Founder/Director

Sônia Melo
Founder/ Director

Sônia Melo

Sônia Melo (Artistic Director, International Ballet Festival of Union City)

Sonia Melo, Swiss citizen originally from Brazil, received her diploma of Solo Seal from the Royal Ballet Academy. 

She danced as a principal dancer at São Paulo Ballet and received the Revelation of the Year Award from the APCA (Association Paulista Critic of Arts). 

She was a member of the Grand Theatre of Geneva Company in Switzerland under the Direction of Oscar Araiz, touring Europe including an extensive run at Theatre de la Ville in Paris. 

Ms Melo was a soloist at Stadttheater in Bern, Switzerland under the direction of various directors over the span of eleven years, including Ricardo Duse, Bruce Steivel, Michael Mc Keem, Reda Sheta, Francois Klaus and Martin Schlaepfer.

She served as Choreographer at the Stadttheater in Bern, choreographing such operas as Lulu, Rigoletto, Mazepa, Carmen, the musical Oliver Twist, and staged the play Zobeide.  She was Founder & Artistic Director in 1996 of AS Ballett GMBH.  She has a school & shop in Boll, and theatre & school in Bern, Switzerland. She is a teacher of Classical Ballet, Specializing in Pointe work, Competition, Coaching, and a Choreographer. 

In 2011, Founder and President of AS Ballet New York LTD in Manhattan. 

In 2015 founded the American Swiss Ballet Company, an international dance company that has been touring in America and Europe.  She is also a member of the: “Association Francaise of Maitre de Ballet de Paris” & “Association Dance Swiss”.

Ms Melo was a Producer on the Broadway Musical “Evita” starting Ricky Martin.  She was a Member of TRU (Theater Resources Unlimited) NY.  She is also a licensed Talent Agent with ASB Talent Agency.  She has been coaching professionals for Ballet, Musical, Theater Opera and TV since 1995.

Both of her sons have been coached by her. One is a principal at the Paris Opera Ballet; and the other is currently working on his sixth Broadway show and is currently in “Hamilton, the Musical”.

Sônia Melo (Artistic Director, International Ballet Festival of Union City

Ms Melo is currently working on opening a ballet studio in Union City, NJ.

International Ballet Festival of Union City

Friday 9/27/2019

at 7:00pm

Union City Perform Arts Center 

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Company Members

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Barbara Lins

Barbara was born in Brazil and she started dancing when she was 6 years old and trained at Ballet Eliana Cavalcanti for several years and also a principal dancer for 5 years.
She attended summer courses with Bolshoi's teachers like: Denis Nevydommy, Galina Kozlova (Ex Prima Ballerina of Bolshoi), Boris Storojkovo, Olga Dolganova and many others.
She also attended  a summer course and Trainne Program at Ballet Chicago in 2013 and at Joffrey Ballet School (NYC) in 2015.
Recently she just graduated  her Certificate Program at Peridance Capezio Center.
Since she moved to NYC she enjoyed dancing with: Connecticut Ballet Company, Arch Contemporary, Homo Veritas Dance Theatre, Albano Ballet of America, American Swiss Ballet Company and guest at Metropolitan Ballet & Academy.
Barbara has performances experience like: Don Q., Le Corsaire, Paquita, The Flames of Paris, Nutcracker,  Coppelia, La Esmeralda, La Sylphide, Diana y Action, Serenade, Concerto Barroco and many others.

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Blake Brown

Blake Brown is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and began her training with the Ballet Society of Colorado Springs in 2008. She joined the Colorado Youth Ballet in 2010, and won awards and scholarships to train with the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, the Colorado Ballet, and the American Academy of Ballet in New York. She began her professional career with Ballet Idaho as a guest artist in The Nutcracker in 2012, and continued her career in Santa Barbara, California, with State Street Ballet in 2015. Since then, Blake has had the opportunity to dance soloist roles in Metropolitan Ballet's Swan Lake in 2017, and has performed the role of Myrtha in Metropolitan Ballet's Giselle in 2018. Blake has been dancing with the American Swiss Ballet for three years, and she will be representing ASB abroad in the summer of 2019.   

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Ellen Mihalick

Ellen grew up dancing with Nancy Turano at the NJ Dance Theater Ensemble and NJ Ballet, Carolyn Clark.  Other training includes the inaugural season of Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Pre Professional Program (Dwight Rhoden/Desmond Richardson) performing at the Joyce, Axis Connect (Barton Movement), pre Movement Invention Project (Alexandra Wells), and Vancouver Arts Umbrella/Ballet BC (Emily Molnar).  Her repertoire embodies work by Sidra Bell, Kate Skarpetowska, Belinda McGuire, Bradley Shelver, Adam Barruch, and Roman Baca, at venues like Sadler’s Wells (London), and the Marriott Marquis (NYC).  Ellen has been a Radio City Rockette since 2013.  Other credits included West Side Story (original choreography/Graziella & DC), Shrek the Musical (ensemble & DC), Grease (choreographer), 2017 NY fashion week (model/dancer), and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon TV).  Ellen is a certified barre teacher (NASM) as well as a certified group fitness instructor (AFAA).  She is the recipient of NJ Governor’s Award for Artistic Excellence and Leadership in Dance.  Ellen is so excited to join ASBC!


