos Dance Center, International Ballet Academy, University Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Academy of North Lauderdale, and Many But One. She is a certified teacher and educator through Florida Dance Masters and has worked for the association as a master teacher and guest choreographer. In 1995, Astrid was honored with a nomination for Who’s Who among America’s best teachers, an honor she holds very dear to her heart. In 2004, Astrid’s choreography of her own creation to “Pachabel’s Canon” for the Fort Lauderdale Ballet Classique won the Monticello Award at the renowned South Eastern Regional Ballet Festival. Students from Astrid’s Academy have won numerous awards and scholarship in the past years at local conventions and competitions as well as have gone on to dance in many of America’s leading professional companies and colleges including Boston Ballet, New York City Ballet, Joffrey, Ballet, Houston Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, New World School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, UCLA, NYU, UF, and FSU among others.
In 1997, Astrid began her yoga practice, which became another love of hers, and in 2003 Astrid was invited to participate in a local Yoga Exhibition that granted her a first place award for the state of Florida and landed her a spot at the International Yoga Exposition in Los Angeles, California. She traveled to LA and came home with the Bronze medal from thousands of participants from all over the world including China, Japan, and India. She also enjoys running outdoors and participated in her first marathon in February of 2012.
Astrid and her husband Robert, along with their two daughters Gabrielle (18) and Annabelle (14) reside in East Fort Lauderdale where she continues to teach and share her passion and joy for ballet with children of all ages. This year Gabrielle, an accomplished dancer and excellent student will graduate and attend the University of Florida pursuing a double major in Dance and Journalism. Annabelle continues to dance and will start high school at Westminster Academy. She wishes to thank above all, Her Lord God Almighty for His grace and guidance and His greatest gift of salvation, as well as her family and friends for all their love and support and all her “Beautiful Ballerinas” for allowing her to share her gifts and talents with them. It is, without doubt, the most rewarding of all her accomplishments, to give back her gift and passion to help shape her students’ lives.
Natalie Parcinski, Assistant Director
Natalie Parcinski began her dance career when she was 5 years old at The Kit Andree Dance and Performing Arts Center in Denver, CO. She trained under the instruction of the fabulous Miss Kit Andree and her ever talented daughter Miss Phan Peterson. Natalie was extensively trained in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, Broadway and musical theater, lyrical and cheer. She attended many dance workshops including Dance Caravan, and competed in various local and national competitions.
In college, Natalie danced with the nationally competitive University of Colorado Buff Gold Dance Team. She was also recognized as a Top Dancer through the National Dance Alliance. During her second year, she was appointed as one of the Team Captains which eventually evolved into a choreographer and even a coaching position.
Throughout her dancing career, Natalie has always loved performing. From this passion developed the desire to share and teach others about the love of the stage. She has taught at studios in Colorado and Michigan focusing mainly on the tap, jazz and lyrical styles.
In 2013, Natalie and her husband welcomed their first daughter into the world, only 3 weeks after the annual recital! Her bundle of joy joins two dog children in their home in Fort Lauderdale. She and her husband are both attorneys, but she believes that dance adds a balance to her life that she thoroughly enjoys.
Claudia Alvarado was born and raised in Broward County. She trained in Ballet under the direction of Ms. Astrid as a young student. She continued dancing through college and completed her Degree in Modern Dance from the University of South Florida in Tampa. While in Tampa, she also found a new passion for teaching children to dance. She has since been teaching children ages 3-18 Contemporary, Acro, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Jazz
Funk, and Hip Hop at various studios throughout South Florida. After College, she performed with several different Professional Dance Companies, but has always come back to teaching children. She has created several Champion Dance Teams and been invited perform in the World Dance Championships in New Jersey for 3 consecutive years. She recently began teaching at Astrid Audet’s Academy for Ballet and is excited to be part of the team.
Gabrielle Audet began her dance training at the very early age of 2 and has not stopped since! Her training includes Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Contemporary, Modern & Hip Hop among others and is at an advanced level in her technique. Gabby dances with the Senior Company at Astrid Audet Academy under the direction of her mother along with many other excellent professional teachers.
