NAMARI BALLET DANCERS
Sierra Mansfield began her dance training in Tennessee with Chattanooga Ballet where she participated in productions such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Raymonda, and Sleeping Beauty under the direction of Frank Hay, Joellen Wojtowicz, and Andrew Parker for eleven years. Mansfield continued her training at Chattanooga Highschool Center for Creative Arts under the instruction of Karen Wilson and Jessica Laliberte Bowman where she studied ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Following her high school years, she performed with the Kennesaw State University’s dance company for three semesters in works such as “Slang” choreographed by Sean Nguyen-Hilton as well as “Moondust” choreographed by Ivan Pulinkala. During her time at KSU, she also studied in styles such as contemporary/modern, ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, and commercial dance. Mansfield not only has experience in the dancing realm, but also in the production aspects of running a show under the instruction of David Tutu. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of the Arts degree concentrating in ballet. That being said, Mansfield looks forward to any and all future opportunities involving dance.
An Atlanta native, Rebecca received her professional training from Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education Pre-Professional Division. After graduating from the Conservatory program, she moved to Charlotte, NC where she danced professionally for the contemporary/modern companies Audrey Baran’s Baran Dance and Martha Connerton’s Kinetic Works, as well as performing as a guesting soloist artist with Gay Porter’s Charlotte Youth Ballet. In 2019, Rebecca moved back to Georgia, where she danced with Savannah Ballet Theatre for two consecutive seasons. Now back in the Atlanta area, Rebecca is very excited to be a part of Namari Ballet’s inaugural season.
Raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Gwynn Root Wolford received her dance training at Johnson City Ballet/CYB in East Tennessee, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA, and various intensives. She studied privately under Pat Holden, Christina Fagundes Turner, Marvin Askew, and others. She has danced with the Louisville Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, and the Atlanta Ballet. For three years she was a member of Festival Ballet Providence, where she danced in such works as The Firebird, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Rubies, Rite of Spring, in Christopher Wheeldon's The American, in Up Close on Hope productions and in Viktor Plotnikov’s House of Bernarda Alba, The Widow's Broom, The Soldier’s Tale and Carmen. Her full repertoire also includes Coppelia, Giselle, The Brown-Forman and Atlanta Ballet Nutcrackers, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Etudes and also works by Tudor, Limon, Helen Pickett and Val Caniparoli. Since moving back to Atlanta she regularly performs with the Atlanta Opera, and in many works by various local artists, including Raianna Brown and EarthGang. She has choreographed and taught all over the East Coast, and is on staff at Dancemakers of Atlanta and the Dance and Music Academy of Woodstock.
ANNALISE THOMPSON PEREZ
Annalise Thompson Perez is thrilled to have the opportunity to dance with Namari Ballet. Originally from Corte Madera, CA, she is currently a graduate student studying Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, and is also recently married! Before coming to GA, she taught all levels of ballet at Marin Dance Theatre (San Rafael, CA) and at other dance schools in the SF Bay Area. While there, she performed with Bay Pointe Ballet and Western Ballet, while also taking free lance opportunities. Annalise holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Concert Dance from Juilliard (New York, NY), and received her early training from Marin Dance Theatre under the direction of Margaret Swarthout and Lynn Cox. She dreams about one day using her biochemistry training to become a nutrition coach for both young and professional dancers, to help optimally support their overall physicality and well being. Annalise is grateful to her husband, Val, for his constant support and encouragement!
Gabriela Escalona was born in Caracas, Venezuela and starts her professional training at age 17 under the tutelage of Nina Novak former principal dancer of Ballet Russe of Monte Carlo, 3 years later she graduate from the Nina Novak Ballet Academy, but continued to train and perform as a guest, the next year was invited to be part of the pre-professional ballet program at the Kirov Ballet Academy of Washington DC, in 2015 she return to Venezuela to continue her training and preform in the Ballet Municipal el Hatillo company, under the direction of Rumen Rashev former principal dancer at Sofia Opera in Bulgaria, were she preform the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy in their Nutcracker production, Giselle act II and Grisi in Classical Pas de Quatre among others. In 2017 she joins the main company in the country Compañia de Ballet del Teatro Teresa Carreño. In 2018 she joins Ballet de la Mar, where she worked as a teacher for the school, under the artistic direction of Cristina Fungairino former director of Teatro Teresa Carreno Her repertoire includes, Grand pas classique Pas de Deux , Sylvia Pas de Deux by G. Balanchine, Raymonda
Variation and visión scene Adagio, Snow Queen among others. She currently teaches ballet technique at Namari Dance Center and year round programs and summer intensives at North Atlanta Dance Academy, where she also performs with the school company as a guest artist.
LAURA GRACE WENNING
Laura Grace Wenning is a dancer and dance teacher from Alpharetta, Georgia. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in dance from Kennesaw State University they continued dancing under the direction of Antwan Sessions with Namari Ballet. They look forward to a life of creation and exploration through dance and what the world has to offer.