what they teach and a little about them
Choreography - Orlando International School of Dance
Geovanna Garavelo-Bortoleto, from Orlando, Florida has been dancing for ten years competitively and 6 years professionally. Geovanna studied with Cuban Ballet Technical, going to Havana, Cuba to train at Escuela National de Ballet de Cuba. At 17, she opened a pre-professional dance school with her mother Elaine Garavelo. Geovanna has been choreographing for Orlando International School of Dance for 5 years—winning multiple choreography awards with each season: World Ballet Competition in 2017 & 2022, All World Dance International in 2018, and Universal Ballet Competition in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 and other competitions as well. While doing freelance work, and agency jobs for music videos, model work, and commercials— she was a part of two professional companies based in Los Angeles prior to Covid-19: an all-based Contemporary company and a Hip Hop Dance crew. In addition to these groups in Los Angeles, she has participated in two Contemporary Companies in Orlando; Drapinski Dance Company and Sin Caja, and also was a part of Motiv Crew, who competed at World of Dance in 2018.
Recently she has become a Dance Team member for the D1A Division for the University of Central Florida. Geovanna has gotten to teach classes at many studios in the Florida area as well as at their high schools, as well as some national and international opportunities as well. She is excited to keep expanding her reach in the dance community.
Ballet Professor - Sante Fe College
Jessie Dominguez is a classically trained ballerina who started her education at the Alejo Carpentier Elementary School of Ballet in Havana, Cuba, in 1993. She continued her studies at the Cuban National Ballet School Fernando Alonso, obtaining numerous awards, including a silver medal in 1998, another silver medal in 1999, and a gold medal in 2000 at the International Ballet Encounters of Academies Competitions for the Teaching of Ballet held in Havana, Cuba. In 2001, she graduated from the Cuban National Ballet School as a Distinguished Graduate and received Gold Diploma, the highest award given to only one person per graduating class”. The same year, she was selected to become part of the world-renowned company, the National Ballet of Cuba, under the artistic-technical direction of the founder and absolute prima ballerina Alicia Alonso. After initially serving as a soloist, she was rapidly promoted to principal dancer. Her repertoire as a principal dancer included Giselle, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Coppelia, La Sylphide, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Apollo, Carmen, Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Garde, La Bayadere, Theme and Variations as well as contemporary and neoclassical works by creators such as Alberto Alonso, Laura Alonso, Alberto Mendez, Gustavo Herrera, Ivan Tenorio, Jean Gran Maître, Annabelle López Ochoa, Luis Serrano, Peter Quanz, Gerard Ebitz, among others.
Jessie Dominguez possesses a rare combination of skills and experiences. She has trained and performed at the highest level in the masterful tradition of Cuban National Ballet yet she fluidly transitions she excels in performances of a more creative/experimental nature. Her work ethic is impeccable and she has delightful interpersonal skills. She is a thoughtful critic and teacher, encouraging and enlightening dancers of all ages and abilities. Jessie is currently a ballet professor at Santa Fe College.
Owner - Underground Movement, Orlando, FL
Melissa Ruiz was born and raised in Miami, FL where she began dancing at the age of 4 and continued her training in Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Modern throughout her school years. Later moving to Orlando, Fl in 2002 brought her many opportunities in the dance industry performing with many recording artists, Nickelodeon Studios, MTV, McDonald's, and Miller Beer to name a few. In addition, she has choreographed for NBA’s Orlando Magic Dancers, Orlando Predators, FSU's Golden Girls, and UCF Knight Moves, along with countless dance studios and dance teams throughout the country. In addition, she owned her own dance convention called Underground Dance Xperience and toured 3 seasons with KAR conventions teaching Hip Hop.
She has been a dance educator in the competitive world for the past 23 years choreographing mostly in Jazz & Hip Hop. Melissa currently teaches and choreographs in multiple styles throughout the country along with being the owner & creator of Underground Movement in Orlando, Fl.
Victor Alexander joined the artistic and administrative team of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts in the summer of 2013. As both the Director of the Ruth Page School of Dance and of the Ruth Page Civic Ballet, he continues a nearly 50-year tradition of exceptional training and mentoring of the next generation of the nation’s best young dancers. Through the development of international partnerships and networks, Alexander has also expanded the School’s reach with important collaborations and exchanges with other leading dance institutions through the development of the Ruth Page School of Dance's International Sister Schools program. Significant among these is the historic relationship with Cuba’s National School of Ballet (Escuela Nacional de Ballet) begun in 2015, and the placement of a Ruth Page School of Dance student, Catherine Conley, in the prestigious Cuban training program – the first American student to be invited since the normalization of relations between the two countries. She consequently was invited to dance with the National Ballet School of Cuba, another first for an American ballerina.