Gabrielle has performed extensively in the past 11 recital productions at the Academy as well as in all 9 of the Academy’s annual Nutcracker Ballets where she began as an angel, mouse and soldier; to Clara and most recently the Snow Queen Sugar Plum and Grand Pas-de-deux. Gabrielle has also competed in 7 of the Florida Dance Masters annual conventions, earning high gold, platinum and Encore awards for her performances. She is also active in the community & church- participating in many local events, mission trips & ministries. Gabrielle also has extensive experience and training in gymnastics and acro-tumble through Fort Lauderdale Stars Teams, Kimling’s Gym, and at the Academy. She has been a cheerleader captain and flyer for her school, Westminster Academy, for the past 6 years where she also competed in states.She was honored to receive the Freshman, Sophomore, and Senior Scholar Athlete Awards- in recognition of the highest GPA for varsity athletes in her class. Gabby has been assisting and teaching classes and summer camp at the Academy for the past several years and is beloved by all her students and parents! This coming fall she will attend the University of Florida in Gainesville and will pursue a double major in Dance and Journalism.
Ivy performed internationally with Ballet Magnificat Omega Company for six and a half years (www.balletmagnificat.com). In her formative years, she received training from the Atlanta Ballet, Greenville Ballet, and Louisville Ballet. In high school, her summers were spent with the Boston Ballet and Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet. Ivy’s teaching career began while touring with Ballet Magnificat, where she taught Master Classes across the U.S. Her stage experience reaches across the United States as well as Europe, South America, and the Middle East. In July 2010, she moved to West Palm Beach to attend Palm Beach Atlantic University. During her college career she established a ballet curriculum at a local studio and choreographed for several events. In April 2011 she was awarded the third place prize for choreography at the National Society of Arts and Letters Southeast Chapter. In 2014, she graduated with honors with a degree in Elementary Education and opened the Harbour School of Dance. She is currently an adjunct professor of dance at PBAU while teaching at Many But ONE Christian Performing Arts, Inc., and other local studios.
Julie Christiansen started dancing 11 years ago at the age of 9. She started in a small ballet/dance program at New Covenant Church on the Lake and participated in Christmas and Easter recitals, and many other holiday performances and outreaches. At the age of 14 she started training for years in Ballet, Jazz, and Modern at Expressions of Joy Dance Academy. She is currently taking Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop, Tap and Jazz, of which Contemporary and Modern are her passions. At EOJ, she took part in many productions such as Cinderella, Coppelia, Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and many more. Performances that she has taken part in at Astrid Audet Academy of Ballet include the Nutcracker, Peter Pan, and Mary Poppins. She has years of experience in teaching younger students Ballet and Hip Hop and loves to help them learn and grow to the best of their abilities with a twist of creativity. She is currently teaching Pre-Ballet, Ballet/Tap, and Tiny Hip Hop and is very excited to see what’s in store for our 2016-17 season. Starting this year, she is also a part of our office staff.
Emily Chu, from Saratoga Springs, NY, found her love of dance at an early age. She spent her early years dancing at various local studios and spent her summers at the Nutmeg Conservatory, Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, and American Academy of Ballet, among others. She began her pre-professional career at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA, where she graduated with a major in ballet, directed by Mr. Michael Owen. In 2015, she received her BFA in ballet from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), directed by Ms. Shellie Cash and Mr. Qi Jiang, where she was able to further her training into contemporary, modern, choreography, and pedagogy.
Maria Alejandra Jimenez Buiza- Ballet Master-choreographer and dancer.
