June 2016 Newsletter – Metropolitan Ballet’s 20th Anniversary Gala Celebration!  

June 29th, 2016 |



MBA Alumna Kamryn Baldwin (San Francisco Ballet) with MBA Alumni/MBC Dancers; read full caption below!

  June 2016 Newsletter

Dear Metropolitan Ballet Parents, Students, Alumni and Friends:

I can’t believe we are already well into the month of June! The faculty and I again wish to thank you for a superb weekend of Showcase performances, including our 20th Anniversary Gala Performance and Reception, as well as our end of year outreach events and Bridge Master Classes. Thank you for your hard work, dedication and amazing support all year long. 2015- 2016 was an incredibly wonderful, memorable and productive school year.    

Metropolitan Ballet’s 20th Anniversary Gala Celebration!  

Many thanks to our Metropolitan Ballet Company Board of Directors, faculty, alumni, dancers, parents, students and community for their joyous participation on June 4th!  It was an amazing evening of dance, celebration and reunion.  Here are just a few of the many great photos from the evening, with more to follow on our website. Visit our Gala Photo Gallery online soon at www.metropolitanballetacademy.com!



MBA Alumni Leah McCormick (Nashville Ballet 2) and Ariel Breitman (Colorado Ballet); Photo by ccwolfe


MBA Alumni Melissa Gelfin (Cincinnati Ballet)and Peter Weil (Pennsylvania Ballet); Photo by EA Kennedy III


MBA Alumni Sierra Levin (Carolina Ballet Trainee) and Jonathan Tavares; Photo by ccwolfe


MBA Alumna/Choreographer Sarah Mettin; Photo by ccwolfe


MBA Alumni Cameron Auble-Branigan (American Repertory Ballet);  Photo by EA Kennedy III 


MBA Alumna Torrey McAnena (H.T. Chen & Dancers; Amanda Selwyn Dance Company, Lisa Fagan Dance Problems, NYC); Photo by EA Kennedy III



Twenty MBA alumni returned home to share the stage, many collaborating in a new work created for the Gala occasion by alumna/choreographer Sarah Mettin.  Our incredible MBA Faculty were honored at the event, as well as MBC patron Mr. William A. “Wally” Loeb, for his generous and founding support of our Boys’ Scholarship Program. 


Gala co-chairs Arleen Armstrong and Betsy McKinstry  worked with the Board and Zac Hulayev of Jenkintown’s Drake Tavern to create a sumptuous dinner at the beautiful Curtis Hall at Curtis Arboretum.  MBA guest artist Karen Cleighton provided music for yet more dancing!  


Celebrating 20 years with MBA students and alumni at the Gala!


We are especially grateful to our Metropolitan Ballet Company Board of Directors,

who so creatively, generously and joyously provide MBC with the financial support, wisdom and manpower required to keep us growing. Their energy and enthusiasm inspires us every day! 


Metropolitan Ballet Company Board of Directors 2015-2016  (l-r): Bernard S. Panzak Jr., Nina Edelman, Arleen Armstrong, Kora Vidnovic,  Kimberly Mehler, Janet Blenheim, David Ballard, Judith Bishop, Julie Price, Lisa Collins Vidnovic, June Hines, Barbara Mattleman, Betsy McKinstry and Amber Permsap.  Not pictured are Marcia  Steinberg and Mareen Leporace.  Photo by ccwolfe 

Photo at top of newsletter:  Metropolitan Ballet Academy alumna Kamryn Baldwin  (San Francisco Ballet) with alumni Cameron Auble-Branigan, Ariel Breitman, Wyatt Peterson, Jonathan Tavares and MBC company members in The Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty, Act 1, as staged for the Gala Performance by MBA faculty member Natalya Zeiger.  Photo by ccwolfe.


