McKenzie Van Oss began her ballet training at the Green Bay School of Dance at age 3. She continued her training at Walnut Hill School for the Arts before joining the Carolina Ballet in 2014. Since joining, Van Oss has been featured in roles such as the Principal Couple in Balanchine’s Rubies, The Daughter Who Dreams in Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s Carmina Burana, and the Third Speech in Robert Weiss’ Symposium.
Taylor Ayotte was born in Sacramento, California and began her formal dance training at the age of 5 at the Green Bay School of Dance in Wisconsin. She continued her training in New York City as a full-time student at the School of American Ballet after accepting an invitation to study year-round at age 14. Ms. Ayotte performed with the New York Choreographic Institute, School of American Ballet’s annual workshop performances, and participated as both choreographer and dancer in the school’s Student Choreography Workshop. She attended summer courses on full scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Ms. Ayotte’s featured roles with Carolina Ballet include Calliope in George Balanchine’s Apollo, Tall Girl in Rubies, and Butterfly in Robert Weiss’ The Nutcracker.
Kiefer Curtis began his training at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Alpharetta, GA under Maniya Baredo. He attended summer intensives with Danita Emma and Momchill Mladenov in Syracuse New York, Orlando Ballet in Orlando, Fl, as well as Peter Breur in Salzburg, Austria. He has also trained at the International Ballet Academy (IBA) with Rossana Gahagan and Servy Gallardo in Cary, NC.
Yevgeny Shlapko was born in Odessa, Ukraine but raised in Brooklyn, New York. He began his ballet training at age 8, with Madame Olga Kostritzky at The School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City. He spent the next 10 years training under the direction of Peter Boal, Sean Lavery, and Andrei Kramarevsky. At SAB, Mr. Shlapko had the opportunity to work with choreographers including Christopher Wheeldon, Benjamin Millepied, and Justin Peck. In his final years of training, he performed featured roles in Peter Martins’s Les Gentilhommes, as well as Christopher d’Amboise’s Tribute and Benjamin Millepied’s 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini. In 2007, Mr. Shlapko launched his professional dancing career by joining the Carolina Ballet. He has been featured in Robert Weiss’s Don Quixote, as well as Choreographer Lynne Taylor Corbett’s Carmina Burana. Several roles have been choreographed on him including “Renfield” in Lynne Taylor Corbett’s Dracula, and the principal couple in Co-Artistic Director Zalman Raffael’s Rachmaninoff: Corcerto no. 2 in c minor.