Our Teachers

Yen-Li Chen's dancing has been praised by critics and audiences from Asia to South America and through out the United States. She has been an invited guest artist at the Festival International de Caracas - Venezuela, The Santiago international Festival - Chile, in Taipei, Taiwan and at several dance companies across North America. A remarkable mastery of technique and artistry in both classical and contemporary repertory has earned Ms. Chen accolades of audiences through out the world. Her repertory includes title roles in Giselle, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, the Nutcracker and numerous others. Yen-Li has thrilled Arizona audiences since 1992. Ms. Chen brings the same passion and artistry of her dancing into the classroom as a master teacher. She has guest taught at numerous ballet schools in Taiwan, Texas, Oregon, Arizona and California. In Taiwan, her early training in Vaganova and other ballet techniques has served her very well as a dancer and a teacher. Yen-Li currently resides in Chandler, Arizona with her husband and former Ballet Arizona principal dancer, Qisheng Zhang, and their two children.

GPR Gail Passey Reed began her training in California with Contra Costa Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School before joining the Marine Ballet. She then danced for two years with Baltimore Ballet, where her leading roles included the title role in Alice in Wonderland, Bluebird Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty and Flower Festival in Genzano. Ms. Reed joined Ballet Arizona in 1985, its inaugural year. She received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Swanhilda in Michael Uthoff's Coppelia. Other principal roles include the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Sugar Plum Fairly in The Nutcracker, George Balanchine's Valse Fantasie, Grand pas Classique, and John Cranko's Opus1. She retired from the stage in 1997 and began teaching and administrating for The School of Ballet Arizona. Ms. Reed is married to former Ballet Arizona dancer Michael Reed and they have one little girl Liliana. Gail is very happy to join the faculty of Yen-Li Chen Ballet School.

GPR Olga Tarasova

GPR Antoinette Klimek has lived and trained throughout the United States, studying at Ballet Omaha, American Ballet Theatre, Western Arkansas Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral Dance Chicago, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Theatre of Phoenix, and on scholarship with Dayton Ballet. Antoinette moved to Chicago after receiving an academic scholarship to study at the University of Chicago. There, she joined University Ballet of Chicago as a performer, teacher, and choreographer, assisting in the production of numerous performances, including full-length ballets. Finding a love of teaching through this experience, after graduation she joined the staff of Chicago’s ARCC Ballet and Dance, where she had an active role in program development. She created the school’s syllabus, created and managed its work-study program, and managed its dance library. While at ARCC, she also worked as a professional ballet dancer in both the classical and contemporary genres, dancing with companies such as Geiger Dance Project, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Jaxon Movement Arts, Ballet North, and Midwest Ballet Theatre. She has a great love of the classics, and her favorite featured roles include the title role of Giselle and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. In 2013, Antoinette moved to Phoenix, where she joined the Yen Li Chen School of Ballet faculty and continued to perform professionally with companies such as Convergence Ballet and Center Dance Ensemble. She retired from performance in 2019 and enjoys passing on the beautiful art of ballet to her students.

GPR Lauren Tomasulo is currently the owner and instructor at Pilates by Fitness Solutions, Inc. Where she is teaching the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. She has been teaching in Arizona since 1995, and enjoys seeing the changes people can make in their bodies and the wonderful feeling they get from performing the Pilates Method. Ms. Tomasulo hails from New York and has extensive training in ballet, modern, jazz, and musical theatre. She has performed in many dance companies and musical theatre productions. Among some of the shows in Phoenix, Little Shop of Horrors; Fiddler on the Roof; Once Upon a Mattress; and in New York, The Boys from Syracuse; The Gondoliers; Carousel; Kismet; USS Pinafore; The Most Happy Fella; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Brigadoon; Cabaret; High Button Shoes; Oliver; Nine; How to Succeed In Business; Showboat. Ms. Tomasulo has received a BFA in Dance from Adelphi University, an MA in Educational theatre from New York University, and MS from Hunter College in Elementary Education. She is happy to be teaching at the School of Ballet Arizona and Yen-li Chen Ballet School.

