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Stuart Loungway, Artistic Director

Stuart is the Artistic Director of Terra Firma Dance Theatre. His training began with Tania Lichine, before receiving a full scholarship to the prestigious School of American Ballet. As a member of  Houston Ballet,San Francisco Ballet Company and Joffrey Ballet Company, he performed in works by George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Mark Morris, Helgi Tomasson, Ben Stevenson and many others. Mr. Loungway maintains an active schedule as a master teacher, choreographer, performer, and served on the dance faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University: and The Joffrey Ballet School. Selected as "Who’s Hot", by National Dance Critics Association Chair Karyn Collins, Mr. Loungway's choreography, as expressed by Robert Johnson of the Star Ledger, is "elegant and evocative" and “bodes well for the future of dance.” He has received the Individual Fellowship in Choreography, awarded by the NEA, via the New Jersey State Council for the Arts;  and is the recent recipient of the 2014 Kaatsbaan Choreographic Residency Award. His work, and company, have been featured in performance at Jacob's Pillow and in the national dance publications, Pointe Magazine and Dance Informa.

Mr Loungway currently serves as Company Teacher for Ballet Hispanico; as well as teaching open advanced/professional-level classes at Peridance, where he has also created ballet syllabus/curriculum for the Peridance Certificate Program.

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Izabela Szylinska

Izabela began her training at the age of 10 in Polish National Ballet School in Warsaw. During her education she received many opportunities to increase her ballet technique with International Ballet Masters as Thomas Lundt (Royal Danish Ballet), Piotr Nardelli (Béjart Ballet Lausanne), Leonid Zhdanow (Bolshoi Theater Ballet Academy). Still as a student she got an invitation from Polish Embassy in India to take part in a dance program "Dancing through Europe" and perform in Delhi and Chennai on the Festival of Days of European Union. She also had a chance to occur in one of the plays in Ateneum Theater in Warsaw ( Éric - Emmanuel Schmitt "Frederick Ou Le Boulevard Du Crime" ). She was creating an acting - dance role of Frederick's Muse. In 2008, Izabela won the 1st prize on international ballet competition "Gold Pointe Shoes" in Poland. As a graduate she also received a prestigious scholarship from Minister of Culture for her artistic achievements during her education. The same year she started her contract as a demi - soloist with Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz, Poland where she performed many leading roles. In the beginning of 2009 she joined Polish National Ballet under the direction of Krzysztof Pastor where she worked with such choreographers as Patrice Bart, Wayne Eagling, Emmanuel Gat, Krzysztof Pastor, Jacek Przybyłowicz and also performed works by George Balanchine, John Cranko, Alexei Ratmansky, Irek Mukhamiedov. Izabela moved to New York in June 2012 and soon after that she started working with Stuart Loungway's Terra Firma Dance Theatre. Since that time she also performed with Julia Gleich Dances and Mordance.

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Tiffany Mangulabnan

Tiffany began her training at the Philippine Ballet Theatre Conservatoire in Manila, Philippines. As an apprentice with the Philippine Ballet Theatre (PBT) from 2000-2005, she performed in the corps de ballet in such company productions as 'Don Quixote', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Madame Butterfly', 'Carmina Burana', 'Merry Widow', 'La Bayadere', 'Serenade', 'Swan Lake' and 'Cinderella'. She was significantly influenced by her mentorship with Filipino-American choreographer and Labayen Dance/SF artistic director Enrico Labayen, with whom she worked closely from 2003-2005, later performing several of his contemporary pieces including 'Arias', 'Ocean', 'Vivaldi Sketches', and the Isadora Duncan Dance Award-winning 'Puirt a Beul'. She sought further training in contemporary ballet at Alonzo King's LINES Ballet School in San Francisco in 2007. Returning to PBT as a soloist in 2009 and dancing as principal from 2010-2011, she created lead roles in artistic director Ronilo Jaynario's neoclassical ballets 'Come Bach to Me', 'Beatles Revisited' and 'Ang Buhay', and performed the roles of Odette/Odile in ‘Swan Lake’, Paquita in Paquita Grand Pas Classique, the Dew Drop Fairy in Michael Chernov's 'The Nutcracker', Death in David Campos-Canteros' 'Carmina Burana', and the lead concubine in Thomas Pazik's 'Romeo and Juliet'. At the end of 2011 she danced as a guest in Maniya Barredo's 'Coppelia' with the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and has since moved to New York City. She is currently a soloist with Ballet Next, dancing in works by choreographers such as Mauro Bigonzetti, Katarzyna Kozielska, Brian Reeder and Tobin Eason.

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Lester Badenoch

Lester began his dance training at the age of seven with Baker-Van Cura Ballet Tennessee. After moving to Missouri, he continued his training with Ballet Midwest In St. Louis and summers at the Chautauqua Institution School for Dance. He finished his training with North Carolina Dance Theatre. Lester has danced in NCDT2, Atlanta Ballet, and American Repertory Ballet  Performing works by George Balanchine, Salvatore Aiello, Septime Webre, Val Caniparoli, and Thwyla Tharp. He has also worked with such noted choreographers as Lauri Stallings, Alonzo King, John McFall, Mark Diamond, Violette Verdy, Michael Vernon, Michael Pink, Lila York, Graham Lustig and Stuart Loungway. 

