Ballet Bellevue is the Eastside's own professional chamber ballet company presenting classical ballet, contemporary masterpieces and new works by Northwest artists. The company's Education/Outreach Program includes Ballet Petit (Student Performance Division).
Byanka Larkins has lived in Washington her whole life. Since the age of six she has performed in over 23 productions with Ballet Bellevue including their productiosn of the Nutcraker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppellia, Les Sylphides and many more. She has also been very active in Seattle Theatre Groups "Dance This" performing under the instruction of Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo , Jamel Gaines, Daniel Cruz, Kabby Mitchell, Dora Oliveira, and Lora Lue Chiorah-Dye as well as studying in the Young Choreographers Lab. She has studied African dance for 5 years with Lora Lue and modern dance with Vania Bynum and Sonia Dawkins and performed for 2 years in Black Nativity directed by Kabby Mitchell. Byanka has been teaching Hip-Hop and Ballet at Ballet Bellevue and the Bellevue club for 5 years and as of April of 2012 she is an official Zumba Instructor.
Ulyber's passion for dancing was apparent even as a kid from his hyperactive nature. Growing up in Lynnwood, he first became involved within the art when his friends and cousins started teaching him the basics of breakdancing in middle school. When he moved away from them his freshman year to his new habitat of Duvall, dance became an outlet he couldn't live without. He saw dance in a more serious light and became a self-taught dancer by learning new moves from YouTube. Starting off performing these moves at the Cedarcrest High School talent show in '07, he has now performed in several concerts, musicals, a TV show, a music video, and T-Mobile's latest advertisement for GooglePlay. Currently, he is studying all other disciplines of dance at Westlake Dance Center in Seattle to one day further share his passion with others by opening his own dance studio.
James Matthew Johnson
Matt has only been dancing for around 3 and a half years, but in that short amount of time he has gotten a lot done.
Born and raised in Sammamish, Washington, Matt first discovered his interest in dance when he attended the Renaissance School of Art and Reasoning when required to do a graded performance. Looking for more to satiate his hunger for dance, he began taking classes at the nearby Highland Dance Academy, where he trained under Victoria Hunt for one year.
After a short break due to injury, Matt began taking classes at Westlake Dance Center in Northgate, Washington. Training under the various Hip Hop, Contemporary, Jazz Funk, and Lyrical teachers, Matt increased his ability in different styles before attending the Young Choreographers Lab with Seattle Theatre Group (STG) where he learned choreography and dance techniques from Amy O'Neal (Velocity Dance Center, Amy O/tinyrage).
Through STG, Matt has performed at the Moore Theatre twice, once with Young Choreographer Sabina Moreland-Smith, and once with Sonia Dawkins (Prism Dance, Alvin Ailey, PNB). The piece with Sabina resulted in a photo of Matt that has been used in national magazines and advertisements for STG.
His other work includes benefit performances for En L'air, performing at half time for the Seattle Seahawks, dancing in flash mobs for professional venues, and more recently co-founding, producing, and choreographing for Expose The Eastside, a dance collective based in Bellevue.
Alex is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia. She started her dance training at the age of three, focusing in ballet, modern and jazz, as well as acrobatics. She has a certification from A.F.S.A. Acrobatics (Acrobatics Federation of South Africa) where she was a student for 10 yrs. In 2006 she moved to Seattle and joined the academy program at Spectrum Dance Theater, where she was given the opportunity to work with Donald Byrd and his company for three years. During that time, she also worked with well-known choreographers including Jamel Gaines and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. In 2008, she was accepted into the dance program at Cornish College of the Arts where she worked with local choreographers including Steve Casteel and Jason Ohlberg. Alex has also been teaching acrobatics, jazz and ballet since 2005 and is a faculty member at Premiere Dance Center as well as Dance Premier in Issaquah. She is currently a dancer with 3rd Shift Dance in Seattle and just graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in dance December 2012.