National Visiting Fellows

View the roster of our current and past National Visiting Fellows below.

2021-2022

Tristan Grannum

Brooklyn Center for the Arts, NY

Tristan Grannum

Brooklyn Center for the Arts, NY

Tristan Grannum is originally from Brooklyn, New York. He began training in classical ballet at the age of 14 at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts and Manhattan Youth Ballet. Over the years he has trained year-round at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and Dance Theater of Harlem where he was selected to dance in several outreach performances. He has also attended many notable ballet summer programs on full scholarship which include the Harid Conservatory, San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and Charlotte Ballet. In June 2017 he was invited to and participated in an international dance competition (Royal Dance Grand Prix) held in Beijing, China. There he won first place in the Contemporary ballet category.

His professional performance credits include dancing with Brooklyn Ballet, Ballet Austin, Dayton Ballet, and the Black Iris Project. He has performed works by George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Septime Webre, Stephen Mills, Marianna Oliviera, and Tan Dao. Tristan has taught at several ballet/dance institutions across New York, Ohio, and Texas. He is a certified dance teacher through the Mark Morris Teacher Training Program. In 2021, Tristan was selected to be a part of Dance/USA’s Institute for Leadership Training where, as an early career leader, he was paired with Peter Boal (Former NYCB Principal Dancer/Artistic Director of Pacific Northwest Ballet). Most recently Tristan took on the position as the Director of Dance for the Brooklyn Center for the Arts, an arts program that specializes in providing access to classical art forms for underprivileged adolescents across New York City. He is also the Artistic Director of the Judah International Dance Theater, a professional dance company that provides a platform for professional ballet and contemporary ballet dancers of color to showcase their artistry and talent.

Lona Gomez

Ballet Spartanburg, SC

Lona Gomez

Ballet Spartanburg, SC

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Lona Gomez began her serious ballet studies when she was awarded a Ford Foundation Scholarship to train with the Boston Ballet School in 1972. From 1979-1982, she was a member of Boston Ballet II as well as an apprentice with the Boston Ballet Company under the late E. Virginia Williams, Boston Ballet’s founder, and longtime director. In 1982 she joined Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre under the directorship and tutelage of Patricia Wilde, former principal dancer with New York City Ballet. She danced corps, soloist, and principal roles in full-length classical ballets, as well as many Balanchine ballets. Her favorite roles were the Scotch Lass in Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony, Dew Drop and Lead Marzipan in The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Donizetti Variations, Valse Fantasie, Square Dance and Serenade.

As Director and Ballet Master for the Center for Dancer Education in Spartanburg, SC for the past 26 years, Mrs. Gomez has created and implemented a spiral-based school syllabus. She instructs and choreographs for the Pre-Professional and Trainee Division. She also instructs Ballet Spartanburg’s Professional Company. Her students’ professional dance opportunities include Houston Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, St. Louis Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, and Los Angeles Ballet.

She assists with the recruitment of students for Project D.A.N.C.E, an inclusive and diverse outreach program that offers annual dance classes to underrepresented students of color in the community. She researched the development to bring the first and only Sensory Sensitive Performance of The Nutcracker in South Carolina. It is an inclusive program designed for students who are on the Autism spectrum and are multi-sensory, physically, and cognitively challenged, an opportunity to attend a professional ballet production. Recently, she taught a series of Zoom classes for Leap of Dance Academy in Nigeria, Africa, and was a guest faculty for Converse College.

Tatiana Obeso

Boston Arts Academy, MA

Tatiana Obeso

Boston Arts Academy, MA

Ms. Obeso began ballet training in her native Peru at the age of seven. Her career there included eight years of training and performing around the world with the Ballet Nacional de Peru. She received a Kennedy Center Fellowship of the Americas award in Ballet in 1996. The prestigious fellowship brought her to the United States where she trained and danced with the Boston Ballet and Suzanne Farrell Summer Dance Program in Washington, DC. Ms. Obeso later served as a lead dancer with Margot Parsons Dance Company, Cadence Dance Project, Impulse Dance Company, Ace Entertainment Dance Company, Northern Ballet Company, and the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble in several performances and different venues between 1996 and 2005. It was with this last group that Ms. Obeso participated in special performances for Pope John Paul II at the World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada in 2002.

