The Staff at Bluegrass Youth Ballet
BYB staff is highly qualified.
They were carefully selected based on:
- Their outstanding experience and qualifications
- Their love for the art of dance
- Their professionalism and work ethics
- Their belief in teaching the students to excel to their fullest dance potential
Bluegrass Youth Ballet staff:
ADALHI ARANDA CORN, FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Baby Ballet, Creative Movement, Pre-Ballet, Ballet Technique & Pointe
Adalhi Aranda Corn, founder and director, is originally from Leon, Mexico. She trained under the Royal Academy of Dancing system. She continued in Guadalajara where she became a professional dancer and started teaching. There she was the founder and director of a small ballet school where she started her creative process of choreographing full-length ballets.
Ballet Technique, Pointe, Creative Movement, Pre-ballet
Abbie Whitman grew up in Los Angeles, CA where she began her dance training at the Rozann-Zimmerman Ballet Center under Patrick Frantz and Patricia Davis. She attended the Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive for three years on scholarship, which lead to an invitation to join Milwaukee Ballet II. After graduating from their Trainee Program, Abbie danced professionally with La Danserie, Rockford Dance Company, Nashville Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Moving Collective and Paradise Ballet Theatre in Key West, FL. Her repertoire includes works by Petipa, Bournonville, and Balanchine along with ballets by Lee-Wei Chao, Kimberly Nygren-Cox, Domy Reiter-Soffer, and Alun Jones. She has formerly been on faculty at the Louisville Ballet School and had the privilege to teach in their outreach programs at Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School and Pleasure Ridge Park High School. She joined the BYB faculty in 2011 is excited to bring her love of dance to the next generation.
Kay Kissick has been a dance teacher for 33 years, in ballet, tap and jazz. She owned a dance studio in Winchester Kentucky for eight years, called Arts Studio of Kentucky. She has been Adjunct Faculty at both Indiana University Northwest in Gary, IN and Valparaiso, IN. She taught collegiate level courses, and directed the universities dance companies. In addition to her duties with BYB, Kay is the Ballet Mistress for Bluegrass Dance and Training Center in Richmond and teaches all intermediate/advanced level classes. She is a charter member of the Nashville Ballet and danced professionally for 12 years, both in the ballet company and in off-Broadway Musicals. She attended Oklahoma City University for a Bachelor of Arts in Dance 1987.
Jennifer Rebecca Reynolds grew up in Central Kentucky where she started her dance training at age five. She studied, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and some flamenco, and ballroom. She received her dance instruction from several teachers and in high school studied at Kentucky Ballet Theatre, mainly under the direction of Adalhi Aranda and Xijun Fu. At that time she had the opportunity to dance in various roles with what was the only professional company in Lexington. Upon graduating high school she continued to dance with the company in its corps de ballet. She went on to attend Asbury University where she graduated with honors in 2006 with her B.A. in World Missions and her minor in Spanish.
Jennifer has worked with children since a young age. During late high school Jennifer began teaching ballet and jazz. She has taught ballet to young children for over 13 years. Before moving to Central Mexico in 2008, Jennifer taught at Bluegrass Youth Ballet for four years. She returned to Lexington in 2013 when she started the outreach program with BYB. Jennifer has a passion for helping people and working with underserved populations. While living in Mexico, Jennifer taught ballet to impoverished children who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to dance. She is excited to teach bilingual ballet classes in Valley Park and be a part of the BYB staff.