Born in Caracas Venezuela, Miss Maria A Jimenez has over 28 years of ballet teaching experience. She began her studies in classical ballet at the early age of eight at NINA NOVAK’S School of Ballet. At thirteen, she auditioned and received a three-year scholarship with the BALLET NACIONAL DE CARACAS, under the artistic direction of Choreographer VICENTE NEBRADA. At sixteen, Miss Jimenez won the Silver Medal at the International Ballet Competition in Trujillo Peru. The following year she was hired as a principal dancer at NINA NOVAK’S Ballet Clasico of Camara and performed principal roles in many classical works including: Don Quixote,Coppelia,Corsaire,Swan Lake, Diana and Acteon,etc..Masters such as Kaleria Fedicheva, Edmund Novak, Ruta Butviliene, Ramona de Saa, Magaly Suarez,Rosa Alvarez,etc..This intensive training led her at the age of eighteen to perform with the principal Cuban dancer Carlos Junior Acosta dancing the principal role in Diana & Acteon Pas de Deux. Miss Maria A Jimenez has over 28 years of experience teaching classical ballet to children, adult and professional dancers in Venezuela and South Florida. Most specifically, she has taught at: Magda Augnun school of Ballet, Performing Arts Network, Keyla Ermecheo Dance Studio, Ballet Clasico de Camara, and Nina Novak’s escuela de Ballet. She also performed for the Florida Grand Opera, South Broward Ballet Company and New Century Dance Company. For the past eight years , Miss Jimenez has been ballet Mistress and assistant to the Artistic Director at the South Florida Ballet Company. Maria also helps to improve people’s lifestyles and health through her wellness organization.
Cheyenne has been dancing for over 13 years, starting when she was 5 years old. She is trained in hip hop, jazz, tap, and other various types of dance. Cheyenne is currently a member of a professional dance company performing throughout South Florida while she pursues her dreams as a choreographer and teacher. She hopes to be a mentor and inspiration to all her students. We are thrilled to have added Cheyenne’s infectious personality and positive energy to our staff at the Academy.
Kyrie Lloyd began her dance training in Philadelphia, PA where she studied all styles of dance with an emphasis on ballet and modern. Upon graduating high school, she attended Palm Beach Atlantic University earning a degree in dance. While at PBA, she had the opportunity to study under Demetrius Klein of Demetrius Klein Dance Company, Jin Young Lee, NYCB dancer, and Eileen Hebron, ABT dancers. She also performed and chorographer for the university’s dance ensemble. Since graduating college, she has been teaching at dance studios and performing for various South Florida dance companies including Joi Street Dance Company, REACH; A Dance Theater Collective, and TOC Project. She has also worked with MUSE Theater Company and has performed works such as CHICAGO and A Chorus Line. Kyrie currently teaches advanced ballet technique classes at the Academy.
Malu has 10 years of teaching experience, training toddlers, kids, teens, and adults. Malu is most known for her work in the commercial industry. She has performed several awards shows alongside Pitbull, Robin Thick, Sean Paul, J Balvin, Maluma and more. She specializes in choreographing themed projects and helping dancers understand etiquette and professionalism. Malu has been featured as a dancer in the movie Step Up 4 and has appeared on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4. As a Former Miami Heat Dancer (season 09′-11′), Malu seeks to help dancers learn and understand the commercial industry and audition process. Her goal is to not only train dancers through steps but to guide dancers with knowledge of the dance world.
Abigail started her first ballet class at the age of 4 at Joy Deco Enterprises in Margate FL. Shortly after, she started dancing at Expressions of Joy, learning the Russian Vaganova syllabus. She has taken part in many performances such as Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Coppelia, Cinderella, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music. Abigail has also danced at New Covenant Church, and has been to many different summer intensives including Expressions of Joy, Astrid Audet Academy of Ballet, and CCA. In 2010, Abigail danced in Magda Aunon’s Nutcracker at Fort Lauderdale Ballet Classique, and has continued to be a part of Astrid’s yearly Nutcracker. When she was 13, Abigail started dancing at Astrid Audet Academy of Ballet and More where she continues to dance today. She now has 11 years of dance experience, and is trained in Ballet/Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Modern.