Her ballroom career started in 2000 when she began training with Studio 665 owner and former National 10 Dance Champion Mark Nocera. Television appearances, live performances, as well as award-winning coaching, judging, and choreographing have marked her ballroom and Latin career. Her lifelong interest in fitness and the development of a dancer’s body has led her to expand her education in exercise and fitness; she is a Certified Pilates instructor and has created different cardio and body conditioning classes throughout her teaching career. Ms. Obeso is also a Certified instructor in Progressing Ballet Training. Some of the schools where Ms. Obeso has helped develop talented dancers in different dance styles are Boston Arts Academy, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Sally Gould Dance Center, Studio 665, and Revolution Dance Academy. She offers instruction and choreography in ballet, theatrical jazz, pointe as well as all styles of Ballroom and Latin dancing. Ms. Obeso is a Summa Cum Laude graduate recipient from Bay Path University in Liberal Arts with a Certification in Health and Wellness.

Yvonne Racz Key

Ballet Lubbock, TX

Yvonne Racz Key

Ballet Lubbock, TX

Yvonne Racz Key began her dance training in Syracuse, NY, and continued in Lubbock, TX. After graduating from the University of Utah, Yvonne danced professionally with companies including Maryland Ballet, Desrosiers Dance Theatre (Canada), Catanach Ballet Theatre (NY), Ballet Hispanico (NY), Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage, and Cirque Du Soleil. She received her MFA in Performance and Pedagogy from Texas Tech University. As the artistic director, Yvonne established Ballet Lubbock as a pre-professional ballet school with a regional performing company and a developed Community Outreach Program.

Her students have been accepted with scholarships to internationally top-ranked summer programs all over the country and include an alum of professional dancers performing and teaching internationally. Ballet Lubbock curriculum sustains diversity, equity, and inclusive practices in conjunction with the discipline of ballet technique. She appeared in publications such as VOGUE, TIME, and Dance Magazine. Her international guest teaching includes NOW Dance, Mexico, and Budapest Dance Theatre. Ms. Racz has given a TEDx talk on the positive effects of ballet training on young people. She is a member of the Corps De Ballet International and has served on the Texas Commission on the Arts for the Young Masters Program Dance Panel. Her awards include The Arts Alliance Dynamic Force ACE award, YWCA’s Woman of Excellence in Culture, the Louise Hopkins Underwood Arts Center’s “Performing Arts Award,” and she is listed in the Avalanche-Journal as one of Lubbock’s 100 most influential persons.

Kristen Stevenson

Ballet Nouveau School, MD

Kristen Stevenson

Ballet Nouveau School, MD

Kristen S. Stevenson is a Professor of Ballet at the Peabody Conservatory and the Managing Director of the Ballet Nouveau School. She originally fell in love with ballet at the age of 2 and continued her studies with The Washington Ballet, the Peabody Preparatory, The Julliard School, The Dance Theater of Harlem, The Donetsk Ballet, and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Kristen Stevenson is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Stevenson is also a Partner Teacher with the ABT® Project Plie Program. Stevenson is a National NAACP Gold Medalist as a classical ballet soloist. She holds both certification and membership with the Royal Academy of Dance and has performed on major stages such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Merriam Theater.

While studying at the University of the Arts for a Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance, she performed works choreographed by many internationally acclaimed artists. She has also been recognized for her contemporary ballet choreography featured in the Youth America Grand Prix. Although Stevenson enjoyed performing, her true passion is teaching the next generation of dancers and she has successfully done so for the past 13 years. Kristen Stevenson is ecstatic to continue educating and sharing her passion for fine arts by influencing others through dance.

