MEET THE COMPANY
HO-SHIA AARON THAO
Co-President & Founder, Hudson Ballet Theatre, Inc.
Artistic Director, Hudson Ballet
Co-President & Founder, Hudson Ballet Theatre, Inc.
Artistic Director, Hudson Ballet
Ho-Shia Aaron Thao was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received his bachelors in Human Biology with a focus on Medical Anthropology from Brown University, and began his dance training Minneapolis while pursuing a degree in medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Ho-Shia continued his dance training throughout New York City, where he danced professionally with various ballet and theater companies. In 2015, Ho-Shia co-founded a youth ballet program for Westchester County, which would later become known as Hudson Ballet Theatre where he currently serves as Co-President and Artistic Director. In 2016, he curated Voices Transposed: The Refugee Crisis, a two evening benefit performance showcasing local artists in New York City in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Ho-Shia was featured in the July 2014 issue of Minnesota Medicine and is a recipient of the Fisch Arts Award. He is dedicated to honoring the art of storytelling through dance.
Co-President & Founder, Hudson Ballet Theatre, Inc.
Artistic Director, Hudson Youth Ballet
Born and raised in New Jersey, Debra trained at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio under ABT's Susan Jaffe and Dayton Ballet's Risa Gary Kaplowitz. She attended summer intensives including The Julliard School, American Ballet Theater and Kaatsbann. She continued her dance training and education at SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Dance, graduating magna cum laude with a BFA in Dance in 2012. While at Purchase, she performed works by prominent choreographers including George Balanchine, Stephen Petronio and Susan Jaffe. Debra has danced professionally in New York City with XAOC Contemporary Ballet, mishiDance, Mook Dance Company, and Exit 12 Dance Company. In 2016 she joined Ho-Shia Aaron Thao in creating Hudson Ballet Theater and currently heads HBT’s youth division, Hudson Youth Ballet. Debra is also a dance educator and loves sharing her passion for dance with young dancers. She has taught at schools including New York Dance, Princeton Dance and Theater Studio, and City Center Dance.
Hayley Clark, born and raised in New York City, began her dance training at the School of American Ballet and then Ballet Academy East, with teachers including Darla Hoover, Cheryl Yeager, and Peter Frame. Her training also included San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, BalletX, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Ballet Program. Hayley graduated Cum Laude from SUNY Purchase’s Conservatory of Dance with a BFA in Dance, Ballet Concentration. While at SUNY Purchase she performed principal roles in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments and Concerto Barocco, as well as Talsik by Norbert De La Cruz III, Stagioni by Stuart Loungway, and others. She has also performed in works by Brian Enos and Bettijane Sills. Hayley is proud to have worked with Fukiko Takase of Studio Wayne McGregor to perform a solo from Wayne McGregor’s Atomos for her senior project at SUNY Purchase.
Hayley has performed professionally with Dances Patrelle, the Eryc Taylor New Choreographer Grant Showcase with Melanie Ramos, StylePointe for NYC Fashion Week with Michelle Ulrich-Thompson, and Neville Dance Theater.
TJ Hammond, raised in St. Louis, Missouri, began his dance training at the age of three under the direction of Pelagie Green Wren. As a young dancer, he trained in a variety of styles, including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and musical theater. At nine years of age, TJ began his professional career as a seasonal performer with the Joffrey Ballet and an ensemble member with the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre. He went on to train under the direction of Debbie Allen and Karen McDonald at Debbie Allen Dance Academy before attending Southern Methodist University. During his time at SMU, he studied under Carter Alexander, Desmond Richardson, Dwight Rhoden, Silas Farley, Myra Woodruff, and Brandi Coleman. After graduating with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and a minor in Human Rights, TJ then went on to join the New Jersey Ballet Company, under the direction of Maria Kowroski, as a member of the corps de ballet. There, he had the privilege of performing in ballets such as Don Quixote, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker. As well as Peter Martins' Sophisticated Lady and Jerome Robbin’s Cool. TJ is grateful for the gift of dance and is happy to be sharing the stage with the wonderful artists of Hudson Ballet Theatre.
Jacob started studying ballet at the age of 10 at Studio Maestro, and has also trained with Manhattan Youth Ballet, French Academie of Ballet, and Premiere Division under the tutelage of Francois Perron and Nadege Hottier. He has performed with Exit 12 Dance Company and Hudson Ballet Theatre. He also works as a videographer and often films and live-streams HBT's performances, even while dancing!