Alexander’s keen insight, experience, and dedication to the craft come from an international dancing, choreographic, and teaching career. A native of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, he was trained at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) in Havana, graduating in 1992 with a degree in Modern and Cuban folkloric dance. As a student, his exceptional talents were recognized in 1992 when he won first place for dance in the 4th National Union of Writers and Artists in Havana. He went on to be a principal dancer for the prominent Danza Contemporánea de Cuba from 1992 to 2002, where both his technical talent and expressive dance style gained national prominence. Alexander has studied with distinguished teachers such as Donald McKayle, Chuck Davis, and Jeffrey Bullock and has performed throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States. Since relocating from Cuba to Chicago in 2002, Alexander has performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Hedwig Dances, CDI/Concert Dance Inc, and Luna Negra Dance Theater. While with CDI, Alexander was a featured artist in the 2008 Emmy Award-nominated production of the re-envisioned Ruth Page’s Billy Sunday on PBS. While with Hedwig, Alexander was a dance artist in the 2016 Emmy-nominated film Arch of Repose.
Director, Ruth Page School of Dance & Ruth Page Civic Ballet Training Company
Monica Isla Arbolaez
Monica Isla is a native of Havana, Cuba. She received her training at the Professional National School of the Arts in Havana. While in Cuba, Ms. Isla danced with Ballet de Camaguey under the direction of Fernando Alonso. In 1993, Ms. Isla danced with the Pro-Danza Company as a principal dancer under the direction of Laura Alonso. In 1996, she was awarded a silver medal in The International Ballet Competition Alicia Alonso. She was invited to participate in the International Dance Competition in Nagoya, Japan, and Jackson, Mississippi. Ms. Isla's repertoire includes; Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. Kitry and Mercedes in Don Quijote. Swanilda in Coppelia. Nikiya and Gamzatti and first variation of shades in La Bayadere. Diana and Acteon. Le Corsaire. Flames of Paris.Paquita Pas de Deux. Esmeralda pas de Deux. Sugar Plum and Snow Queen. Giselle Pas de Deux. Lilac Fairy. Who cares. Le Jazz Hot.
Ms. Isla has performed with the Neoclassic Company of the University of Mexico and Soloist of Ballet Concerto in Puerto Rico and on international tours to Argentina, Panama, Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil. Ms. Isla has been part of the Milwaukee Ballet School Faculty since 2008 and helps to choreograph all productions for the school. In 2016 started work with Rockford Dance Company in Illinois and choreographed Nutcracker for the company and school. Also, Ms. Isla is a volunteer teaching ballet classes for the Cancer Center in Froedtert Hospital in Wisconsin.
Classical Ballet & Choreography
Born and raised in Matanzas, Cuba, Julio’s professional training includes The Vocational Arts School in Matanzas Cuba, and the National Ballet School in Cuba, where he graduated in 2008 as a professional dancer and Ballet teacher. Julio joined the National Ballet of Cuba in 2008. His repertoire with National Ballet of Cuba included Espada (Principal Toreador) in Don Quixote, Encuentros pas de deux by Lazaro Martinez, Principal in Adagio de las Espigas production of Coppelia and Sleeping Beauty. He joined Cincinnati Ballet as corp de ballet in 2013. He danced with Cincinnati Ballet in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Camelot choreographed by Victoria Morgan, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland choreographed by Septime Webre, Symphony in C, Sit choreographed by Jennifer Archibald and Mozart’s Requiem choreographed by Adam Hoagland. Julio joined Oklahoma City Ballet as a Principal Dancer in 2015. With Oklahoma City Ballet, Julio has danced the Principal roles in Sleeping Beauty, Midsummer night’s dreams, Giselle, Dennis Spaight’s Scheherazade 1001 Arabian Nights, Serenade and Rodeo Mr. Concepcion has been invited to dance at Ballet Galas and Festivals such as Miami International Ballet Festival and the Carreno Festival ,Guest artist with ballet palm beach in the production of The Great Gatsby. He has worked as a teacher at Cincinnati Ballet Academy and Ballet Tech of Ohio for two years, also taught at Oklahoma Ballet Academy. He has been invited to teach master class and Pas deux at The Art of Classical ballet, Naples ballet academy, Gulfshore ballet.
Classical Ballet & Ballet Conditioning
Maikel Hernandez began dancing at the age of 9 at the “Alejo Carpentier” School of Ballet in Havana, Cuba. In 2000, he continued his studies and training at the National School of Ballet in Havana. In 2003, he joined the National Ballet of Cuba where he rose from Corps de Ballet to Soloist in 2014, performing important roles in great classics such as Friends in Giselle, Bufton and Neapolitan in Swan Lake, Sancho Panza in Don Quixote, Carabosse’s Page in The Sleeping Beauty, Waldemar in Cinderella, Saltimbanquis in Shakespeare and His Masks and Beaux, and Rat King and Russian in The Nutcracker, for which he received critical recognition. He also performed in Eduardo Bianco’s world premiere of La Leyenda de Agua Grande and as soloist in Tiempo de Danzon.
Maikel has received technical and artistic training support from renowned instructors such as Loipa Araujo, Josefina Mendez, Aurora Bosch, Svetlana Ballester and Lazaro Carreno. Maikel performed for international choreographers such as James Kelly’s Symphony for Nine Men and the world premiere of “Throughout your Eyes” during the 20th edition of the International Ballet Festival of Havana in 2006. He performed in Maruxa Salas’ Didenoi Dance, winning second place in the Choreography Contest of SGAE, in 2004.
