The Ballet Academy of Central Florida was founded in 2000 by world-renowned dancer and director, Vasile Petrutiu, and "Orlando's ballerina" Heather Fryxell-Sanders. Upon opening, the Academy reached an enrollment of over 300 students in the first four months and continued with great success through its superior ballet training.
Known for providing the finest Vaganova ballet training in Central Florida, students have attained professional careers with prestigious companies including San Francisco Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Colorado Ballet, State Street Ballet, Ballet MET, and Louisville Ballet. The Academy's students annually receive scholarships to coveted dance schools and companies worldwide (totaling more than 30 schools and companies to date) among numerous accolades at international ballet competitions including the World Ballet Competition, IBC Jackson, American Ballet Competition, and Youth America Grand Prix.
Each year, students have performance opportunities through the Academy's annual Recital & through the Central Florida Ballet's professional programs including its Studio Company and acclaimed Nutcracker production.
Students can enroll in the Academy year-round. Please call 407-849-9942 for information on trial classes and programs.
Central Florida Ballet Academy Students: Where are they now?
SASHA DE SOLA
Now Soloist at the San Francisco Ballet
Sasha de Sola began her pre-professional ballet studies at the Central Florida Ballet Academy in 2000. Studying under the direction of CFB directors: Vasile Petrutiu, Vladimir Bykov, and Heather Sanders-Fryxell. She was featured as Maria (Clara) in the Central Florida Ballet's premiere of The Nutcracker among many featured roles in various productions including Paquita and Carnival to Save the Animals. In 2003, she began studies at the Kirov Ballet Academy in Washington, D.C. on full scholarship and joined the San Francisco Ballet in 2006 as an apprentice at the age of 17. Sasha was awarded the Silver Medal at the World Ballet Competition in 2008 (Professional Category). In 2012, she was promoted to Soloist with the San Francisco Ballet.
Now Training at the Royal Ballet School in London
Hannah began her pre-professional ballet studies at the Central Florida Ballet Academy in 2008. Studying under the direction of CFB directors, Vasile Petrutiu and Vladimir Bykov, she was featured as Maria (Clara) in the Central Florida Ballet's The Nutcracker and was awarded the Silver Medal at the World Ballet Competition. While attending CFB, she also furthered her contemporary training at studios including the Dance P.A.D. and later New Dimensions Dance Company. This Fall Hannah will continue studies for the 2nd year under full scholarship at the world's most prestigious school: the Royal Ballet School of London.
Now Corps de Ballet at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Born and raised in Florida, JoAnna Schmidt began training at Central Florida Ballet when she was seven years old. After ten years under the instruction of Vasile Petrutiu, Heather Fryxell, and Vladimir Bykov, she graduated from the Central Florida Ballet Academy in 2010. In the fall of the same year, JoAnna joined the Graduate Program in the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School on scholarship. After spending two years as a Grad student, JoAnna is excited to be in her 2nd season as a company member at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She has received additional training from summer programs at Miami City Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Jacob's Pillow.
Now Corps Member of Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin in Germany Arielle Martin received her early training from the Ballet Academy of Central Florida under Vasile Petrutiu and Vladimir Bykov. She also studied with scholarships at Boston Ballet, Washington Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. Arielle attended the finals at the Youth America Grand Prix competition in New York City for several years and competed at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi and the World Ballet Competition in Orlando, Florida where she danced in several galas. She is a donor scholarship graduate from the Professional Division of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Arielle performed in many productions such as Don Quixote, A Midsummer's Night Dream, and Nutcracker with the company. After graduation she joined the Teatrul de Balet Sibiu in Sibiu, Romania and also performed as a guest apprentice in Dresden Semperopera Ballet (Germany) in La Bayadere and Harmensdamen. She then joined the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada for the following season and is currently a member of Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin in Germany.
Now Corps de Ballet at State Street Ballet
(Meredith is in the turtle neck leotard in the video above)
Meredith was born in Westlake Village, California. Up until the age of eleven, Meredith dedicated the majority of her time to Competitive Gymnastics. At the age of ten, she won the eleven and under Level 8 Washington State Gymnastics Championship. After attending a Central Florida Ballet performance of the Ugly Duckling Meredith decided to pursue ballet full time. Meredith then joined the CFB Academy, Studio Company and competition team while taking private lessons under the direction of Vasile Petrutiu. At the World Ballet Competition USA, she received the 2008 Encouragement Award in the Pre-Professional Category and was awarded a scholarship to the Cincinnati Ballet in 2010. She then joined the full year program of the Kirov Ballet Academy of Washington, D.C on full scholarship. After her graduation, she joined the Joffrey Ballet as a trainee for two seasons and the following season joined Ballet MET. For the 2013-14 season, she is a member of the State Street Ballet in California.
Now Trains at the School of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater
Hunter Finnegan began his ballet training at the Central Florida Ballet Academy at a very early age. Originally training in gymnastics, he soon transferred his focus to ballet while also studying Irish dancing. He appeared as Fritz in the Central Florida Ballet's Nutcracker as well as being featured in many soloist roles of CFB productions including those in Peter and the Wolf, 9/11 An American Moment, The Toy Shop, and The Ugly Duckling. Since the 2011-12 school year, he has studied at the School of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, where he has even instructed ballet classes.
Now touring worldwide with Life in Color
Tiffany Lamwatt was born in Orlando, Florida, and began dancing at the age of two. She started her formal ballet training at Central Florida Ballet in 2002 and joined the Student Company in 2006. She has performed in various CFB productions such as The Nutcracker, Enchanted Garden, 9/11 An American Moment and Ugly Duckling. In 2010, Tiffany became an apprentice and joined their Academy trainee program. She has performed for other companies such as Space Coast Ballet, Knights and Damsels Dance Company, and GymCrew Entertainment. Tiffany is a senior at the University of Central Florida and she is studying Sports and Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology. Her aerial training began at the Orlando Circus School in 2011 and she is their Head Aerial Coach. She is proficiently trained in various aerial apparatuses. She is currently an aerialist with New Image Line Entertainment and has performed nationally and internationally for crowds as large as 25,000+ people. Tiffany is touring with Life In Color’s Unleash Tour for the Fall 2014 season.