A Ft. Lauderdale, FL native, Heather Mursell has had dance in her blood since the age of three. After eight years of jazz and tap, Heather discovered ballet in middle school. Beginning at age 11, she trained at the Academy of Arts (Pembroke Pines, FL) and Ballet Etudes (Miami, FL), before training in Graham, Limon and Horton modern techniques, ballet and pointe at the New World School of the Arts (NWSA) in Miami, FL. Accepted to the American Ballet Theater, the Milwaukee Ballet, and Walnut Hill, Heather ultimately selected the Nutmeg Conservatory (Connecticut) and the Joffrey Ballet (New York, NY) for her summer intensives.
Heather graduated from the NWSA High School Dance Division in 2004 after working personally with Michael Uthoff (sophomore and senior years) and concluded her senior year casted in a female pas de deux. Following high school, Heather immediately began study at Florida State University where she achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2008. While at FSU, she continued to train in Graham and Limon as well as ballet and pointe, while adding the Cunningham technique to her modern study. At FSU, Heather has had the privilege of working with historic dance icons such as Dan Wagner, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Suzanne Farrell, just to name a few.
Since graduation, Heather has had the pleasure of instructing modern/contemporary, ballet/pointe, combo, and ballet/tap/jazz to three to 18-year-olds in the Tallahassee and South Florida area. Her experience working with children outside of the dance studio extends to over half of a decade as a Program Manager, working with underprivileged youth at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend (Tallahassee, FL).
In 2018, her Junior Contemporary team won Third Place at the Tremaine Dance Competition (Orlando, FL) and was invited to perform at the Choreographers’ Ball (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) in the same year. Heather also guests as a Judge for the Young Talent Big Dreams competition (Miami, FL), where the winner of the competition is showcased at the Teen Choice Awards.
In addition to sharing her knowledge and passion of dance with the youth in her community, she also encourages and empowers adults to find their mind-body connection as a Pure Barre instructor.
Carolyn Yancey Paddock
Carolyn Yancey Paddock graduated Cum Laude from Point Park University, with a B.A. Degree in Dance and Musical Theater and a minor in Business Carolyn has been dancing since her pre-school days and grew up performing with the Tulsa Ballet. Her performing career has been in all styles of dance and theater. She has performed international and on the High Seas. Carolyn is also an accomplished chorographer – Music Videos, Off Broadway Musical in NYC, Musical Review Shows and many other Brow ay Musicals, along with Wedding Dances and Quinces and Sweet Sixteen events – and has produces her own Dance Productions for Cruise Lines, Corporate Events, and Private Parties throughout the world. She has been teaching for the past 27 years, both locally and abroad. Carolyn has taught in and choreographed for various schools statewide. Carolyn currently teaches advanced ballet technique classes at the Academy.
Jessica Poole started her dance training at Expressions of Joy School in Deerfield Beach, Florida and danced with their company since 2010! She has training in Ballet, Pointe, Acro, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Lyrical. She has performed in various Ballet Repertoires including Astrid Audet Academy of Ballet’s annual Nutcracker Ballet and Cinderella and Capella. She has also been a USAG Gymnastics member and coach since 2002 and has experience in teaching and coaching all levels of Acro and gymnastic. She has served as choreographer for gymnastic floor routines at American Twisters and dance choreographer and instructions at Ballet Elite. We are delighted to have Ms. Jessica Poole join our staff this year and look forward to having her teach and train our students this coming season.
Paige Robbins began her dance studies at the age of three when she began taking modern and ballet classes at the YMCA. At the age of seven, she began attending Klein Dance where she studied modern dance under Demetrius Klein, from the Demetrius Klein Dance Company, as well as jazz, hip-hop, and tap. She also studied classical ballet under Eileen Hebron, from the American Ballet Theatre. At the age of ten, Paige was accepted into the Klein Dance Junior Company and later joined the Klein Dance Second Company, where she performed in many different productions including the annual production of The Messiah. At the age of thirteen, she began to attend Palm Beach Atlantic University preparatory program where she continued direction under Eileen Hebron for ballet and character.
