Brookside Campus Faculty
Carla López Ponlla | Faculty
Born in A Coruña, Spain, Carla trained at the Professional Conservatory of Dance with Luciano Gómez and Carmen Ponlla. She danced with Ballet Carmen Roche, Zürich Junior Ballet, Víctor Ullate Ballet and Barcelona Ballet, where she performed Soloist roles under the artistic direction of Ángel Corella.
Carla won first prize in the National Dance Competitions of Zaragoza, Torrelavega and A Coruña (Spain) before joining Tulsa Ballet in 2012 as a member of the Corps de Ballet. Her repertoire with the company includes There, Below (Kudelka), Classical Symphony (Possokhov), One/End/One (Elo), Company B (Taylor), Uniko/Juxtaposed (Cong), Blue Bird Pas de Deux (Angelini), Bolero (Fonte) and In The Middle, Somewhat Elevated (Forsythe), and Infra (McGregor), among others.
In 2016, Ms. López retired from the company in order to join our full-time TBCDE Faculty.
Beatrice Sebelin | Faculty
Beatrice graduated from the school of the Teatro all Scala in 2002. She then joined the Teatro all Scala Company, where she danced from 2002-2003, and later danced with the Compagnia Neoclassica di San Remo del Teatro Ariston and Compagnia Nazionale Italiana of Rome. She joined Tulsa Ballet in 2008 from Balletto di Milano, and was promoted to Soloist in 2013, where she performed until retirement in 2016. She has performed works by Nacho Duato, Paul Taylor, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Wayne McGregor, Edwaard Liang, Val Caniparoli, Adam Hougland, Nicolo Fonte, Alejandro Cerrudo, William Forsythe and Ben Stevenson. Her repertoire includes The Sleeping Beauty, Excelsior Ballet, Notre Dame de Paris, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Rooster, Gnawa, Company B and The Nutcracker.
Yi Wang | Faculty
Yi was born in ChongQing China, and studied at the Beijing Dance Academy (Vaganava curriculum) in Beijing, China. While there, he received full scholarships every year for seven years and graduated with Honors . He was awarded a gold medal in the Junior Ballet Group of the Fifth National Juvenile “Tao Li Cup” Dance Competition in 1997, Junior Finalist at the Paris International Ballet competition in France in 2000, and Third Prize (Bronze Medal) in the Senior Division (age 20-25) at International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland in 2001.
Yi danced with Tulsa Ballet for six years as a Principal member of the company. Prior to dancing with Tulsa Ballet he was First Soloist and Principal with Zurich Ballet in Switzerland and Universal Ballet in South Korea. During his 13 year performing career, Yi has performed principal roles in works by William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Marcello Angelini, Ben Stevenson ,Twyla Tharp, Hans van Manen , Kenneth MacMillan , Ma Cong, Heinz Spoerli, and others. Yi has been invited to the Final Gala of the Youth American Grand Prix in New York City as the Guest of Honor, and the Denver International World Star Performance to give a Guest Star Performance.
In 2012 Yi retired from performing and began teaching. He returned to China to work with ChongQing Ballet as a Guest Ballet Master/Choreographer for a year. While there, he created his first full length ballet Finding Shangri-La. He developed his own ballet workshop in ChongQing with more than 150 students, and also worked with the Chinese Dancers Association to create educational programs for children’s dance. Yi has been invited to provide instruction for dance teacher training throughout China and has trained over three hundred teachers in the past three years.
In 2016, Yi returned to Tulsa Ballet to join the Center for Dance Education as a faculty member and is excited to start his new career.
Broken Arrow Campus Faculty
Cynthia Drayer | Co-Principal
Born in Boulder, Colorado, Cynthia’s life has been devoted to dancing, teaching and studying the art of ballet.
Chosen by Michael Maule and awarded a full scholarship, she began her serious training at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, Illinois.
At 17, Cynthia was one of an elite group of young dancers picked to join Ballet Repertory Company in New York City, the touring and second company of American Ballet Theatre.
In 1980, Director Ben Stevenson asked her to join the Houston Ballet where she was quickly promoted to soloist. Visiting choreographer Helgi Tomasson invited her to join San Francisco Ballet when he began his directorship in 1985, promoting her to Principal Dancer in 1987. Her signature roles in San Francisco Ballet’s repertoire include, Balanchine, Feld, Taylor, Bintley, Tomasson, Forsythe, Kudelka, Kylian, Smuin, Christenson, and Jacobson.
Upon retiring from SFB, Cynthia attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco where she studied art history and interior design where her love of design flourished. She later continued to use her design skills in the staging and direction of many school drama productions in Palo Alto, California.
Cynthia has served on the faculties of the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington Academy of Performing Arts and Marin Ballet before becoming co-director of the Santa Clara Ballet with her husband Andre Reyes.
In 2003, Cynthia and Andre founded their own school, Volee Dance, in Palo Alto California.
Cynthia returned to the stage with the San Francisco Opera and made her National television debut on Great Performances as Lolo in the Opera’s production of The Merry Widow. She was also part of the ground breaking world premiere of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic with renowned theatre director, Peter Sellers. Her final performance in 2006 was in the featured Pas de Deux in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.
In 2007, Cynthia was invited by Mikko Nissinen, to become the Classical Ballet Program Head of the Boston Ballet School. From 2012 – 2016 She served on the Pre-Professional faculty of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and was recently a guest instructor for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Metropolitan Ballet Academy.
Cynthia brings her diverse professional experience and her expertise from extensive research and study with master teachers Henry Berg, Pat Hon and Svetlana Afansieva in her exploration and creation of children’s ballet syllabus and progression.
Andre Reyes | Co-Principal
Andre Reyes is a San Francisco Bay Area native and received his early dance training from his parents, Benjamin Reyes and Josefa Villanueva, at Santa Clara Ballet School before continuing on at Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet School.
Reyes, a longtime favorite of Bay Area audiences, performed as a Principal Dancer with San Francisco Ballet from 1980-1993, and Pacific Northwest Ballet from 1994-1996. During his career he worked with world-renowned choreographers Glen Tetley, Jiri Kylian, Michael Smuin, Elliot Feld, James Kudelka, and David Bintley. Special invitations include San Francisco Opera’s “Fol de Rol,” San Francisco Symphony’s “Arts for Life” benefit and “Symphony Pops” series. Reyes has also performed in numerous international gala performances. His major television appearances include: Cinderella (Dance in America -WNET), Suites by Smuin (KQED), Symphony in Three Movements (KQED), and The Tempest (Dance in America-WNET).
Reyes has served on the faculty of Cornish College of the Arts, Washington Academy of Performing Arts, and San Jose State University. He was guest faculty for Kansas City Ballet, and Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program through 2007. He co-directed the Santa Clara Ballet from 2000 – 2001 and co-founded and directed Volee Dance in Palo Alto, CA from 2004 – 2007. Reyes served on the Pre-Professional Faculty at Boston Ballet School from 2007-2012, where he developed the Boys Program Elementary Syllabus. In 2012, he was invited to join the Pre-Professional Faculty at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School where he taught until 2016. Reyes has been a guest lecturer for Stanford University, University of Santa Clara, San Francisco State University, Boston College, Harvard University, and the American College Dance Festival Association. He has had the honor of serving as adjudicator for Dance Masters of America and the Japan Grand Prix, as well as a guest instructor for Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and English National Ballet School.