Jennifer Cafarella Betts
Ms. Cafarella has returned to Arizona after spending some time dancing in other parts of the world. As a child she studied at Ballet Arizona under Donald Dadey, Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts and SUNY Purchase. Her career began with Ballet de Cali, Colombia, and continued with Granite State Ballet, Northern Ballet Theater, Portland Ballet, Ballet New England, and Jose Mateo's Ballet Theater.
Since she has been back in the valley, she has performed with Center Dance Ensemble, Terpsicore Dance Company and AZ Dance Group. She has been dance captain and most recently choreographed Carousel for Mesa Encore Theater. Ms. Cafarella has recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with her MFA in Dance.
Alexander Patrick, PhD recently relocated to Phoenix, from New Orleans, LA and is a Residential Faculty member in the Department of Social Sciences at Glendale Community College. Prior to and throughout his dancing timeline, he continued to enjoy being a theater performer. Alex began his dance training with the Baton Rouge Ballet a few years ago and has since danced for Of Moving Colors, the Cangelosi Dance Project, The Atlanta Dance Connection, Magnolia Dance Theatre, KM Dance Project, Scorpius Dance Theatre, Desert Dance Theatre, and CaZo Dance just to name a few. In addition, he has also danced for a number of charities, and is currently dancing as a new member of Convergence Ballet Company. He enjoys a large variety of dance styles and is very thankful for all of the amazing and inspirational teachers, dancers, choreographers, family, and everyone who has supported and nurtured his talents over the past years.
Amy Symonds first began dancing at the age of 13 and discovered a true love for the art a few years later. She has received numerous scholarships and awards at conventions and competitions, including a national title, and her choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally. Amy danced with the Youth American Ballet Company for two seasons performing both soloist and principal roles in The Nutcracker, Firebird, Giselle, and Paquita. Currently, she is training and performing around the valley with Scorpius Dance Theatre, Rogue Dance Theater, Instinct Dancecorps, and Convergence Ballet.
Aubree Dagilis started dancing when she was three at the Dance Studio in Prescott, Arizona. Her attendance to the Southwest Classical Dance Institute Summer Intensives, directed by Natasha and Joshua Brooksher, sparked her interest in ballet, thus starting her classical ballet training at The School of Ballet Arizona under the direction of Nancy Crowley. She continued her training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary for a year. In 2011, she returned to Arizona to continue her training under Daniel Baudendistel. She eventually began to study under Slawomir and Irena Wozniak at Master Ballet Academy and continues to take classes from them. She also went to New School for the Arts and Academics in Tempe, studying under Tricia LaRoche and Angel Castro. She has danced for Terpsicore Dance Company under the direction of Danna Parker in Phoenix, Arizona. Aubree has attended many summer intensives, including Ballet West, American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, The School of Ballet Arizona, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Boston Ballet. She has also competed in World Ballet Competition and Youth America Grand Prix, receiving Top 12 in Classical Variations in San Diego YAGP in 2015. She is excited to be a part of Convergence Ballet!
Maggie Rupp, 25, Began ballet at the early age of 3. She started her training at Westside Dance Academy where she studied not only ballet, but tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, and theatrical dancing. She then decided to pursue ballet and studied at for one year at Oregon Ballet Theatre, then trained at The Portland Ballet from 2008-2012 where she got to perform many principal roles under the artistic directors Jim Lane and Nancy Davis and under their Balanchine repeteur John Clifford. Maggie joined the Sacramento Ballet as an apprentice dancer in 2012, and was promoted the next year to the company. While at Sacramento Ballet she has performed many principal roles such as “Tinkerbell” in Ron Cunningham’s brand new Production of Peter Pan, Myrtle Wilson in Ron Cunningham’s The Great Gatsby, “Sugarplum Fairy” in Ron Cunningham’s The Nutcracker, “Fortuna,” In Ron Cunningham’s Carmina Burana, many Balanchine works and the title role of Giselle. Rupp has also spent the last two summers dancing with National Choreographers Initiative. Along with dancing, Maggie loves to sing and act and recently got the opportunity to star in Helen Driftmier’s short film, Briar Rose. Since returning to AZ, Rupp has recently founded Scottsdale City.
Samantha Lupascu was raised in Yuma, AZ, She began dancing at age 8, and trained primarily in ballet with Thom Clower. She began training in modern dance at the University of Arizona and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance. She has performed Jane in Bartlesville Civic Ballet’s production of Tarzan, in Bartlesville, OK., Sugar Plum Fairy and Arabian in Nutcrackers, Glinda the Good Witch in Wizard of Oz and soloist roles for Center Dance Ensemble, Terpsicore Dance Company, Funhouse Movement Theater, Yuma Ballet Theatre, Southwest Ballet Theatre and independent artists bridging the gap between dance, art and culture. She is currently a member of Stilo Dance Company and Sentidos Dance. She is also a Physical Therapist and has two wonderful children.
Originally from San Diego, CA, Shayda moved to Ohio at a young age and spent most of her life there, until moving this year to Arizona. While studying in Ohio, she attended Toledo Ballet under the direction of Lisa Mayer. In early 2018, Shayda competed in Youth America Grand Prix, and placed Top 12 in Contemporary, from her piece Mariposa Libre, which was created on her by Michael Lang. Some of her favorite roles in Toledo Ballet‘s Nutcracker were Spanish, Columbine, Sweets, and Flutes. Shayda has attended American Ballet Theatre in Austin, TX summer of 2018, and Ballet West and artÉmotion this past summer. Shayda is so grateful for this opportunity with Convergence Ballet. She can’t wait for a wonderful season with them.