was born and raised in Southern California where he trained at Maple Conservatory under Charles Maple, formerly of American Ballet Theatre. He is currently a BFA Candidate at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where he has had the opportunity to perform works by choreographers such as Sean Curran, Bobbi Jene Smith, and Loni Landon. As a part of the White Light Festival at New York City Center, he danced in Crystal Pite’s Polaris. He has complemented his training by spending summers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, American Ballet Theatre, and the Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow, where he performed in works by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Robert Moses, and Thang Dao. Chad is currently in the second company of Ballet Hispanico and has been dancing with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance since 2016.
Claire Westby was raised among the lakes of Minnesota where she honed her skills as a ballerina at St. Paul City Ballet before branching out into modern dance at her arts high school, St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. She holds a BFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, with a minor in anthropology. Claire also studied for a summer at SEAD in Salzburg where she performed a work by Diego Gil. In New York, Claire has worked with and performed works by Gerald Casel, Gus Solomons Jr., Benjamin Kimitch and Anne Zuerner. These days Claire is involved in projects with Sarah Holmes, Gwen Welliver , John Jasperse and RoseAnne Spradlin. She is a proud member of the Liz Gerring Dance Company. Claire has been performing with Cherylyn since 2011.
began her dance training in Mundelein, Illinois. She was given the opportunity to work with and learn from a multitude of choreographers and teachers across the nation at programs such as North Carolina Dance Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, The Rock School for Dance Education, and Ruth Page Center for the Arts. She received her BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2017. While at NYU, she had the chance to study under and perform works by renowned choreographers such as Stefanie Batten Bland, and Ori Flomin, and perform in Cherylyn Lavagnino’s work Treize en Jeu. Corinne is excited to continue working, growing, and learning in New York City. Corinne started dancing with CLD in 2017.
was born in Evansville, Indiana. He began his ballet training with Ceyhun Ozsoy in Duncanville, Texas and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, where he studied with Kim Abel, and spent summers training at Houston Ballet, The Kirov Academy and Boston Ballet. In 2001 he was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts and invited to dance at the Kennedy Center. Mantei attended The Royal Ballet School during 2001, performing with both The Royal and Birmingham Royal Ballets. Mantei joined American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in 2002 and danced in American Ballet Theatre’s corps de ballet from 2003 to 2017. His roles with ABT included a dancing gentleman in Manon, Paris in Romeo and Juliet, the Russian Dance in The Nutcracker, leading male roles in Continuo and Amazed in Burning Dreams and roles in Black Tuesday, Duets, Jardin aux Lilas and Thirteen Diversions. While at ABT, Mantei’s dance aesthetic became influenced by his mentor Maggie Black. Mantei choreographed Armaments, Tolling Bells, and Stare Decisis for American Ballet Theatre. He has also created works for Columbia Ballet Collaborative, New York Theatre Ballet and The Seattle Symphony.
is from San Francisco, California, and is currently earning her BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She began her training with a full scholarship from the Dance In Schools Foundation to attend the San Francisco Ballet School. Dervla studied at the San Francisco Ballet School for eight years and performed multiple roles in the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker, including the roles of dragonfly and mouse. Dervla went on to train with the ODC Dance School and interned alongside the ODC Dance Company at the end of her final year before attending NYU. She has also studied at the summer intensives of the Boston Ballet School and the Ailey School. Dervla started dancing with CLD in 2017.
Emma Pajewski of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, started her dance training with Beth A. Walter before joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School under the direction of Marjorie Grundvig and Dennis Marshall. After attending The Ailey School on scholarship for one year, she began her studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she earned a BFA in Dance. Emma has had the pleasure of performing the works of Selina Chau, Carlos Dos Santos, José Limón, Jeremy McQueen, Erick Montes, Earl Mosley, Kyle Mullins, Jamie Erin Murphy, Alan Obuzor, Vita Osojnik, Pedro Ruiz, and Christian von Howard. In 2015, she performed in Karole Armitage’s On the Nature of Things at the American Museum of Natural History. Emma is a former company member of the Lori Belilove's Isadora Duncan Dance Company. Emma joined CLD in 2016.
