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Endowed by Sarah and Ernest Butler through the Ballet Austin Foundation

Ballet Austin II, established in 1999, serves as Ballet Austin’s apprentice program and second company. Currently, 80 percent of Ballet Austin’s main company positions are filled with Ballet Austin II graduates.

Ballet Austin II dancers are selected through a nationwide audition process and make Austin their home to participate in this unique training opportunity. They perform with the main company for larger productions and present their own extensive roster of performances in Austin and on tour across the state. To date, 109 graduates of Ballet Austin II and the Butler Fellowship Program have secured contracts with more than 42 companies across the nation, including Ballet Austin, Dayton Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, Nevada Ballet Theater, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Pensacola, Nai-Ni Chen, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Ballet Memphis, Spectrum/Donald Byrd, Wideman/Davis Dance, Alabama Ballet, Thang Dao Dance, Northwest Dance Project, DanceWorks Chicago, and Louisville Ballet.

Dancers range in age from 18-23 and are employed for a 32-week season. They are contracted with Ballet Austin II for up to two years, during which time they receive artistic guidance, career management counseling, and job placement assistance. Each spring Ballet Austin brings artistic directors from across the nation to observe and audition Ballet Austin II dancers in class and rehearsal. Ballet Austin II members take company class, augmented by their own classes and rehearsals conducted by Ballet Austin’s artistic staff.

Ballet Austin provides rehearsal and performance shoes, onsite physical therapy, as well as the option to participate in a group health insurance plan. Additionally, through a partnership with PeletonU, Ballet Austin II dancers may pursue a college degree. The competency-based structure of this online program allows dancers to complete a two-year Associates Degree in as few as nine months and includes access to tutors and advisors at PeletonU’s local campuses.


Ballet Austin II dancers are recruited through the Butler Fellowship Program, Ballet Austin’s Summer Intensive Program and partnerships with select training institutions across the country. Auditions for the Summer Intensive are held each winter/spring. Students age 18 and older can also be considered for acceptance into the Summer Intensive by attending a Company Audition.

For more information about Ballet Austin II please visit our video gallery. You may also email Eugene Alvarez or call 512-476-9151 with any additional questions.

Ellis Broderick
Butler Fellows: 2018-2020 | Joined Ballet Austin II in 2020

Born in New York and raised in Bennington, Vt., Ellis Broderick began her early dance training at Berkshire Dance Theatre. From 2015-2017 she trained at Boston Ballet School, where she performed in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker and several student showcases. She then trained at Ballet Academy East under the direction of Darla Hoover, where she performed in George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht and Scherzo à la Russe, as well as August Bournonville’s Napoli. Ellis’ Ballet Austin performances include the Grand Pas from Paquita, Jennifer Hart’s Once ‘Round The Sun, and Stephen Mills’ The Firebird and The Nutcracker.

Lexi Eicher
Joined Ballet Austin II in 2021

Born in Fort Wayne, IN, Alexis began her pre-professional ballet training during the sixth grade at Project Ballet under the instruction of Beth McLeish. She spent seven weeks at the Chautauqua Summer Intensive where she worked closely with Patricia McBride and performed in George Balanchine’s Rubies with the Charlotte Ballet. She graduated from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in 2021 with a BS in Ballet Performance & Psychology. At IU, she performed in Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), Jerome Robbins’ N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz & The Concert, Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels, and George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante.

Arnaldo Hernandez
Joined Ballet Austin II in 2020

Arnaldo is from Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He started his training at Pasos Ballet Academy and The Conservatory of Ballet Concierto of Puerto Rico. He was later accepted to The Rock School for Dance Education where he performed in Nutcracker 1776 as well as Gala and Fringe Festival showcases. After his time there, he joined Pennsylvania Ballet’s second company and danced the pas de trois from Paquita, Celtic Fire, and the pas de deux from La Fille mal gardée. He also appeared in main company productions such as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Macmillan’s Romeo & Juliet, Angel Corella’s La Bayadere, and Jerome Robbin’s Glass Pieces.