GPR Aaron Gilbert began his training under the tutelage of Kelly Roth, Constance Stine and Madame Xenia Chlistova. His training continued with T.J. Maheras, Miguel Garcia, Dominika Borovansky, Pegge Visicaro, Cliff Keuter, Kim Sonderegger, Elina Mooney, Nadja Langenhorst, Gail Passey-Reed, and Kee Juan Han. During his pedagogical training he had the honor of receiving mentorship from the esteemed Mr. Truman Finney. Aaron danced professionally with Desert Dance Theatre, Grounding Pointe Dance Company and Ballet Jude. During his five years with Ballet Jude he had the opportunity to perform in a multitude of ballets some of which included soloist roles in Turning Back Angels, Beauty and the Beast, and Suspect Lines. While he performed in numerous contemporary and classical ballets, he also worked for one year as Ballet Jude’s Rehearsal Director. Additionally, Aaron spent 13 years teaching dance at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, his final 7 as the Director of the dance program. He has also enjoyed teaching ballet at local dance studios for the past 17 years. Many of his students have gone on to perform with international touring musicals, dance on and choreograph for So You Think You Can Dance, perform with Gus Giardano Dance Chicago, and participate in many other artistic endeavors. His students have been accepted into training programs with the Washington School of Ballet, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, the Joffrey Ballet School, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. He is thankful to have worked and continue working with so many wonderful and passionate young dancers.

GPR Yumi La Rosa began her dancing career in modern dance in Tokyo, Japan at an early age participating in competitions and performing at prestigious theaters. She has studied flamenco in both Spain and US from well known artists such as Belen Maya, Rafaela Carrasco, Isabel Bayón, Antonio Granjero, La Tania, Antonio Hidalgo, and Lydia Torea to name a few. She started performing in Phoenix, AZ in 1999 as a company dancer with Viva Flamenco directed by Lydia Torea, and a soloist with Calo Flamenco, Ballet de Martín Gaxiola in 2004. Currently, she is a featured soloist with Mosaico Flamenco at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale. In 2005, she started her own show monthly at Casa Rincon in Sedona, Arizona. Her flamenco career has extended out as a performer and teacher throughout the Southwest and Mexico. Her teaching experience includes Flamenco workshops and on-going classes throughout the valley and Northern Arizona; such as Arizona Ballet School, Montessori Middle School, Pat Smith Dance School, Arizona School of Classical Ballet, Paradise Valley Community College, Scottsdale Community College, and Coconino Community College. She has joined Arizona Commission for the Arts to educate and preserve the art of flamenco. She also promotes workshops in the Phoenix area inviting well qualified artists from all over US and Spain.

GPR Shanna Trigili is originally from Long Island, NY, Shanna was always creative, artistic and energetic. She began her dance education at the age of 8 training in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, lyrical, acrobatics and tap at one of the most prestigious, competitive, dance studios in New York. At the age of 14 Shanna received a scholarship to join the studio's competitive dance team. Over the years Shanna earned numerous first place high score titles at both regional and national competitions. She has performed with her dance team at such iconic venues as Carnegie Hall and Disneyland. She has had the opportunity to study under Gelsey Kirkland, Gregory Hines, Joe Lanteri and Gus Giordano. Shanna has trained with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Merce Cunningham Dance Company and was accepted into the Joffrey Ballet summer program for three seasons. Shanna began teaching at the age of 18 and has received recognition throughout the country for her choreography and costume design. Many of her routines have qualified for the Championships at national competitions. Shanna's passion in life is to instill a love of dance in all her students. As a dance technician it is very important to her that every student that walks into her classroom has an excellent understanding of proper technique. Shanna strives to create a warm and caring environment in which her students can learn, grow and thrive.

Guest Staff