CBS3 Philly, June 10, 2016: “It’s All About the Boys at Metropolitan Ballet Academy”

CBS3 Philly Visits Metropolitan Ballet Academy & Company to Announce Boys’ Audition

A BIG thank you to Ukee Washington, Vittoria Woodill and the entire CBS Philly news team for their feature story in advance of our Boys’ Audition. Students in Angel Corella’s master class on June 10 were delighted to participate in the taping for the story, which aired on CBS3 news later that evening to promote the MBC Boys’ Scholarship Audition on the morning of June 11th. With the support of CBS Philly helping us spread the word about the Audition, MBC offered more than 15 scholarships to a new Level 1 class of boys. We look forward to welcoming our new students in September! 

Congratulations to our Graduates!

One of the most rewarding aspects of directing Metropolitan Ballet is the unique opportunity to work with a student throughout their childhood years — and each spring brings a graduation or two! I would like to recognize our graduating senior dancers Sophie Lane, Claudia Steel and Brianna Yarnoff.  Sophie studied at MBA for the past 13 years, since age 5; while Claudia and Brianna have each been with us for the past 15 years, since age 3.

These lovely young women have been role models not only on the stage, but also in their generosity to the younger students, their camaraderie in the classroom, and their ability to juggle demanding school responsibilities with the rigors of classical training and commitment to the performing company. It has been a joy to participate in their artistic growth and to share so many studio hours with such special and creative young women.  

Ladies: we will miss you, and wish each of you every well-deserved success. Stay in touch, and visit often!


Sophie Lane in Le Jardin Anime from Le Corsaire; Photo by EA Kennedy III

Sophie Lane has been accepted to The University of the Arts on a Promising Artist Award and University Grant Scholarship. She will be majoring in the visual arts and dancing. Sophie is working at the Cheltenham Center of the Arts this summer. 

Claudia Steel will be attending Hofstra University this coming fall as a recipient of a significant four year Merit Scholarship Award. She will study speech and language therapy and plans to also participate in Hofstra’s dance program. 


Claudia Steel in MBA’s 2016 showcase, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Photo by EA Kennedy III


Brianna Yarnoff in Le Jardin Anime from Le Corsaire; Photo by EA Kennedy III

Brianna Yarnoff has been accepted to Princeton University. Entering this fall, she will pursue a degree in Neuroscience. and has been invited to participate in Princeton’s dance program. 

 Summer Study – Don’t miss it!

The summer kicked off with a spectacular Bridge program. Many thanks to our guest master teachers John Selya, Angel Corella and  Nurlan Abougaliev, and guest pianist Valentina Slutsky! Next up is our summer intensive!  

Our rigorous summer intensive program offers the opportunity to work with some of the most renowned teachers and dancers in the area and beyond. Classes are offered in ballet technique, men’s ballet technique, pointe, variations, partnering, modern, jazz and character.

Metropolitan’s Summer Intensive guest faculty will include:

  • Laura Alonso (Ballet Nacional de Cuba)
  • Samantha Dunster (Assistant Director, Pennsylvania Ballet)
  • Etienne Diaz (Pennsylvania Ballet)
  • Fiona Fuerstner (Pennsylvania Ballet, San Francisco Ballet)
  • Eddy Tovar (Orlando Ballet)

Summer Intensive also offers academic enrichment for boys and girls ages 7-10

M3= Math x Music x Movement©

An academically integrated enrichment program

for children ages 7-10, highlighted in Dance Teacher magazine!

Read Julie Diana’s story in the May 2015 issue of Dance Teacher here.

July 11-15 

12:30 pm to 3:00 pm

For children entering 2nd, 3rd or 4th grades in September

 Add M3 to your dance study (week 1) to create a full-day summer program.



Weekly classes run July 11 through August 14. Half and full-day classes available with acclaimed MBA faculty and guest artists. For information and registration, please call 215-663-1665 or email collinsvidnovic@verizon.net.

We appreciate our students, faculty, families and donors. Thank you for being a part of the Metropolitan Ballet Academy and Company community!


Lisa Collins Vidnovic

Founder & Artistic Director

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