GEORNÉ AUCOIN | FOUNDER & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
GEORNÉ AUCOIN, a California native, has studied with many well-known teachers and choreographers. She has had extensive training at the Dallas Metropolitan Ballet, the Colorado Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet. She has studied extensively under Petrus Bosman, Suki Schorer, Sven Alexander, Bill Atkinson, Ann Etgen and Richard Steinert.
Ms. Aucoin has been the Artistic Director of International City School of Ballet and International City Ballet Company for over 10 years. Ms. Aucoin is leading the school in the direction of true professionalism, instilling in each dancer the art of dance as a language. Dancers trained by Ms. Aucoin have received scholarships to some of the biggest ballet schools in the US such as American Ballet Theatre, Washington Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, School of American Ballet, Ellison Ballet, The Rock School for Dance Education and many more.
In 2013, the Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest student ballet competition, awarded Ms. Aucoin the Outstanding Teacher Award to recognize her many years in providing some of the finest in ballet instruction and coaching. In addition, several students have placed First, Second, and Third in all categories as well as the Youth Grand Prix Award at YAGP since 2005 and have performed as featured soloists at the David H. Koch Theatre, the official venue of the competition’s New York City Final Round and Gala performances.
Although the school has been in operation for a brief period, Ms. Aucoin has trained dancers to dance professionally with companies such as Austin Ballet in Texas, Charleston Ballet Theatre in South Carolina, Lexington Ballet in Kentucky, Richmond Ballet in Virginia, Nashville Ballet in Tennessee and Houston Ballet II. Many of Ms. Aucoin’s students have successfully gone on to higher education programs such as University of Georgia, Savannah School of Art and Design, Georgia State, Mercer University and more.
JULIE LEE HOFFMAN | PRE-PROFESSIONAL ACADEMY FACULTY MEMBER
From Rochester, NY began her training at age 14. With natural talent and work ethic, she was able to train solely on full scholarship within 2 years for the remainder of her training. Following a trip to the Bolshoi Ballet, she relocated to Philadelphia, PA to study with Mikhail Korogodsky. However, the bulk of her training came with Margarita De Saa and John White at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet in Cuban Vaganova technique, also on full scholarships.
Julie’s professional performing career started at the Colorado Ballet, then moved to USA Ballet, followed by Peoria Ballet under Erich Yetter where she then began teaching and truly fell in love after attending a teacher training program at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She continued her career at The Georgia Ballet under the direction of Gigi Hyatt and that became her home as a principle dancer with the company and principle teacher in the upper academy. It was at that time that Julie also began to travel to Warner Robins, GA to work with Georne Aucoin, who was building an academy of highly talented aspiring dancers at the International City School of Ballet.
In her performing career Julie was known for her technique, musicality, and ability to tell a story. She enjoyed having roles created on her in new ballets including Mina in Dracula and Katrina in A Sleepy Hollow Story. Working with choreographers was one of her pleasures and in a recommendation Julie was described as “a choreographer’s dream”. Classically she danced principle roles with favorites being the title role in both Giselle and La Sylphide. In mixed repertoire she enjoyed performing the Grande Pas De Deux from both Don Quixote and Le Corsaire as well as the lead in Balanchine’s Valse-Fantaisie among many others.
After taking a hiatus from the ballet world to pursue business in direct sales, Julie rejoined the faculty of ICSB in 2017 after feeling the time was right, and that she had the responsibility to pour back and influence the next generation of ballet dancers.
MUSASHI ALVAREZ | CO-DIRECTOR & CHOREOGRAPHER
MUSASHI ALVAREZ, born in New York City, is a ballet choreographer. He is a graduate of the dance division at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts. There he was awarded the Mathesius/King Scholarship, Stefanie Silverman Scholarship, Dance Music Award and the Father Fame Award. While at LaGuardia, Musashi has studied a variety of modern dance vocabularies such as Horton, Taylor and the Graham Technique, and excelled in numerous modern and contemporary works by noted choreographers such as Elisa King, Milton Myers, Pedro Ruiz and many others. In 2007 Musashi was selected as a modern dance finalist for YoungArts Week, organized annually by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts held in Miami, FL.
Musashi studied classical ballet extensively under the tutelage of Alexander Filipov (former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and Kirov Ballet) and has worked with Yuji Sato (Ballet Master of New National Ballet Theater of Tokyo). Musashi furthered his studies with master teacher Anatoli Kucheruk (former principal dancer of Bolshoi Ballet and Kiev State Ballet) at the Kirov Academy of Ballet under the directorship of Oleg Vinogradov and later studied with Edward Ellison, artistic director of the Ellison Ballet – Professional Training Program.
Upon completion of his studies, Musashi became a member of the Tulsa Ballet. There, he learned roles in ballets such as Swan Lake, La Sylphide, Raymonda, Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, Cranko’s Taming of the Shrew, Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, Edwaard Liang’s Romeo and Juliet, Adam Houghland’s The Rite of Spring among many others. While at Tulsa Ballet, the company’s resident choreographer, Ma Cong, choreographed a work on Musashi for Tulsa Opera’s production of La Traviata.
In 2014, Musashi was awarded the Outstanding Choreographer Award at the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition for his work. As the resident choreographer of the school, he continues to create original works while aiming to define and develop the artistic identity of the school.
NANAMI CUNNINGHAM | PRIMARY ACADEMY FACULTY MEMBER
NANAMI CUNNINGHAM is originally from Tokyo, Japan. Nanami began her training at the age of 3 with Hiromi Watanabe, who is the founder of Tachikawa Modern Dance Society. Nanami was introduced to classical ballet by Tetsuji Adachi, who is a former Artistic Director of NBA Ballet Company. Nanami also learned dance anatomy and ballet techniques from her mother, Etsuko Hata, who is the founder of JSD Ballet School.
Performing Arts has been a major interest through her life, and Nanami pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in music performance from Valdosta State University. During her last year of school, Nanami decided to go back dancing, and she studied with Linda C. Chase at Dance Arts Inc. In 2009, Nanami moved to Atlanta and continued training in ballet with Carol Szkutek at Atlanta Ballet and Michael Garrison at North Atlanta Dance Theatre.
Nanami started pre-ballet teaching experience in 2010 at Pegasus International Education Center, which was a Japanese based learning center. When the Pegasus location was closing, Nanami helped open a new learning center called Bunkado. Nanami continues to enjoy teaching ballet and looking forward to see her students at ICSB grow through ballet.