State Street Ballet is a company comprised of professional dancers who come from all over the world.  Under the direction of former American Ballet Theatre dancer Rodney Gustafson, they are a group praised for their commitment to technical and artistic excellence, and applauded for their versatility and innovation.   State Street Ballet dancers rehearse for an average of 30 weeks per season, are on the road two to three months of the year, and pride themselves on inspiring and enriching our local Santa Barbara community, as well as the communities we travel to on tour. 

Ines Albertini

from Italy, studied at Ballettschule theater Basel and graduated from Tanz Akademie Zuerich, Switzerland in 2009. She has performed, as soloist and principal dancer, all around the world with many ballet companies including Atlantic City Ballet, First State Ballet, Dance Theatre of Tennessee and Dance Alive National Ballet. Ines and her husband Walter Angelini worked with stars like Italian pop star Povia and tenor Andrea Bocelli.

Anna Carnes

born in Santa Monica, CA, trained with Santa Clarita Ballet and is a recipient of the Solo Seal Award from the Royal Academy of Dance.  She holds a BFA in Dance from UC Irvine, where she was a member of Donald McKayle's Etude Ensemble.  Anna performed Principal and Soloist roles with Oakland Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theatre, and Menlowe Ballet before joining SSB in 2012. She has been featured in works by Edgar Zendejas and William Soleau, and performed the role of "Lead Fairy" in Robert Sund's Beauty and the Beast on national and international tours.


Sergei Domrachev

was born in Russia and graduated from the Perm Ballet Academy. He was a bronze medalist in the Vaganova Competition and the International Arabesque Competition in 1992, also earning the Audience Favorite Award. He has danced professionally as a Soloist with both Moscow Classical Ballet and Los Angeles Classical Ballet. Domrachev joined SSB in 1997, and has performed Principal and Character roles to critical and popular acclaim. 

Leila Drake

from Santa Cruz, CA, is a graduate of UCSB, double majoring in Art History and Film Studies. Since joining SSB in 2005, she has performed the Principal roles in William Soleau’s Carmen, An American Tango, Carmina Burana, and Appalachian Spring, as well as Autumn Eckman's Scheherazade. She has been a featured soloist in works by Robert Sund, Nancy Colahan, Robert Battle, and Josie Walsh, and has appeared as a guest artist with The Ithaca Ballet, dancing the dual roles of Odette/Odile in their full-length Swan Lake.

Thomas Fant

from Norfolk, Virginia, began classical dance training at the age of fifteen. He studied at the Governor’s School for the Arts under the direction of Deborah Thorpe, with Todd Rosenlieb, Lorraine Graves, Kathy Brenner-Lasakow, and Joni Petre-Scholz. He has danced professionally with Todd Rosenlieb Dance, Virginia Ballet Theatre, Lyric Opera Virginia, Virginia Musical Theatre, The Virginia Arts Festival, and Eisenhower Dance, and has been featured as a guest artist with Hampton Roads Civic Ballet. Thomas joined SSB in 2015.

Carina Gresham

from Yuma, Arizona, received her training from Ballet Yuma and was awarded a full scholarship through RDA/Pacific to attend State Street Ballet's summer intensive in 2014. She was then invited to join the SSB Professional Track Program and performed with the company for the 2014-15 season. Carina has worked with notable choreographers such as Autumn Eckman, Joseph Jefferies, and Jeffrey Gibbler, and she joins SSB as an apprentice for the 2015-16 Season.

Courtney Hanaway

from Auburn, California, began her dance training at Northern California Dance Conservatory. She was a trainee with Festival Ballet Providence in Rhode Island for the past two years, and has attended Project Launch, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, the State Street Ballet Summer Intensive, and toured with Young Tanzommer Festival in Austria, Italy, and Germany. She joins State Street Ballet as an apprentice for the 2015-16 season.

Meredith Harrill

from Orlando, FL, trained at Central Florida Ballet and the Kirov Academy of Ballet on scholarship. She competed in the Finals of the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City, was a finalist in the World Ballet Competition, and a trainee with the Joffrey Ballet and BalletMet Columbus. Since joining SSB in 2013, Meredith has toured nationally and internationally with the company and has been a featured soloist in numerous ballets by resident choreographers William Soleau and Robert Sund.