Throughout her teen years, she continued her modern dance studies at the Dance Academy of Boca Raton. While continuing her studies at PBA and the Dance Academy of Boca Raton, Paige began attending Expressions of Joy Dance Academy, where she performed in a number of different roles. These included, Cinderella, Swanhilda in Coppelia and principal variations in Hinds Feet on High Places and Narnia: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe.
She performed in two productions of The Nutcracker with Astrid Audet’s Academy of Ballet, where she performed in many dances, including Snow Angel and Snow Queen. Paige has taught pre-ballet, modern, and pointe dance classes for Expressions of Joy. She is currently a sophomore at Nova Southeastern University, where she is majoring in Speech-language Pathology and minoring in Dance.
Rome has had a 30+ year career in professional theatre including international ballet companies, equity musical theatre companies, major cruise ships, local production companies, and Tokyo Disney. His wealth of knowledge and experience has led him to the creation of his own production company, Saladino Productions, Inc. During his ballet career he performed with many companies including the Sacramento Ballet, Icelandic Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, receiving reviews such as, “Saladino is a standout male dancer with a unique quality that could turn into genuine stardom.” He has had the privilege of working with many amazing people; including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Fernando Bujones, Jürgen Schneider, Alonzo King, Jon Engstrom, Ann Reinking, Sonja Haney (Bob Fosse’s Assistant), and Nannette Fabré, to name a few. He also starred in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Brigadoon, Fiddler on the Roof, Pippin, West Side Story, and A Chorus Line... He joined the American Broadway Music Theatre in Tokyo Disney, where he was one of the Lead Male’s in Encore! After his experience in Tokyo, he performed as an Adagio Dancer and Singer on cruise ships touring all over the world. While earning his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance at Florida Atlantic University, he has been the lead dancer along with his wife, Marina, for ZMC Entertainment, Inc. and Kevin Black Productions. All these experiences led to his greatest challenge, Rome self-produced, directed, and starred in Singin’ and Dancin’ in the Rain, a song and dance tribute to Gene Kelly. As an instructor, Rome has taught ballet, partnering, jazz dance, character dance, boy’s classes, and musical theatre at the University of Utah Dance Department, Esther Center, Sacramento Ballet, Boca Ballet Theatre, Florida Atlantic University, University of Miami and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s AileyCamp Miami. He recently graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a BA in Theatre and Dance.
Francys Torres is proud of her Puerto Rican/Cuban heritage. Raised in Fort Lauderdale, she danced for 10 years at Mrs.P’s Dance and Acrobatics studio located in Coral Springs. During those years, Francys competed in group and solo numbers in different competitions and conventions such as Stars, Intrigue, CanDance, Hollywood vibe, and more! Francys grew as a dancer and decided to continue her dance career at DANL dance center In Coconut Creek for her last 2 years being of high school. DANL opened many doors for her. During those two years she competed at Starpower Nationals, Step it up, Onstage New York and more. While Francys was dancing her heart out, she also started working in the gymnastics industry. Francys has been a certified gymnastics instructor since 2012. She is currently working at American Twisters in Coconut creek and she is also currently attending Broward College, striving for a major in Business and a minor in Dance. While doing all these things Francys is also a Bang Energy fitness model. This job includes dancing in fashion shows, choreographing dances, promoting sport and nutrition supplements, energy drinks, and fitness/bikini clothing. Francys is super excited for this upcoming year teaching at the Astrid Audet Academy of Ballet.
Bowman has been involved with the arts since he was five through the discipline of music playing instruments including the piano ukulele, and guitar. As he got older he realized that he could extend his artistic reach to dance through Hip-Hop and Break-dancing. Over the past 6 years, Bo has received instruction in the styles of choreography, robotics, waving, pop & locking, and break dancing from teachers at the studio and multiple master classes. As he works through his Associates Degree at Broward College as a senior in high school, Bo wishes to teach the next generation of B-Boys how to dance and more importantly express and be themselves.