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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.

GPRGail 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 Ilir Shtylla's first taste at performing was fold dancing at weddings and special occasions. He began taking ballet lessons at age 11 at the Jordan Misja Choreographic Ballet School of Albania. Mr. Shtylla graduated from the Baku Choreographic University of Azerbaijan. He performed principal roles in well- known ballets with Azerbaijan Opera Ballet theatre. Since moving to the United States in 1999, Mr. Shtylla has worked with many notable choreographers including Lynn Taylor-Corbett, Christopher Wheeldon, and Robert Weiss. Mr. Shtylla was a soloist with the Carolina Ballet where he danced in Who Cares?, Firebird, Coppelia, and Carmina Burana. Since joining Ballet Arizona in 2003, he originated a featured role in Ib Andersen's Go With It!, and has performed soloist roles in Paquita, Ib Andersen's Amoroso, Elevations, 2B, and The Nutcracker, and George Balanchine's Agon and Serenade. He has performed in many other ballets including Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide, Coppelia, and George Balanchine's Prodigal Son, Divertimento No. 15, Theme and Variations, and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.


LTLauren 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 the Yen-li Chen Ballet School.

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 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, and on scholarship with Dayton Ballet. As a young dancer, she performed with Ballet Omaha II, Western Arkansas Ballet, and appeared in Dayton Ballet′s Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. 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 ten performances over six seasons, including full-length ballets. Finding a love of teaching through this experience, she joined the staff of Chicago's ARCC Ballet and Dance, where she had an active role in program development through her work as an instructor, choreographer, production co-manager, and dance librarian. In addition to teaching, Antoinette is an active freelance professional performer. She has danced with Geiger Dance Project, Elements Contemporary Ballet, Jaxon Movement Arts, and as a guest artist with Ballet North and Midwest Ballet Theatre. In 2012 she co-founded Untapped, a group of rotating freelance professionals who create repertoire for Chicagoland events and festivals. She has a great love of the classics, and her favorite featured roles include the title role of Giselle, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Dulcinea and Mercedes in Don Quixote.


GPR Caitlin Klemmetson began her dance training at the age of four and has studied all forms of dance including ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, flamenco and modern. Caitlin has received extensive classical ballet training through Yen-Li Chen Ballet School. She has participated frequently in master classes and has attended numerous pre-professional summer intensives with Yen-Li Chen, Ballet West and American Ballet Theater. Caitlin most recently danced for several seasons with Southwest Youth Ballet Theatre. Her roles have included: Coppelia, The Nutcracker Ballet's Sugar Plum Fairy Pas de Deux, Snow Queen, Dew Drop, Spanish Dancer and Snow Corps de Ballet, Pas de Trois from Les Sylphides, Pas de Trois and Variations from Paquita, Peasant Pas de Deux from Giselle and Candle Dance from La Bayadere. Caitlin has worked with Laurence Pech in his original work entitled "Rhythmania," Jimmy Hao in his work "Claire De Lune" choreographed to the music of Debussy, Inna Stabrova in her pieces "Glory of Spirit" and" La Danse Vivante" and Jill Hammond in a solo work choreographed to "Simple Gifts" from Copland's Appalachian Spring. Caitlin previously danced within the corps de ballet and as a soloist with the Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet Theater for five productions of The Nutcracker Ballet. Caitlin began her dance studies at Kimberly Lewis School of Dance where, as a member of the KLSD Ballet and Tap Companies, she participated extensively in numerous dance conventions and competitions in Arizona and Southern California. Caitlin is honored to join the dance faculty of Yen-Li Chen Ballet School.

Aaron Gilbert
Jacody Bullard