Lester is excited to be in his third season with TFDT

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Lily Balogh

Lily Balogh is a 22 year old native New Yorker. She studied at the School of American Ballet for 10 years, and trained with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Hungarian National Dance Academy. After graduating SAB, she danced with New York City Ballet for 3 years before becoming a Soloist with Ballet Next and Ballets with a Twist in NY. This is her first season with Terra Firma Dance. She recently choreographed her first commissioned work for Dragoni Dance Institute in CT. She teaches for several schools and is also a certified personal trainer. 

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Lukasz Zieba 

Born and raised in Poland, started his training with artistic gymnastics, then graduated Cracow Dance Academy with National Diploma for Ballet. He became a So You Think You Can Dance (Poland) finalist, performed with Grace Jones, worked for Kielecki Dance Theatre, winner of Dance World Cup in Villach 2012 and received Best Open Modern Solo Award. Currently, he is a student at The Ailey School.

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Courtney Liu

Courtney began training at age 10 at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet.  As a child, artistic director Victoria Morgan created various original roles for her and she began performing corps roles for the Cincinnati Ballet at age 14.  Shortly after, Courtney became a merit scholarship student at the San Francisco Ballet School and worked closely with John Neumeier for San Francisco Ballet’s 75th Anniversary Gala.  During her career, Courtney also had the honor to perform works by Victor Plotnikov, Stephen Mills, Val Caniparoli, Septime Webre, Lew Christensen, and George Balanchine.  In addition to performing, Courtney has taught ballet nationally and internationally for eight years and choreographs fusions of classical and contemporary dance that are accessible to all audiences.  In 2010, Courtney was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to choreograph, teach, and perform in China.  Following her tour she was awarded a grant to develop and implement dance interventions for children exposed to domestic violence.  Ms. Liu graduated summa cum laude from Duke University with degrees in Psychology and Business.  She currently dances for Monica Hogan Danceworks and De Funes Dance.  Courtney is thrilled to join Terra Firma Dance Theater for the upcoming season.  

Mara Driscoll

Mara Driscoll was born in Boulder, Colorado and began dancing at the Boulder Ballet School. She received her primary training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and attended programs at the Juilliard School, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater and the Tisch School of the Arts. Mara has performed with the Richmond Ballet, Ballet Neo, Ian Spencer Bell Dance, Classical Contemporary Ballet Theatre and Bugge Ballet. She has also worked in the education department at the Museum of Arts and Design and taught for Artists Striving to End Poverty. Mara holds a B.A. from New York University's Gallatin School for Individualized Study. 

Lauren King ( guest artist, appears courtesy of NYCB)

Lauren was born in Massapequa Park, New York, and began her dance training at the age of 10 with Jane Miller, Luba Gulyaeva, Ali Pourfarrokh, and Lynn Glauber at the American Theater Dance Workshop, the official school of the Eglevsky Ballet Company, in New Hyde Park, New York. Ms. King performed with the Eglevsky Ballet Company during its 2000-2001 season. In fall of 2001, Ms. King entered the full-time program at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet. Ms. King became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in the fall of 2003. As an apprentice Ms. King danced a featured role in Michel Fokine's Chopiniana, performed by SAB as part of New York City Ballet's 2004 winter season, and she originated a corps role in Susan Stroman's Double Feature. Ms. King joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in June 2004 and was promoted to soloist in February 2013.

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Gabrielle Grywalski

Gabby is a native of Columbus, Ohio. She received her R.A.D. syllabus training at Columbus Dance Theatre from Roberta Taylor (Royal Winnipeg Ballet) where she danced soloist roles in  La Bayadare, Carmina Burana, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, and Pas de Quatre. For her senior year she trained at BalletMet Columbus and performed with the Company on multiple occasions. While in the Pre-Pro program at BalletMet, Ms. Grywalski joined YouthMet! An ensemble founded by April Berry (Alvin Ailey and Dance Theatre of Harlem) She was honored to learn and perform works by Alvin Ailey such as Revelations and Satisfaction. Upon graduation, Ms. Grywalski moved to dance with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in the Graduate Program, with opportunities to perform with the company in Don Quixote, The Nutcracker and Derek Dean's Alice in Wonderland. In the grad program, she worked with choreographers such as Alan Obuzor (Texture Ballet) and Victor Plotnikov, performing their works throughout her time in Pittsburgh. After to moving to Houston, Texas -her second home- Gabrielle began dancing Classical Chinese Dance with Dance of Asian America. In addition to dancing, she also produced, choreographed and costumed their spring production of Alice in Wonderland. In 2011, Ms. Grywalski made the move to New York City, where she has since performed with Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Ballet Neo, in addition to dancing for Prime Cut Film Productions in multiple music videos.


Max Cappelli King

Max Cappelli ­King was born in Chicago and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. Max’s formal training began at Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan, where he attended high school. Max was accepted to The Juilliard School earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2013. Max has most recently become an apprentice with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and is an Associate of Jonah Bokaer's choreography. He has also performed with José Limon Company, Pam Tanowitz Dance and the Terra Firma Dance Theater.