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Endowed by Sarah and Ernest Butler through the Ballet Austin Foundation

The Butler Fellowship Program serves as Ballet Austin’s trainee program. All Butler Fellowship positions are fully endowed, allowing up to 15 outstanding dancers the opportunity to train at Ballet Austin tuition-free. Currently, 6 of Ballet Austin’s main and second company contracts are filled with graduates of the Butler Fellowship Program.

The Butler Fellows are selected through a nationwide audition process and make Austin their home to participate in this unique training opportunity. Designed for post-high school dancers, the Butler Fellowship Program features an innovative and personal approach to professional-track training. It is linked directly to the artistic “arc” of Ballet Austin, with all daily technique classes taught by Artistic Director Stephen Mills, Associate Artistic Director Michelle Martin, and Rehearsal Directors Christopher Swaim and Alexa Capareda.

The Butler Fellows participate in up to 25 hours of classes per week including ballet technique, pointe, men’s technique, partnering, variations, contemporary movement, and repertoire. Particular attention is paid to helping dancers become familiar and comfortable with the improvisational and collaborative techniques now used by many choreographers as they create new work. The dancers present their own repertory performances each spring and perform with Ballet Austin TWO and the main company in larger productions.

In addition to classes and performance opportunities, the Butler Fellows receive access to onsite physical therapy as well as career management counseling and job placement assistance. To date, over 200 graduates of Ballet Austin TWO and the Butler Fellowship Program have secured contracts with more than 74 companies.

Interested Butler Fellows may choose to train as teaching assistants for Ballet Austin Academy or to serve as interns in other departments. Additionally, through a partnership with PeletonU, Butler Fellows 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.


The Butler Fellows are recruited through the Ballet Austin Academy, Ballet Austin’s Senior Summer Intensive, and through partnerships with a select group of training institutions across the country. Students age 18 and older may also follow the Company Audition process for consideration.

For more information about the Butler Fellowship Program please visit our video gallery. You may also email Eugene Alvarez or call 512.476.9151 with any additional questions.

Butler Fellowship Program Dancers

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2022

Originally from Houston, TX, Reagan began dancing at age two. She advanced into pre-professional training at Vitacca Dance under Kelly Ann Vitacca & Phillip Broomhead. At 15, Reagan moved to NC joining Cary Ballet Conservatory & Company under Mariaelena Ruiz & Heather Iler. With Cary Ballet, she performed the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy & Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Russian demi in Balanchine’s Serenade, and in Krista King-Doherty’s Mechanisms at the Festival de Danza in Orizaba, Mexico. Reagan attended summer intensives at Houston Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Philadelphia Ballet, and Boston Ballet.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2022

From Stillwater, Minnesota, Amelia began her training with Minnesota Dance Theatre at age 10. From ages 14 to 17, she performed with the company as a trainee, including such works as Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy, Carmina Burana (Loyce Houlton), Jennifer Hart’s Unbound, and Enchantment by Lise Houlton. She has attended summer programs with Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, and Miami City Ballet, where she spent her senior year as a pre professional student. Last season she trained with Westmet Classical Training where she was casted as the Snow Queen in their production of A Nutcracker Sweet and as a soloist in Giselle.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2023

From Clearwater, Florida, Angelina began her training with Tampa Bay Ballet at age 6. In 2018, she joined Next Generation Ballet’s trainee program and studied under Philip Neal, where she performed several classical and contemporary works. Some of her most notable roles were Snow Queen, Clara, and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Kitri in Don Quixote, Bluebird Pas de Deux in Sleeping Beauty, in addition to other roles in George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, Swan Lake, and Le Corsaire. Angelina attended summer intensives at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Sarasota Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2022

Carly was raised in Beavercreek, OH, and began dancing at the age of three. She received her pre-professional training and mentoring from Barbara Pontecorvo and Gregory Robinson at Pontecorvo Ballet Studios and Gem City Ballet (GCB). There, she performed in twelve seasons of The Nutcracker, including the roles of Clara, Flowers, Principal Arabian, Dew Drop Fairy, Snow Queen and Sugarplum Fairy. Carly also performed Kitri in Don Quixote, principal roles in Giselle and Paquita, The Cygnets in Swan Lake, and corps in Coppelia and Cinderella. Over the past six summers, Carly trained with Ballet Chicago, School of American Ballet and Ballet Austin.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2023

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Alexa began her training at the age of 3. She progressed into pre-professional training with the Colburn Dance Academy in Los Angeles when she was 14. Since being with Colburn, Ms. Dollar has performed lead roles in George Balanchine’s Motzartiana, Justin Peck’s Pulcinella Variations, and Jerome Robbin’s Goldberg Variations and Antique Epigraphs. Over the past 6 summers, Alexa has trained with Boston Ballet School and Pacific Northwest Ballet School.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2023

Native to Austin, Alayna began dancing at the age of three. She received her pre-professional training from Kelly Yankle at the Austin Dance Conservatory. At the age of 16, Alayna was accepted to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts on scholarship. During her time at UNCSA, Alayna performed the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Clara in Ilya Kozadayev’s The Nutcracker as well as principal and soloist roles in Claudia Schrier’s First Impulse and George Balanchine’s Symphonie Concertante. Alayna is excited to be back in her hometown as a member of the Ballet Austin Butler Fellowship program.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2022

Nya began training with the Ballet Austin Academy at the age of three. She’s enjoyed performing in several Ballet Austin productions, including Stephen Mills’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, and The Nutcracker, along with Septime Webre’s ALICE and Paul Vasterling’s Peter Pan. With the academy, Nya was featured in Mills’ Coppélia and Paquita, and pieces by Jennifer Hart, Christopher Swaim, and Alexa Capareda. Nya has also performed as a soloist with Performa/Dance. She’s trained in summer programs with the Royal Danish Ballet, Alonzo King LINES, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre (New York), Miami City Ballet, BalletMet, and Boston Ballet.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2023

Born in Rochester, NY, Elianna primarily studied classical ballet and contemporary. At Odasz Dance Theatre, Elianna competed in world-renown competitions such as YAGP and  ADC/IBC receiving 1st place overall YAGP awards in 2018.  She also performed at the Nervi Festival in Genova, Italy in 2020. At 19, she joined Texas Ballet Theater Studio Training Company. While at TBT Elianna performed with the main company, enjoying roles such as Clara and Snowflake in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker, The Bird in Tim O’keefe’s Peter and the Wolf and new works from many of the top company members.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2023

From Cincinnati, Claire began her training with the Cincinnati Ballet Academy. Alongside Cincinnati Ballet, Claire attended The School of Creative and Performing Arts and performed classical, neoclassical, modern, and contemporary pieces. At 16, Claire joined Cincinnati Ballet’s Professional Training division studying under Sarah Hairston and Victoria Morgan.  She was promoted to Trainee for the 2022-23 season under direction of Jodie Gates. Claire’s repertoire with the company included corps de ballet roles in Victoria Morgan’s The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and Bold Moves Performances, as well as the trainee production of Balanchine’s Raymonda. In the summers, Claire trained with San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West, and Ballet Austin.

Joined Butler Fellowship Program in 2023

Originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota, Ava received her pre-professional training at Westmet Classical Training under Allynne Noelle and Thomas Brown. During this time Ava had the opportunity to perform roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop Fairy in Allynne Noelle’s Nutcracker Sweet. She also performed lead/featured roles in multiple Maria Konrad works, Sidra Bell’s Beyond The Edge Of The Frame, and Dark Angel in George Balanchine’s Serenade. She has attended summer’s at Pacific Northwest Ballet on scholarships before most recently accepting the Butler Fellowship position.

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