Julia Hallissey Horner (she/her) was raised in Cleveland, Ohio and lives now in New York City. She attended the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program where she graduated with a double major in Dance and Women/Gender Studies. While at the Ailey School, Julia performed works by Alvin Ailey, Hope Boykin, Sasha Soreff, Andre Tyson, Steffanie Batten Bland, Claudia Schreier, Rena Butler, Jae Man Joo, and Christopher Huggins. Working as a freelance dancer, she has performed various pieces and full length shows with Mook Dance Company & Antonio Brown Dance across New York State and New Jersey. Julia has worked extensively with JUNTOS Collective, a dance non-profit, working as a dance performer, dance educator, and currently as the Communications Director, traveling in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Colombia. Through JUNTOS she has studied and performed many styles of dance including Salsa, Bachata, Cumbia, as well as Mexican and Nicaraguan Folkloric styles. Julia also has her Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary.
Bethany Kellner began her dance training at the age of two in Buffalo, NY. To further her training, Bethany studied at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in May of 2018 with a BFA in Dance Performance and a Minor in Arts Management. While at Purchase, Bethany had the opportunity to study abroad in Asia at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Bethany has trained with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletX, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, DanceWorks Chicago, and Ballet Hispanico to name a few. She has performed the works of Dexandro Montalvo, Brian Enos, Iratxe Ansa, George Balanchine, David Fernandez, Michelle Thompson Ulercich and Stuart Loungway among others. Bethany currently lives in NYC dancing professionally with Core Dance Contemporary, and Encounters Dance, in addition to Hudson Ballet Theatre.
Fernanda Garduza, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, began her ballet studies under the guidance of Irina Provorova at Escuela Rusa de Ballet Clásico de Monterrey and furthered her training at The Kirov Academy of Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet Academy during summer intensives. Her repertoire includes classical roles in Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, and The Nutcracker, as well as new works from rising choreographers. Alongside her dance journey, she graduated in 2018 with a B.A. in Architecture from Tecnológico de Monterrey. Fernanda performed with Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble in Austin, TX, and later with CityDanceNY after moving to New York City in 2023.
Sasha Gologorskaya was born in Kiev, Ukraine and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She trained at the San Francisco Ballet School before attending the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase, graduating summa cum laude with a BFA in Dance Performance and a concentration in ballet. Sasha spent a semester training abroad at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In her senior year at Purchase, Sasha was featured in the NY Times for performances at BAM Fisher, where she danced the featured pas de deux in Luca Veggetti's reimagined version of Jerome Robbins’ Watermill. Sasha has performed with MeenMoves, ARC Dance in Seattle, Eglevsky Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, Menlowe Ballet, em(body) dance project, for Norte Maar’s Counterpointe 10, and several times for choreographer Marika Brussel. She was recently a part of choreographic residencies with MorDance at Vineyard Arts Project and with Marika Brussel at Moulin/Belle.
Juliet Mazzola is originally from Bennington, Vermont, where she began her ballet training at the Berkshire Dance Theater. She has spent summers studying at the Boston Ballet School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet School, Colorado Ballet, and BalletX. She also spent a year as a Trainee at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. In 2018, Juliet graduated from The Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College with a BFA in Dance and a Concentration in Ballet. While studying at Purchase she spent a semester abroad at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She has performed many works by various renowned artists including George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Silas Farley, Stephen Pier, Michelle Thompson Ulerich, Bettijane Sills, Iratxe Ansa and Taryn Russell. Juliet began her professional career in 2018 as a Company Artist with Ballet Hartford. For the 2019 season Juliet and seven other professional dancers co-founded and co-directed their own company, New England Ballet Collective, where she was Company Artist and President. Juliet is currently a Company Artist with Hudson Ballet Theatre.
Joshua Noel grew up in Miami, FL. He graduated from New World School of the Arts high school and later received a BFA from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. Joshua is grateful to be dancing with Hudson Ballet Theatre and excited for this upcoming season.