Lilit Hogtanian

from Los Angeles, CA, graduated from Academie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monaco on full scholarship, and won first place at YAGP/Long Beach.  Lilit has performed Principal and Soloist roles in The Nutcracker and Waltz Fantasie, and participated in the Monaco Dance Forum. She has worked with choreographers Jean-Christophe Maillot, Wayne McGregor, Robert Sund, Josie Walsh, and William Soleau. Lilit joined SSB in 2012, and has since performed the leading roles in The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Alice in Wonderland.

Kate Kadow

from Winter Park, FL, received her dance training from Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and renowned coach Magaly Suarez. She performed as a Principal Soloist with Cuban Classical Ballet in Miami and the Morphoses company under the direction of Christopher Wheeldon. Since joining SSB in 2012 she has performed the leading roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Firebird in The Firebird, and Kate in Taming of the Shrew. In 2014, Kate performed as a Guest Artist at the "Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru & Friends" Gala, and in 2015 performed the leading role of Beauty in Beauty and the Beast on SSB's 25-city tour throughout China.

Marika Kobayashi

was born in Japan and received her early training at Epris Ballet Studio. She continued her training at Elmhurst School for Dance in the United Kingdom where she won the "Grand Prix" and "Most Promising Female" awards in school competition. Marika then studied at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's graduate program on full scholarship before joining State Street Ballet in 2015.

Deise Mendonça

is a native of Brazil. She has been a Principal Dancer with The Bolshoi Company in Brazil, and performed with Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Ballet Municipal of Rio de Janeiro, and Ballet de Santiago in Chile. Deise joined SSB in 2013, and has performed the Principal roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Beauty in Beauty and the Beast, and Alice in Alice in Wonderland. She has been a guest artist with Metro Ballet of Minneapolis, performing Odette/Odile in Swan Lake and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and was a finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2014.

Emma Nelson

from Santa Barbara, CA, received her training from Gustafson Dance and State Street Ballet. She was a member of State Street Ballet Young Dancers for six years, and was the prototype for the State Street Ballet Professional Track program. She has attended Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education, Ballet West Academy, and State Street Ballet summer intensives on scholarship, as well as training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC and San Francisco Ballet summer intensives. She competed in the finals of Youth America Grand Prix in New York and placed third in the YAGP San Fransisco regionals. Emma joined the company in 2016 as an apprentice.

John Christopher Piel

from Pittsburgh, PA, received his dance training from the Harid Conservatory, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and the Chautauqua Institute. John joined SSB in 2006 and has toured extensively with the company, performing as one of the Stepsisters in Cinderella, and dancing soloist roles in Romeo and Juliet and The Nutcracker. John has also worked with choreographers Mark Diamond and William Soleau.

Cecily Stewart

is a Santa Barbara native, and received her dance training from Santa Barbara Ballet Center and Marin Dance Theatre. She has danced professionally with Richmond Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, and Allegro Dance Theater and since joining State Street Ballet in 2009 she has performed as Jean Veloz in An American Tango, a Harlot in Romeo and Juliet, “Russian” in The Nutcracker, and Micaela in Carmen. Cecily also serves as State Street Ballet's Outreach Coordinator and is the director of the arts education program Library Dances.

Jack Stewart

from Albuquerque, NM, received his dance training at New Mexico Ballet under the direction of his mother, Jennifer Boren. Since joining SSB in 2009, Jack has performed Principal roles in The Nutcracker, The Secret Garden, Starry Night, An American Tango, and Taming of the Shrew. In 2015, he performed the leading role of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast during SSB's 25-city tour throughout China.

Nick Topete

from Auburn, California started his dance training at the age of 15 under Theodore Constant and Jen Bradford. After high school he was accepted to the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin where he trained and studied for three years, and in 2015 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Ballet. Nick received additional training at Project Launch, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, and State Street Ballet Summer Intensive. He joined the company in 2015.

Mauricio Vera

from Santiago, Chile, started his training at the Ballet School of the Municipal Theatre. In 2006 and 2007 he won the "Revelations Artist Award" at the Latin American Dance Competition, receiving a gold medal as a choreographer & dancer. He has danced professionally with Ballet de Santiago in Chile and Charleston Ballet in South Carolina, joining SSB in 2012 where he has performed as the Nutcracker in The Nutcracker.  Mauricio has been a guest artist at Roxey Ballet and Metro Ballet and was a finalist on "So You Think You Can Dance" in 2014.