Maikel’s professional career also includes Napoli, Flowers Festival in Genzano, A Concert in Black and White, The Challenge, Theme and Variations, A Rose for Miss Emily, The Awakening of Flora and Cinderella. Since 2005, Maikel has performed internationally with the National Ballet of Cuba in Spain, Italy, Australia, China, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Guyana, Martinique, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the United States.
Faculty at Houston Ballet Academy
Orlando Molina was born in Pinar del Rio, Cuba and began his ballet training at ten years old at the Vocational School of Art. In 1987 he joined the National School of Ballet in Havana. Mr. Molina received his diploma as Dancer/Teacher from the Ministry of Culture and the Cuban School of the Arts. In 1997 Mr. Molina joined the Ballet Municipal de Lima as a principal dancer. After competing at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 1998, he was offered a contract join the Cleveland San Jose Ballet. Mr. Molina later joined Orlando Ballet (formerly Southern Ballet Theatre) and during his tenure as Ballet Master he restaged several classical ballets including Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, Giselle, Swan Lake and Spartacus. After 14 years as a professional ballet dancer, Mr. Molina became a full-time ballet teacher and coach. He is an ABT Certified Ballet Teacher and was awarded the Outstanding Teacher Award at the 2009 Youth America Grand Prix regional semifinals. Mr. Molina previously worked with Atlanta Ballet School and The School of The Georgia Ballet. He also directed the Orlando Molina Ballet Training Center in Atlanta, GA where he focused on coaching and guiding of young students with the desire and vision to pursue a professional ballet career. Mr. Molina joined Houston Ballet Academy as Boys Program Coordinator in June of 2020.
Jesse Gutierrez Ramis
Jessie Gutierrez Ramis is native of Havana, Cuba. She studied at the “National School of Art” in Havana during which time she participated in The International Theater School Festival (ITS) in Holland, and graduated as a Professional Dancer and Teacher. In 2002 she continued her professional training with the National Company, “Danza Contemporanea de Cuba”, where she toured to England, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, Hong Kong, Mexico, Austria and Hungary as a company member. She became a Principal Dancer in 2006 and worked with Internationally recognized choreographers, Jan Linkens, Cathy Marston, Rafael Bonachela, Carlos Junior Acosta, Samir Akika, Luca Bruni, Kenneth Kvarnstrom, Mats Ek, and Andrea Miller. She moved to Chicago in 2008 and started working with professional dance companies “Hedwig Dances” and “Concert Dance Inc”. She was also part of the 2010 Lyric Opera Season, “Damnation of Faust”. Along these years she's been teaching at different Dance Academies and Dance Companies around Chicago and Suburb areas, like Ruth Page School of Dance, A&A Ballet, School of Performing Arts (SPA), Faubourg Ballet, State Street, Alma Dance School, and Xtreme Dance Center.
Instructor at Xtreme Dance Center
Margit Peguerro Rodriguez
Ballet Mistress at The Georgia Ballet
Margit Peguero Rodriguez is a principal dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She was born in Cuba where she studied ballet at the National Ballet School of Cuba under the direction of teachers Ramona de Saa, Laura Alonso, Loipa Araujo, Havana Fernando Alonso, Jorge Vede, Alberto Alonso and Clara Diaz. Margit’s career began with Cuba’s Ballet de Camaguey, where she danced the principal roles of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppelia and Sleeping Beauty. In 1998, she joined the Teatro centro de Arte-Leon Febres Cordero in Ecuador where she danced with Daet Rodriguez and Arionel Vargas in Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht Ballet. She was also in the company Danza Jazz in Ecuador. Her career has taken her to Jamaica, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Canada, the United States and Ecuador. In 2010, she won the Gold and Medal of Excellence for Best Dance at Danzamerica in Argentina.
Margit and her family move to Georgia in 2015 and both her and husband Daet Rodriguez work together at The Georgia Ballet. Previously Margit co-owned and ran Cuballet-Ecuador with her husband, Daet Rodriguez.
Daet was born and raised in Cuba and graduated from the National School of Ballet in Habana in 1990. His training consisted of his parents Jorge Rodriguez Vede and Clara Diaz along with Fernando Alonso, Alberto Alonso, Laura Alonso, Pablo More and Lazaro Carreno. Daet’s professional career began with Ballet de Camguey where he performed many classical and contemporary principal roles. In 1995, Mr. Rodrgiuez joined Teatro Centro de Arte-Leon Febres Cordero in Ecuador where his Balanchine performance experience added to his professional repertoire. His career extended to many other countries including: Cuba, Jamaica, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Martinique, Guadalupe and the United States. In 2001, Daet and his wife Margit, opened their own ballet school, Cuballet-Ecuador, where they served over 200 students in a classical and contemporary training program. Daet and Margit have trained numerous students for competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix, CIAD in Ecuador, Latin-American Danza in Chile, Danzamerica in Argentina, All Dance International in Ecuador and the American Ballet Competition in the US. In February of 2015, Daet, Margit and their two children moved to the United States and set ballets and choreography on schools around the region before joining The Georgia Ballet as the Artistic Director.