Company and Faculty

PENINSULA BALLET THEATRE was founded in 1967 by Dick Ford and Richard Gibson as the non-profit performing vehicle for students in their ballet school, then Peninsula Ballet School. In 1971 the first professional dancers trained outside the school were hired to form a separate permanent company, the Bay Area's second oldest professional ballet company in continuous operations. Gregory Amato took the helm as Artistic Director in early 2017, and since then has cultivated a company of professional dancers that performs a full season of wide-ranging repertory.

*indicates member of PBT Faculty

Nina Amato is a former principal ballerina with the Sacramento Ballet and has danced the lead role in such ballets as Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Cinderella, Coppelia, La Fille Mal Gardee, Les Sylphides, Sleeping Beauty, and Juliet in Ron Cunningham’s Romeo and Juliet, a role which was created specifically for her. She has also danced and created roles in a wide range of contemporary works by renowned choreographers, and the lead in several ballets by George Balanchine.


Nina Amato

Robert Burns Lowman trained at Susan Hayward School of Dancing and holds B.A.s in Dance and Theater & Performance Studies from U.C. Berkeley. He is a recipient of the Mask and Dagger Memorial Prize and the Rosalyn Schneider Eisner Prize. He has danced in works by Gregory Amato, Marit Brook-Kothlow, Carlos Carvajal, Katie Faulkner, Rosalia Lerner, Becky Robinson-Leviton, and Scott Wells. Robert is thrilled to perform in his fourth season with Peninsula Ballet Theatre.


Robert Burns Lowman*

Chloé Watson* was born in Dallas, Texas. She began her early training at the Dallas Ballet Center. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Chloé earned her BFA in dance at SUNY Purchase on scholarship. During her time at Purchase, she performed at Jacob’s Pillow, and trained in Paris and Madrid. Chloé spent five seasons performing with American Midwest Ballet, and is delighted to be dancing with Peninsula Ballet Theatre this season.


Chloé Watson*

Léna Alvino* is originally from Switzerland. In 2015, she joined Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program in San Francisco, then moved to Santa Barbara, where she danced with State Street Ballet’s Professional Track Program. She is very excited to be back in the Bay Area performing with both eMotion Arts Dance Co. and Peninsula Ballet Theatre, where she currently teaches Level 2.

Alondra Butler began dancing at the age of five in her home state of Texas. She trained under Diana Hastings in ballet, jazz, and tap. She moved to California at the age of 21 for grad school and would squeeze in a ballet class when possible at Santa Barbara’s State Street Ballet. She has lived in the Bay Area for 11 years and is happy to call Peninsula Ballet Theatre her new home.

Aline Carili Lacerda trained at Mvsika Centro de Estudos in Brazil and holds a bachelor's degree in Physical Education from P.U.C Goias in Brazil. She has danced works by Herika Crossra and at Mvsika Center for Studies where she was a soloist of Cia in Brazil. In the United States, she has performed the work of Gregory Amato and Carlos Carvajal. Aline is currently a member of Peninsula Ballet Theatre.

Lara Cheng trained at the San Francisco Ballet School where she performed in The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and the annual Student Showcase. She has also studied ballet at the Academy of Ballet in San Francisco, UC San Diego and Western Ballet, and taught at Western Ballet and Google. Lara debuted with Peninsula Ballet Theatre in 1995 and became an Apprentice in 2003. Since returning to PBT as a Company Member in 2013, Lara has performed in The Nutcracker and Cinderella.

Originally from Belmont, California, Mary Desing received her training from Zoltan and Carmela Peter at Professional Ballet School. She also performed in musical theater, taking part in works by Stephen Sondheim, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. She continued dancing at the University of San Francisco and at Alonzo King LINES Ballet. After taking time off to focus on her career in architecture, Mary returned to ballet at Peninsula Ballet Theatre. She is excited to be a part of the company this season.

Sam Ek started dancing with Peninsula Ballet Theatre early 2018 and is happy to continue performing. He can be found playing in local pit orchestras around the Bay Area, and previously in Southern California where he studied music composition and education. Previous dance training includes Dance Arts Center in Redwood City, where he has been teaching the past year, and one summer at Alonzo King LINES Ballet in 2011.

Vin Eiamvuthikorn was raised in Bangkok, Thailand, where he received dance training at Chulalongkorn University. Upon moving to the U.S., he trained in classical and contemporary ballet at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center and other Bay Area dance schools. He performed with Kathy Mata Ballet, a non-profit dance company in San Francisco, for nearly a decade, as well as with Man Dance, Mannequin Dance Theatre, and Blue Scorpion Dance Theater.

Kelley Hashemi grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas where she studied at the Academy of Ballet Arkansas before going on to pursue degrees in aerospace engineering. She has performed a wide range of classical roles during her time with companies in Austin, Texas and the Bay Area including the Sugar Plum Fairy, Bluebird Pas de Deux from Sleeping Beauty, and the Pas de Trois from Swan Lake.

Kelsey Kunstadt has been dancing since she was three years old. She started in Mobile, AL where she studied at Mobile Ballet. She attended a summer intensive at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet to further excel her dance studies. She has performed in multiple full length ballets including The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Cinderella, La Bayadere, and more. Kelsey is very excited to perform with Peninsula Ballet Theatre for her first season!