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Gabrielle d’Anthoüard

Originally from France, Gabrielle d’Anthoüard graduated from the Conservatory of Boulogne Billancourt in 2015. She obtained the Diploma of Choreographic Studies in ballet. In order to complete her formation, she attended the Ailey School in New York. After two years in Independent study she received the Bob Fosse-Gwen Verdon Scholarship and graduated in 2018. She danced for Bradley Shelver in "Where there are tongues" and Elisabeth Roxas-Dobrish in "Scream, Scram, Scrum, Scrim" at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. She attended the Paris Opera Summer Intensive three years in a row, the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Intensive in 2017 and the Movement Invention Project directed by Francesca Harper. She recently performed "Table of Silence" with the Buglisi Dance Theater and "Currents" , ARIM Dance Company’s newest work. She joined American Swiss Ballet Company and performed Nutcracker in collaboration with the Metropolitan Ballet in Minneapolis as well as Alma NYC with whom she performed at Wise Fruit 7.0. Most recently she was a part of "Voulez Vous?" a Retro Factory event, homage to the Moulin Rouge as she performed "Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend" choreographed by Breton Tyner-Bryan’s..

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Jose Rojas

José Rojas is a professional dancer and teacher of traditional Argentine folklore in Paraná, Entre Ríos, Argentina. José danced in folk dance since he was six years old.

Since then he has participated in several popular festivals and festivals of great renown in Argentina.

His passion for dance encouraged José to develop other dance techniques such as ballet, jazz and contemporary music; giving him the opportunity to take classes with world-renowned dancers and teachers.

In 2015, José received a full scholarship for the contemporary jazz summer course at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, during which, for his good performance, he received a full scholarship to attend the 2015-2016 school year in said institution.

Currently, José is a dancer of the Mexican folkloric company Calpulli Mexican Dance, teacher artist of Ballet Hispanico, dancer of American Swiss Ballet Company, Galletto Dance Company, and Bula Dance Conpany. dancing in numerous renowned festivals in the US and abroad. Jose works as a dancer and choreographer of Argentine folklore, ballet and contemporary.

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Kara Cooper

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland; Kara received her early training from the Gniazdowska Studio of Ballet. She then went on to major in ballet performance at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music for their BFA program. Kara furthered her dance education as a trainee at the Martha Graham School in New York and went on to perform with companies such as Ballet Deviare, the MorganScott Ballet, Covenant Ballet, Ballet for a Young Audiences, Ballet Inc, and Arch Contemporary Ballet. She was also a featured dance ensemble member in the musical, My Princess Diana; a benefit performance for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS. Kara has been with American Swiss Ballet Company since 2015 and is delighted to dance with such a diverse repertory here in NYC and internationally. 

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Malcom Jones

Malcolm Jones grew up in Neptune, NJ,  and started his dance training at the Asbury Park Technical Academy of Dance. While there he furthered his education at various summer programs such as the Bolshoi Academy, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Alvin Ailey. In May 2015, he received his BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. While at Montclair, he performed various works by Larry Keigwin, Antony Tudor, Andrea Miller, and Fredrick Earl Mosley. After graduating, he debuted his professional career with Neville Dance Theatre, followed by Lustig Dance Theatre, Nimbus 2, and American Swiss Ballet.

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McCall Sheetz

McCall Sheetz is from Laguna Beach, California. She trained from a young age in ballet and contemporary dance with Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev. She competed in competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix and also received a full scholarship to train at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow in 2014. She has attended summer programs with the  Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Academie Princess Grace in Monaco, LINES Ballet, and the Washington Ballet.  McCall trained at the Alvin Ailey School BFA program in New York City for 4 years. McCall has performed works from choreographers such as: George Balanchine, Amy Hall Garner, Chuck Wilt, Gregory Dolbashian, Adam Barruch, Alonzo King, and Alvin Ailey.

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Natalia Sheptalova

Natalia was born in Russia. She received her training in Moscow at The Academy of Classical Ballet under direction or Gennady Ledyakh. 

  Later on she as well held her degree in theatre and dance history at the Russian Academy of Theatrical Art RATI- GITIS. 

  For several years Natalia has been a member of Russian National Ballet company and traveled nationally and internationally with large classical ballet repertoire. 

  In USA she retrained and became a part of the Gelsey Kirkland Ballet company as well as continue appearing as a cast member with various dance projects in 3 states areas NY, NJ, CT.

  She had been performing as a guest principal dancer with Victoria Ballet Theatre, Metropolitan Ballet, Ballet Long Island. 

  Besides dancing herself Natalia finds her passion in passing on art of classical ballet and character dance to the next generations so she has be teaching children to dance over about 15 years till now.