Ballet Technique, Pointe, Pre-ballet
Sarah trained in gymnastics and was the Kentucky State Gymnastics Champion at age 9. She fell in love with dance after invitations to perform with Fleet Street Dance Company and Shakespeare in the Fields. Sarah received her ballet training from the University of Louisville Dance Academy and summers at the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School. As a student, she was selected to perform in the corps of many Louisville Ballet productions, including Balanchine’s “Serenade” and was awarded the Celine and Whittenberg Scholarships for her talent. Sarah’s professional career began with the Louisville Ballet in 1995 under the direction of Alun Jones and Helen Starr. She performed many featured roles in classical and contemporary works, including Kitri in the full-length “Don Quixote,” Fascinating Rhythm in Balanchine’s “Who Cares?,” and Alice in Dale Brannon’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Sarah’s repertoire also includes works by Val Caniparoli, David Parsons, Paul Taylor, Stephen Mills and Choo San Goh. She was on the cover of Louisville Magazine and featured in Pointe Magazine in 2001. Sarah became a Principal Guest Artist in 2003 and has danced, taught, performed dance education outreach programs and judged competitions Nationwide ever since. In 2011, Sarah was a Principal Dancer and Academie Ballet Instructor with the Northwest Florida Ballet. For two years, she taught ballet to select elementary and middle school students at the Northwest Florida Ballet Academie, an award winning, free Okaloosa County public school. Sarah and her husband, David, brought their ballet expertise to Evansville, IN as the Ballet Directors of The Ballet Academy at Studio 321, where they tripled enrollment and choreographed “The Nutcracker Sweet” and “Excerpts From Don Quixote.” Sarah now joins the full-time faculty at Bluegrass Youth Ballet.
Ballet Technique, Pas de Deux, Boys Ballet
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, David trained in the martial art Tae Kwon Do until he started ballet classes at age 15. Two years later he became a dance major at Butler University, and at age 19 he accepted a contract with the Louisville Ballet under the direction of Alun Jones and Helen Starr. David rose quickly through the ranks of the Louisville Ballet and became its youngest Principal Dancer. In 1991, the Mayor proclaimed May 11th as “David Goud Day” in recognition for his talent and community outreach. An explosive and dramatic dancer, David performed a variety of roles with the Louisville Ballet including, “Apollo” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” choreographed by George Balanchine, The King in David Parsons’ “The Envelope,” Basilio in the full- length “Don Quixote,” Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet,” The Cavalier and Snow Prince in “The Nutcracker,” The Young Boy in Antony Tudor’s “Little Improvisations,” and appeared in numerous other works by international choreographers. During his tenure with the Louisville Ballet, David taught technique and pas de deux classes for the Company and apprentices. In 2000, David left the Louisville Ballet to dance, teach and choreograph around the country, and became a resident guest artist and teacher for the University of Louisville Dance Academy, Chattanooga Ballet and the Northwest Florida Ballet. In 2006, David was awarded the Tennessee Arts Commission Fellowship in Dance Performance. From 2002-2011, David designed and delivered dance outreach programs for New Performing Arts and was nominated for the Kentucky Arts Council’s Governor’s Award for Arts Education in 2011. From 2011-2013, David was a teacher for the Northwest Florida Ballet Academie and a Principal Dancer with the Northwest Florida Ballet. David enjoys traveling the country and is passionate about sharing his love for classical ballet.
Jeana began her dance training at the age of 3. She has attended the Joffrey Midwest Workshop and spent 3 summers training with the American Ballet Theatre, studying under such teachers as John Magnus, Cynthia Harvey, Mia Michaels,Rebecca Wright and Leslie Browne. Jeana danced professionally with the Lexington Ballet Company for the 2001-2002 season and later returned to join their faculty from 2007-2012. At the Lexington Ballet she served as an instructor, stage manager, outreach coordinator and choreographed several contemporary pieces, as well as the full-length ballet of “Peter & the Wolf” performed with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. She has since continued teaching and choreographing at numerous dance studios in the state of Kentucky and in 2013 became the founder and artistic director of the Allegro Dance Project.
Iris Jiménez is originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. At the young age of 13, she learned to design and construct clothes while she was attending school. She graduated as a Public Accountant in 1995 from the Instituto San Francisco. Iris moved to New York City in 1998 where she worked for four years in a bridal shop, creating bridal gowns as well as bride’s maids dresses. She moved to KY in 2002. Today she is the owner and founder of “Iris’ Creations”, located on Alexandria Dr. where she offers clothing services. These include alterations and repairs for ladies and gentlemen for any occasion. She is also a mom of three children. One of her favorite quotes is: “The inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” Picasso.