Trained in Folklorico Ballet throughout his youth, Edgar Lepe began studying classical ballet in 2008 at the San Francisco Academy of Ballet under the direction of ballet masters Richard Gibson and Zory Karah.  Edgar has performed in Mexico and the United States with Collage West Ensemble, Compania Mexico Danza, Ensembles Ballet Folklorico of San Francisco, as well as Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Presidio Dance Theatre, Bay Pointe Ballet, and Oakland Ballet.

Beth Lim first began dancing with the Decker School of Ballet and continued her training while studying engineering at Cornell University.  After a long hiatus, she recently returned to dance, and has performed with Labayen Dance/SF, the Dancewright Project, and Victor Talledos. Beth is excited for her first season with Peninsula Ballet Theatre.

Alexa Novaes Nichols* began her ballet training at the age of twelve with Peninsula Ballet Theatre. In 2016, she joined the company at PBT as an apprentice where she performed in The Nutcracker. Alexa then became a company member with Peninsula Ballet Theatre in 2017 and has since performed in several productions including The Nutcracker, Cabaret: Hot October Nights, and Cabaret: Love Songs.

Caitlin Radcliffe* began dancing at Boulder Ballet in Colorado at age four. Through her time there, she performed in numerous productions including as Clara in The Nutcracker. Caitlin later trained with Kansas City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Milwaukee Ballet, and she participated in the dance program at Colorado State University. Besides dancing ballet, Caitlin has competed in Irish dance with the McTeggart Irish Dancers all over the world. She is very excited for her first season with Peninsula Ballet Theatre.

Born and raised in California, Joshua Ugarte attended art school in San Francisco for fashion design. While taking a costume class, his instructor took him to observe a ballet class to understand a dancer’s movement. That was the moment Joshua fell in love with classical ballet. After graduating, he started to take open classes at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, where he met amazing instructors who helped shape him into the dancer he is today.

Yan Zhang has been an active member of the Bay Area Ballet community since 2000 when she joined Peninsula Ballet Theatre the first time. After taking a break to have two wonderful children, Yan returned to the stage in 2011 with PBT, then went to Bay Pointe Ballet, and is back with PBT for a third time. She is grateful for the incredible opportunity to learn original choreography with a supportive and exciting company. She appreciates her family for their support.


Camila Krause is a native of the San Francisco area and one of the apprentices of this year’s professional company. She is currently a junior in high school and began dancing in eighth grade, at the age of thirteen. She began her ballet career here at Peninsula Ballet Theatre and is very excited to be dancing for the company this season. She plans to continue dancing through college, medical school, and beyond!


Kasey Parks has been dancing with Peninsula Ballet Theatre for ten years. She has performed in numerous productions including eight of their last Nutcracker performances. Currently a freshman at Carlmont High School, Kasey is very excited to dance with the company for her first season as an apprentice.


Erin Parsley has danced professionally for ballet, modern and jazz companies across the country, and trained at top schools including the San Francisco and Joffrey Ballets. She has choreographed over 40 pieces in diverse styles that have been shown across North America, and is an active performer around the Bay Area, whose work was recently mentioned in the SF Chronicle. She shares her passion for dance though group classes, private lessons, and wedding dance coaching.


Minna Rogers has been professionally trained in ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance. Her personal style of dance and teaching is to integrate technical excellence with emotional expression. She began her professional studies at Ballet Arts in Tucson, AZ. Minna has studied at master classes and workshops at the University of Arizona, Vienna Opera Ballet School, and Vienna Conservatory Ballet, among many others. She teaches ballet and performance studies at PBT and choreographs and performs locally in musical theatre productions.


Stuck Sanders was introduced to dance at the age of 12 when his mom was looking for a creative outlet for the obviously athletic youngster who was not all that trilled with traditional organized sports.  After one hip hop class he was hooked and headed for a career in the world of art and dance.  In just a few years he was performing in the half time shows of the Sacramento Kings basketball games and earning a reputation as a top freestyler where the dancer is encouraged to create new moves and develop a personal style. Soon he was known for his style of Turf Dancing incorporating strong narrative with storytelling and mime and burnished his reputation participating in numerous Battle Dances.  At 19 he headed to Los Angeles for more vigorous training in hip hop choreography.  In 2012 he joined Academy of Villains as principal dancer/choreographer where his choreography became known for its strong theatrical flair.  There he and Ale Martinez became one of the AOV main dance partners and in December 2015 they formed The Tribe where they could continue to foster the art form and pass on their many talents to new hip hop artists.


Alee Martinez hails from the Bay Area and has been surrounded by dance all of her life. Her parents were salsa dancers who competed throughout the Bay Area. Although she began with traditional ballet training, she fell in love with hip hop. At age 19, she auditioned for The Academy of Villains and became one of their principle dancers and by age 21 was named assistant director.  Her teaching international coaching include all cultures from Switzerland to Colombia, teaching what she loves most.  Us audience know her primarily from her appearance  on Americas Got Talent Season 7 and Fake off Season 2 where she and the Villains were crowned “Fake Off Champions” and won $100,000.

Contact Us

1880 S. Grant St.
San Mateo, CA 94402

The Company (650) 342-3262

The Conservatory (650) 342-3228

We now offer tours of PBT to prospective students and families!

Please see our Conservatory page or email us for more information or to book a tour. 

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