Deborah Marquez (Founder and Director) was born in Havana, Cuba and trained at the Provincial Ballet School “Alejo Carpentier” and later at the National Ballet School in Havana. She graduated in 1993 as a Professional Dancer and Teacher. Ms. Marquez also joined the Centro Pro-Danza lead by the great maitre Laura Alonso where she was a Classic Ballet Soloist and danced the leading roles of the main classic ballet repertoire: Clara in The Nutcracker, The Sylphides, Effi in The Sylphide, Kitri and Mercedes in Don Quixote, Swanilda in Coppelia, Teresita in Napoli, Lucy and Mina in Dracula, Constanza in The Three Musketeers, Ganzatti in Le Bayadere
Ms. Marquez's awards include: First Prize for Best Choreography Song to the Movement at National Arts School Festival of Havana in Cuba (1989); First Prize for Best Performance and Technique at National Art Schools Festival in Havana, Cuba (1990); Bronze Medal at Second International Ballet Competition “Alicia Alonso” in Havana, Cuba ( 1997); Silver Medal at International Ballet Competition of Bello Horizonte in Brazil (1998).
In the year 1999, Marquez was invited to perform The Nutcracker with the Ontario Ballet Theater in Toronto, Canada. She also took master classes at The National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Back in Cuba she joined the National Ballet of Cuba under the direction of the great Alicia Alonso where she danced the main classic repertoire, some contemporary masterpieces as Alberto Mendez Rara Avis and toured extensively through Europe and South America guided by the celebrated maitres Alicia Alonso, Joaquin Banegas, Lopia Araujo, Josefina Mendez and others.
Deborah came to the USA in 2003 and joined the Ballet Florida directed by Marie Hale. There, she had the opportunity to work with well known choreographers as Ben Stevenson (Dracula, Cleopatra, Esmeralda, Five Poems, Bartók Concerto, Four Last Songs, Three Preludes); Mauricio Wainrot (Libertango pas de deux, Rite of Spring, From Far Away, Anne Frank); Twyla Tharp (Baker Dozen); Vicente Nebrada (Our Waltzes, Handel Celebration, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella); Trey McIntyre (Second Before the Ground); Wal Caniparoli (Lambarena, Lady of Camelias); Norbert Vesak (A Midsummer Night Dream); Thierry Malandaine (Stone Flower); David Parsons (The Envelope); Mary Hale (The Nutcracker, Le Corsaire). With Ballet Florida she also performed in George Balanchine’s (Allegro Brillante, Classic Symphony, Il Ballo della Regina).
“…Bravo Deborah Marquez…she convinced the audience as Lucy Westenra in Nana Badrena’s “Dracula”…her dance and acting were breathtaking…(Toni Piñera, in Granma, Havana, June 1999)
“Deborah Marquez was a lustrous Snow Queen…with classic grace and charisma” (Lawrence Budmen, The Sun Sentinel, “The Nutcracker”, Ballet Florida, 2007)
“Deborah Marquez (Lady of Camellias, pas de deux) revisit the romance, dancing with joyous freedom…” (Sharon McDaniel, The Palm Beach Post, Florida 2007).
Claudia Cravey (Ballet) started dancing at the famed Imperial Studios in Palm Beach, FL. By the time she was a young fourteen years old, she was dancing major roles as a professional on stages all over the world. She also appeared in a major motion picture and several times on television.
Ms. Cravey was the Ballet Mistress for Ballet Florida for over 23 years. There, she worked closely with of Marie Hale, Lynda Swiadon and Steven Hoff. She also worked alongside and with world renowned choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Daniel Ezralow, Trey McIntyre, Vicente Nebrada, Margo Sappington, Ben Stevenson, Mauricio Wainrot
…The list is just too long to include everyone!
Ms. Cravey brings elegance, excellence, knowledge, experience, dedication and most of all, an unsurpassed love and passion for dance. Bringing out the very best, she has been a major influence on each dancer with whom she has ever worked!
Stacey Downs (Contemporary, Modern) is an established teacher and choreographer originally from Binghamton, New York. She has been on staff with Palm Beach Ballet Center since 1999. Stacey has trained with numerous teachers such as Robert Blankshine, Gus Giordano. Doug Caldwell, Debbi Roche, Desmond Richardson, Tony Catanzaro, Dennis Wayne, Jane Tyree and Christopher Fleming.
Stacey has choreographed countless works for concerts, conventions, master classes, competitions, music videos, fashion shows and performances. Her work has been shown in New York, Philadelphia, Orlando and all throughout south Florida. Her most recent works have been seen at STEP Ahead, Youth America Grand Prix NYC Finals and Boca Ballet Theatre's Concert in the Park.
Stacey remains grateful for all of the training she has received thus far and, while faithful to those traditions, has endeavored and succeeded in finding a style and movement that is very much her own. Stacey strives to find that which is unique and human in her work, and she hopes that many have the opportunity to share this experience, as her goal is to always effect and move both performer and audience.
Annia Friedman (Tap) Photo and Bio Soon
Caitlin Daetwyler (Baby Ballet) is a native of South Florida who grew up training at prestigious local institutions such as Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. School of Performing Arts, among others. Caitlin is an alumna of Texas Christian University, where she graduated cum laude with a BFA in Modern Dance. Her accomplishments there include being a member of the historical first national dance honor society, recognition in the Dallas Morning News, and managing a local female dance troupe throughout college.
