Gregory Amato has a wide breadth of experience in the international world of ballet. During his four years with Ballet Du Nord in France, Mr. Amato performed in 53 countries. These included performances before the Queen of England, two presidents, numerous ambassadors, dignitaries and prime ministers.
He was tapped by New York City Ballet principal dancer Edward Villella to join him as a founding member of Villella's Miami City Ballet. After relocating to the Bay Area, he was similarly chosen by Michael Smuin as a founding member of Smuin Ballet. While dancing there, Smuin created several ballets on Mr. Amato, including "Frankie and Johnny,” and "Cyrano." He also appeared in the movie, "The Fantastics," which Smuin choreographed.
Mr. Amato's primary teacher and inspiration was New York City Ballet Dancer, Nolan T'Sani. He also studied under full scholarships at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York.Mr.
Amato competed and won the gold medal in the Fred Astaire International Ballroom Dance Competition. Despite his impressive ballet career, his personal highlight was his experience as the featured dancer at Carnegie Hall for the 100th Celebration of George Gershwin’s birthday.
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.
SCHOOL MANAGER & TEACHER
Chloé Watson* was born in Dallas, Texas. She began her early training at the Dallas Ballet Center, graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and earned her BFA in Dance at the State University of New York at Purchase College on scholarship. During her time at Purchase, Chloé performed at Jacob’s Pillow, and trained in Paris and Madrid. Chloé spent five seasons performing with American Midwest Ballet in Omaha, Nebraska, and with their sister company Ballet Vero Beach in Florida. Her choreography has been commissioned by both companies. While in Omaha, Chloé coached dancers of American Midwest Ballet II, and trained competitive dancers at a local studio. She is delighted to return to Peninsula Ballet Theatre for a fourth season of performing and teaching.
Aline Carili* was born in Brazil. She trained and studied dance at Mvsika Center for Studies, graduating in 2010. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Physical Education from PUC Goiás in Brazil in 2014. Aline has been teaching for 11 years. She loves teaching at Peninsula Ballet Theatre because PBT is her second family, and it’s an enjoyable place to work.
From the island of O’ahu, James Santiago* started his training in musical theatre in middle school. After moving to California, he continued to pursue his love for the performing arts in local theater and high school marching band. After High School pursuing his love for performing, He earned his degree in Theater Arts and his BA in Dance from San Jose State. Through college residencies he has trained with and performed with companies and artists such as Doug Varone Dance, Gallim, Mike Esperanza, Kyle Abraham, Joffrey Ballet, and Cirque Du Soleil. He has spent a season with the contemporary company Perspectives in Los Gatos, and is currently a company member of PBT. As a choreographer he has worked on Films such as Gamut, and self produced PINKDRINK. Recently he has performed in Opera San Jose’s West Side Story and is slated to perform in West Edge Opera’s Julius Caesar.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Kasey Parks* began training with the Peninsula Ballet Theatre Conservatory when she was just three years old. She has trained and performed at several Bay Area schools and became an apprentice with the company in 2018. In addition to performing in ten seasons of PBT Nutcracker productions, she has danced roles in Paquita, Carnival of the Animals, and several works by Greg Amato. During the pandemic, Kasey began teaching private ballet lessons to students ages 3-13 in her garage ballet studio, where she discovered her love of teaching. Currently a senior at Carlmont High School, Kasey is very excited to be entering her first season as a dancer with the company and joining the conservatory’s teaching staff.
Katelin Foley began her training at the Nancy Doizé School of Dance in the South Bay, where she studied Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary. Katelin graduated from DePaul University in 2018 where she was a part of the DePaul Dance Company's Tap and Lyrical Teams. While in Chicago, she choreographed and produced for Synergy Dance Company, which specialized in bringing dance to all levels and abilities. For the past several years Katelin has been working as a dance teacher and choreographer for Starting Arts where she teaches students from ages 5 to 25. She also performs locally around the bay in various nusical theatre productions. Her passion is bringing dance positivity to all people no matter their age or abilities.
Léna Alvino* is originally from Switzerland. She started ballet at 5 and modern and contemporary dance at 14. After graduating from an artistic high school, she joined Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program in San Francisco. In August 2017, she moved to Santa Barbara, danced with State Street Ballet’s Professional Track Program and taught at Momentum Dance Company and Westside Dance. She is very excited to be back in the Bay Area, and to have joined eMotion Arts dance co. since March 2018, Peninsula Ballet Theater since August 2018 and The DanceWright Project since April 2019. Léna currently teaches at Peninsula Ballet Theatre and Petits Pas Studio.
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 in Tucson, AZ, and has studied at master classes and workshops at the University of Arizona, Vienna Opera Ballet School, Vienna Conservatory Ballet, among many others. She teaches ballet and musical theatre dance at Peninsula Ballet Theatre and choreographs and performs locally in musical theatre and dance productions.
Talia Rosen began taking ballet classes at three years old and is now continuing her dance experience through teaching. This is her first season teaching at Peninsula Ballet Theatre, mainly working with Pre-Ballet, Level 2A, and 2B. Her favorite productions she’s performed in are Alice in Wonderland as the White Rabbit, and The Nutcracker as the Sugar Plum Fairy at Classical Ballet of California, under the direction of Nina Baratova Amato. Talia is really looking forward to working with everyone at PBT this season!
* PBT Company Dancer