Ahmad Hill
Joined Ballet Austin II in 2021

Ahmad is from Chicago. He started dancing through the dance ministry of St. Mark Methodist Church and then trained with Russell Talbert until he was accepted to Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts). A meeting with Kevin Iega Jeff led Ahmad to the summer program with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) where he also met guest instructor Kevin Thomas who invited him to apprentice with his company, Collage Dance Collective. He also worked with Joshua Ishmon’s project-based company, Production: COLORS, before returning to DRDT where performed works such as Heaven, Church of Nations, When Men, and Flack. Most recently, Ahmad danced for GreeneWorks Project directed by Terrence Greene. He performed the lead in Greene’s Coming of the King and assisted Greene in setting his work Empathy on Ahmad’s alumni school ChiArts.

Michael Jastrzebski
Joined Ballet Austin II in 2020

Originally from Philadelphia, Penn., Michael began his ballet training at Metropolitan Ballet Academy as part of its nationally acclaimed Boys’ Scholarship Program directed by Lisa Collins Vidnovic. During his training, he became a Youth America Grand Prix medalist and New York semifinalist in 2017 and 2018. He attended summer programs at Bolshoi Ballet Academy and The Royal Ballet School in London. After graduating high school, Michael was selected to join the professional track program at The Washington Ballet, under the direction of Xiomara Reyes and Rinat Imaev. He then continued his studies as a trainee at Pennsylvania Ballet, performing with the company in productions such as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Angel Corella’s La Bayadere.

Lucia Lorenzo
Butler Fellows: 2018-2020 / Joined Ballet Austin II in 2020

Lucia is from Rochester, N.Y. She trained at the Draper Center for Dance Education under Jamey Leverett and as a trainee with the Rochester City Ballet under David Palmer. From 2016-2018 she studied with the San Francisco Ballet School under Patrick Armand. During that time she danced works by Balanchine and Helgi Tomasson and participated in multiple student choreographic pieces as both a choreographer and a dancer. In her first season at Ballet Austin, she danced the Grand Pas from Paquita, Jennifer Hart’s Once ‘Round the Sun, Jimmy Orrante’s The Ugly Duckling, Stephen Mills’ The Nutcracker and Giselle.

Alyssa Manguiat
Joined Ballet Austin II in 2021

Originally from Mason, Ohio, Alyssa received her training from the Cincinnati Ballet Academy under the direction of Sarah Hairston from 2007-2017. She went on to study as a trainee at Cincinnati Ballet, then joined their second company, and later joined their company as an apprentice. Ms. Manguiat has enjoyed dancing many roles with Cincinnati Ballet such as the principal girl in Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, a cygnet in Kirk Peterson’s Swan Lake, and the corps de ballet in Adam Hougland’s Rite of Spring and Balanchine’s Serenade.

Isabelle Ramey
Joined Ballet Austin II in 2021

Isabelle began dancing in Pittsburgh under the direction of Liz Karas and Beth Robertshaw.  She spent her summers training with Ballet Austin, Chautauqua, Boston Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. While at Chautauqua, Isabelle performed in the corps de ballet of Balanchine’s Valse Fantaisie, staged by Patricia McBride, and as a lead in Mark Diamond’s Into the Fray. Isabelle later attended Butler University, where she earned her BFA Dance Performance and BS Mathematics.  Her performance credits with Butler Ballet include an originating role in Patrick de Bana’s Falling Sky, the Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Swanhilda in excerpts from Coppélia.

Leighton Taylor
Joined Ballet Austin II in 2021

Born in Charlotte, NC, Leighton started training at Charlotte Ballet Academy at age 8. At 15 he relocated to train at International Ballet Academy under director Christina Fannéy and with teachers Nadia Pavlenko & Maxim Ponomarenko. There Leighton performed Cavalier in The Nutcracker and Colas in La Fille Mal Gardée. In 2018, he joined Boston Ballet School as a trainee, performing in Konservatoriet with the school and with the company in Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Coppelia, and Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. In 2020 Leighton joined Boston Ballet II and performed works by Petipa, Peter Stark, and Artist My’kal Stromile.

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