2019-2021

Lisa Attles, The Ailey School, New York, New York

Lisa Attles

The Ailey School, New York, New York

Kelby Brown, The Ailey School, New York, New York

Kelby Brown

The Ailey School, New York, New York

Aline Neves de Souza, New Orleans Ballet Association, New Orleans, Louisiana

Aline Neves de
Souza-Myers

New Orleans Ballet Association, New Orleans

Damien Johnson, The Washington Ballet School, Washington, DC

Damien Johnson

The Washington Ballet School, Washington, DC

2018-2019

Janine Beckles, Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Janine Beckles

Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Lanette Costas, InSpira Performing Arts and Cultural Center, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Lanette Costas

InSpira Performing Arts and Cultural Center, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Ebony Haswell Frazier, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Los Angeles, California

Ebony Haswell
Frazier

Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Los Angeles, California

Gayle Ratliff, Hyde Park School of Dance, Chicago, Illinois

Gayle Ratliff

Hyde Park School of Dance, Chicago, Illinois

2017-2018

Sandra Fortune-Green, Jones Haywood Dance School, Washington, D.C.

Sandra Fortune-Green

Jones Haywood Dance School, Washington, D.C.

Nikki Hefko, New Orleans School of Ballet, New Orleans, Louisiana

Nikki Hefko

New Orleans School of Ballet, New Orleans, Louisiana

Aaron Jackson, Berrend Dance Center, Olney, Maryland

Aaron Jackson

Berrend Dance Center, Olney, Maryland

Regine Metayer, Metayer Conservatory of the Arts, Roswell, GA

Regine Metayer

Metayer Conservatory of the Arts, Roswell, GA

Kevin Thomas, Collage Dance Collective, Memphis, Tennessee

Kevin Thomas

Collage Dance Collective, Memphis, Tennessee

2016-2017

Mariana Alvarez Brake, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, Miami, Florida

Mariana Alvarez Brake

Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, Miami, Florida

Kay Eichman, Creative Arts Academy at Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio

Kay Eichman

Creative Arts Academy at Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio

Robyn Gardenhire, City Ballet of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Robyn
Gardenhire

City Ballet of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Jennifer Mason, Eagles Landing Dance Center, Stockbridge, Georgia

Jennifer Mason

Eagles Landing Dance Center, Stockbridge, Georgia

Christopher McDaniel, Connally's Dance Workshop, Inc., San Antonio, TX

Christopher
McDaniel

Connally's Dance Workshop, Inc., San Antonio, TX

2015-2016

Nina Gilreath, Co-founder of Ballethnic Dance Company and Academy, East Point, Georgia

Nina Gilreath

Co-founder of Ballethnic Dance Company and Academy, East Point, Georgia

Angela Harris, Executive Artistic Director of Dance Canvas, Atlanta, GA; faculty at DeKalb School of the Arts, Avondale Estates, GA, and Academy of Ballet, Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Angela Harris

Executive Artistic Director of Dance Canvas, Atlanta, GA; faculty at DeKalb School of the Arts, Avondale Estates, GA, and Academy of Ballet, Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Jessica Lawrence, Faculty at Northern California Dance Conservatory, Roseville, CA, El Dorado Dance Academy, El Dorado Hills, CA and Leighton Dance Project, Folsam, California

Jessica Lawrence

Faculty at Northern California Dance Conservatory, Roseville, CA, El Dorado Dance Academy, El Dorado Hills, CA and Leighton Dance Project, Folsam, California

Adam McKinney, Chair of the Dance Department at New Mexico School for the Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Adam McKinney

Chair of the Dance Department at New Mexico School for the Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Robin Williams, Founder of Uptown Dance Academy, New York, New York

Robin Williams

Founder of Uptown Dance Academy, New York, New York