After graduating, Caitlin moved to New York City where she had the opportunity to present works in numerous venues with her company, Trenchant Dance. Her previous performance credits include pieces by Jenna Riegel, Robert Battle, Isabel Lewis, Edisa Weeks, and Susan Douglas Roberts. Caitlin is excited to be joining the School of Ballet Arts faculty and furthering the epigram of “where dance meets passion!”
Cathy James Higgins (Jazz) holds a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree in Management and Marketing from Florida Atlantic University, where she also studied ballet, modern and jazz. She is certified through Florida Dance Masters, Inc. to teach ballet and tap and is also certified through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) to teach fitness classes. She began her early dance training with the Thomas family and Charlotte Ray Hamer, who trained at the School of American Ballet and danced with the New York City Ballet for six years under the direction of George Balanchine.
Cathy has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, modern, ballroom, african and hip hop with renowned teachers all over the world. She has worked professionally as a jazz dancer and choreographer. Her professional teaching experience includes 15 years in the dance department at A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, 15 years with Thomas Dance Studio, guest teaching for the L.A. County High School of the Arts (LACHSA), Boca Ballet and Southern Dance Theatre. She was recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts for her teaching expertise and for the exceptional artistic achievements of her students who placed in the top 10% of the nationally recognized Arts Recognition and Talent Search (ARTS) program out of 6,550 applicants nationwide.
Francie Huber (Modern) is from Kansas City, Missouri. She earned a B.F.A. from the Juilliard School in New York. A principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company for fourteen years, Ms. Huber created many roles including the solo in Cascade, “the polka” in Company B, as well as the lead role in the internationally acclaimed Piazzolla Caldera. Her contribution to this work was featured in the 1999 Academy Award nominated documentary film, Dancemaker. Ms. Huber was also featured in several television productions including the Dance in America series’ Emmy Award winning Speaking In Tongues, the Emmy nominated The Wrecker’s Ball, the Dannmarks Radio production of Spindrift And Syzygy, and the 1992 Kennedy Center Honors.
She was awarded a Bessie (New York Dance and Performance Award) for sustained achievement in dancing for her work with Mr. Taylor. Ms. Huber also performed with other companies including Twyla Tharp Dance as well as performed her own solo works. In addition to her performing career,
Ms. Huber has been a teacher of Modern Dance and Taylor workshops for the past 25 years. She has served as director of the Taylor 2 Dance Company, the second company of Paul Taylor and continues to stage Mr. Taylor’s works on professional companies and universities. Ms. Huber is a Fulbright Scholar. She received a Post-Doctoral, lecture and research grant, which led her to Amman, Jordan where she was the Guest Artist at the Queen Noor Al Hussein Performing Arts Center. She was also the Dance Artist in Residence at the Carlsen Center in Kansas City for several years where she worked on the advancement of state and national standards for dance education and teacher training. Ms. Huber’s choreography can be seen on many regional companies and schools. She also was featured in the documentary film, “Callings” by John Altman. She currently lives in Miami, FL with her husband and two children.
Jason Maloski (Jazz, Modern) was born in Milford, Connecticut where at a very young age he developed a love and true passion for both music and dance. As a young teenager, he started taking jazz classes at a local studio. After many years, he and his family made the move to South Florida.
Jason auditioned for Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, where he completed his four years of high school as a Modern Dance Major. While at Dreyfoos, he was fortunate to also take classes from incredible teachers such as Ben Vereen, Savion Glover and Keith Lee. Immediately after graduation, he began teaching at Pop Starz -- a hip hop company based in Miami. At Pop Starz, he had the opportunity to teach and attend classes with Cris Judd, Darrin Henson, Wade Robson and Chuck Malando. For the past eight years Jason has been teaching at various dance studios in Palm Beach County including Southern Dance, Jewels Dance Studio, etc.
Mr. Maloski's choreography has been awarded at many competitions both in and out of Florida. However, his true passion is teaching Contemporary, Modern and Hip Hop. He loves being in the studio teaching students of all ages including adults the different forms of dance. While as a great teacher, he wants people to learn during his classes, he feels it is also important for them to have fun.
Dragoljub Vagner (Sacha) is an accomplished musician. For over a decade the was the accompanist for the professional company at Ballet Florida. He was also an accompanist at Dance Florida Academy.
Cincinnati Ballet, Angel Corrella Company (Spain), Currently: Principal Dancer Boston Ballet
Former Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Ballet Florida, and Master Teacher
Director of Ballet School Dominican
Patel Conservatory and Coach - YAGP in Jackson, Mississippi
Fours Years with Boston Ballet, Five Years with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Currently: Principal Dancer with Miami City Ballet
Former Co-Founder, Company Manager of Ballet Florida and Master Teacher
Milwaukee Ballet School and Milwaukee Ballet II Director
Joseph J. Bucheck III, Thiago Castro, Daniel Deal, Melissa Gonzalez, Kelvin Rabines Yhosvany, Rodriguez, Tim Snyder, Javier Torres Nieser Zambrana
School Administrator and Teacher's Assistant (Photo and Bio soon!)
Joseph J. Bucheck III:
Graphics: Posters, Flyers, Website, Program Guide