Jamie Robinson earned his BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona, where he also earned a BA in Media Arts and English. Since moving to New York City in 2018, he’s performed in works choreographed by Raeman Kilfoil, Same As Sister, American Liberty Ballet, and The Kennedy Dancers, among others. Jamie choreographs as well as performs in original dance work with collaborator Kristina Hay. The two have presented their work in venues around NYC. Jamie is also a Fletcher Pilates Professional Teacher.
Omar Rodriguez was born in Mexico and started his professional dance studies in Mexico City’s National Dance School for Classical and Contemporary Dance where he graduated from in 2018, he completed his apprenticeship at Mexico’s National Dance Company to then join Virginia National Ballet.
Afterwards he moved to New York City to dance with New York Dance Project, while guesting as a demi-soloist with Brooklyn Ballet for productions of The Nutcracker staged at King's Theater to then join Eglevsky Ballet for two seasons. At the same time Omar has also worked as an independent dancer performing with Neville Dance Theatre, Sheep Meadow Dance and Hudson Ballet Theater.
Jacopo Maria Sensoli began his dance journey at age 14 in a studio in Rome (Italy). At age 19 he won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC from where he successfully graduated in May 2021 under the direction of Era Jouravlev.
In November 2021 he started with New Jersey Ballet under the direction of Maria Kowroski where he performed leading roles in their productions of “The Nutcracker”, “Don Q”, “Cinderella” and other iconic pieces of the company repertory including “This thing Called Love” by Margot Sappington and “Masquerade” by Bettijane Sills.
Lillian Smith is a dancer, performer and choreographer from Teaneck, NJ. At three years old she began her training at Bergen PAC, and the New Jersey Ballet School. Lillian then continued her education at Nunnbetter Dance Theatre under artistic directors Leath Nunn and Ernie Prinz. While at NDT she performed principal roles in both classical and contemporary works including The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, La Bayadere and Jerome Robbin's West Side Story Suite.
After graduation Lillian moved to Columbus Ohio, and joined BalletMet as a trainee. While at BalletMet Lillian had the opportunity to learn George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, Western Symphony, The Sleeping Beauty, and Coppelia. Lillian has also participated in BalletMet company productions including The Nutcracker and Edwaard Liang’s Giselle.
Now an NYC based dancer Lillian has performed professionally with Chevalier Ballet, choreographed and danced for When Waves Collide Dance Festival, and CityDance NY in addition to Hudson Ballet Theatre.
Sarah Danelle Swenson, born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, began her dance training at the Sharon Davis School of Dance. Sarah performed with The Tallahassee Ballet Company from age nine until 2012. She then moved to New York, where she graduated from The Alvin Ailey Dance School's Certificate program in 2015. She has performed numerous works by choreographers including Matthew Rushing, Ray Merced, Amy Halland, Pedro Ruiz. Sarah was a featured dancer in Deep Love Opera, a Broadway show in the 2015 New York Musical Festival. Roberts danced with Mook Dance Company from 2017-2019.
Barbara Tosto is originally from Sicily, Italy. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance of London in 2012 and after that she moved to the United States. In New York she attended the Joffrey Ballet School where she graduated in 2018. In the meanwhile, she had the opportunity to dance with the Bellini Junior Ballet Company in the prestigious Greek Amphitheatre of Taormina, Italy and with the JSLN Dance Company in Germany. She also danced with New York Dance Project. Throughout the years she had the opportunity to perform works by George Balanchine, Gerald Arpino, Robert Battle, Earl Mosley and many others. She has been part of Hudson Ballet Theatre since 2019.
Robbie, an Ohio Native received his BFA in Dance (as well as a Bachelor’s in Social Work) from Ball State University in 2021, and has worked with companies such as Sonia Plumb Dance Company, NewBrese Dance Project, Nefelaba Dance Theatre, Freespace Dance, inDance, and his own company: Wasted Movement Dance Project. Outside of dance Robbie was featured as a juggler in the new Mean Girls movie, and is currently in graduate school at Hunter College studying Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Robbie is excited to continue dancing with Hudson Ballet Theatre!
Board of Directors
Debra King & Aaron Thao, Co-Presidents
Lynn Roer, Vice President
Kezia Spence, Secretary
Susan Bona, Treasurer
Oluakemi Adegoke, Board Member
Susannah Gillette, Board Member
James McCory, Board Member
Jenna Harris, Board Member
Julen Harris, Board Member
Kelly Smith, Board Member