is a New York- based dancer and choreographer who hails from Denver, Colorado. Gwendolyn graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. In addition to dancing with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Gwendolyn is currently performing with Sean Curran Company, Vanessa Walter’s ‘Ripening’, Heidi Latsky Dance, and Roger C. Jeffrey’s ‘Subtle Changes Inc.’. She is a former member of Shen Wei Dance Arts with whom she toured internationally and performed in Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance at the Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Past credits also include dancing with Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, as well as performing works by Martha Graham, Nathan Trice, Deborah Jowitt, Charlotte Boyd-Christenson, Cornelius Carter, and others. In addition to performing, Gwendolyn is a choreographer whose latest project is entitled, Nourishment, an interdisciplinary performance under the name Gwendolyn&Guests. She is also a certified Pilates and Yoga Teacher. Learn more at gwendolynhopegussman.com Gwendolyn has been with CLD since 2016 and is thrilled to be dancing in another season!
received his dance training on scholarship both at the University of Arizona’s School of Dance and at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York where he was a member of the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. He graduated with a BA in Communication from the University of New Mexico and graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA, both Magna Cum Laude. Jesse was a member of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet from 2013-2017. Previously, Jesse danced with Ballet NY, Dayton Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and Orlando Ballet and has appeared several times as a guest dancer in New Zealand. He has performed as a guest artist with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, and with the Santa Fe Opera. Since its inception, he was part of Alessandra Ferri’s The Piano Upstairs, which premiered at the Festival dei dui Mondi 56 in Spoleto, Italy. Jesse is excited to join Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance for the 2017-2018 season. .
is a performance artist originally from North Carolina. After graduating high school from UNC School of the Arts, he then moved to New York and in 2016 graduated from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. Since graduating, Justin has had the pleasure of working with Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, Jeremy Nelson and Luis Lara Malvacías (Third Class Citizen), Anna Marchisello, Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Reiner, Maddie Schimmel, Jessie Young, and Abby Z + the New Utility. Justin is creating his own work and is fortunate to have presented at the Jack Crystal Theater, Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts, and Alchemical Studios.
hails from Portland, Oregon where she received her initial training at the School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. She has also danced with the Jefferson Dancers under the direction of Steve Gonzales, the Northwest Dance Project under the direction of Sarah Slipper, as a Trainee with the Nevada Ballet Theatre under the direction of James Canfield, and with Ballet Inc. Lila holds a BFA in Dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Department of Dance. Lila has been dancing with CLD since 2012.
is from New York City where he began his training at the Ailey School under the direction of Tracy Inman and Melanie Person. He went on to study dance at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and worked with many choreographers, mentors and teachers including Gregory Sinacori, Deborah Zall, Elisa King, Cassandra Phifer, Pedro Ruiz and Bryan Arias. Michael received his BFA from NYU Tisch in 2017 and has worked with choreographers including Seán Currán, Crystal Pite, Larry Keigwin, Loni Landon, Ron K. Brown, Stephanie Batten Bland, Karole Armitage and Ori Flomin. Michael also attended NYU's study abroad program at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD) as well as other summer programs with The Ailey School, The San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Gaga Tel Aviv. He was extremely honored to have been nominated for the Princess Grace award representing NYU Tisch Dance in 2016. He has enjoyed creating his own work as well as dancing in many of his colleagues’ works.
is from Berkeley, CA where she began her training at Berkeley Ballet Theater. She went on to earn a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Ramona danced the principal role of ‘Betsy’ in the touring production of Twyla Tharp’s Come Fly Away and went on to dance with the Tharp company creating new roles in addition to performing repertory works. She is a principal guest artist with Oakland Ballet and has also performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Claudia Schreier and Co, Post:Ballet, Sidra Bell, and Phantom of the Opera (25th Anniversary Tour) among others. Ramona has taught master classes in Tharp technique across the country and is a guest teacher at NYU’s Tisch Dance. She began dancing for Cherylyn in 2006 and is thrilled to be performing with CLD this season.