Ashley Wheater MBE, The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet, announced the launch of the Joffrey Academy Contemporary Ballet Trainee Programthe first full-time contemporary ballet training program offered by a classical ballet company in the United States.
The program creates pathways toward professional opportunities in contemporary ballet and will be launched in fall 2022 under new leadership in the Joffrey Academy, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, with the appointment of Katlin Michael Bourgeois as the inaugural head of the contemporary ballet trainee program and former Joffrey Artist Ogulcan Borova as the new head of studio company and ballet trainees.
Bourgeois and Borova begin their new roles on Aug. 22, 2022nearly one year after the Joffrey Academy of Dance opened its new studio space and training facilities at 1920 S.Wabash Ave. as part of the company's "Joffrey for All" strategic growth plan.
Prior to this role, Bourgeois (they/them) served as faculty at the Joffrey Academy for three years, training students in contemporary techniques as well as setting choreographic works. Borova (he/him) joins the Joffrey Academy from the National Ballet of Finland as a ballet master; prior to that, he was a ballet master at Cincinnati Ballet.
Set for completion in 2025, "Joffrey for All" is a five-year initiative redesigning educational programming at the Joffrey Academy and Joffrey Community Engagement. The mission to create a "Joffrey for All" is supported by a three-tiered approach for a holistic Joffrey education, from a prospective student's first exposure to dance, to scholarships and further training, to a professional contract with The Joffrey Ballet or other major professional dance company.
To learn more about the Joffrey Academy of Dance and its programs, visit joffrey.org/academy.