Mauro Villanueva (he/him) grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He began his dance training with Shawn Knife and later joined the University of Incarnate Word Ballet School. Mauro attended a summer course and consequently studied for two years at the Nutmeg Conservatory in Connecticut.

During his thirteen years at the Joffrey Ballet he danced ballets by world renown choreographers, was a union representative for the artists, and was one of two dancers chosen to participate in the search for the new artistic director. He appeared as a representative for the Joffrey Ballet and on television and radio in Chicago, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Manila, Philippines.

Mr. Villanueva retired from the Joffrey Ballet to pursue a career as an independent artist, teacher, coach, and choreographer. He has worked for Barak Ballet, Intermezzo Dance Company, Ballet San Antonio, The Jacksonville Symphony and others. He has taught at the Colburn School, Edge Performing Arts Center, Regional Dance America Mid-States and Southwest Festivals, The New Orleans Ballet Association, The New Jersey Ballet, and Eglevsky Ballet. Mr. Villanueva is also part of Cultivating Better Tomorrows, a company dedicated to implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the performing arts community.



Kenny Borchard (he/him) is an alumni of Idyllwild Arts Academy and the University of Arizona. Since graduating Kenny has worked on television and commercial projects with credits including a featured role on TruTV’s Fake Off, What Not to Wear, Toyota Pruis, Mobbed, and Lifetime’s Petals on the Wind. Kenny has worked with Odyssey Dance Theatre, Solevita Dance Company, Pacific Festival Ballet, and Pasadena Dance Theatre among others. Kenny was also cast member of “Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular” at Disney’s California Adventure.

As an educator, Mr. Borchard has taught on the faculty of Broadway Dance Center's Children and Teen Program, and has taught as a guest educator/choreographer around the country. Kenny is also part of Cultivating Better Tomorrows, a company dedicated to educating the performing arts community in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Since finishing his performing career, Kenny has committed to creating welcoming dance spaces where all students feel welcomed and honored for who they are and how they show up.

Diane Orio

Diane Orio (she/her)


Diane Orio began dancing at age 8 in her native New Jersey. She later studied at the School of American Ballet and then joined The Joffrey Ballet in 1968 where she danced for more than ten years.

Later she became ballet mistress for the company working under Robert Joffrey’s guidance. She has lead dancers through ballets for choreographers such as Tharp, Kylian, Ailey, Feld and Arpino. Mr. Joffrey invited Ms. Diane to be on faculty at his first Texas workshop in 1978.

We are grateful that Diane has share her wealth of knowledge with the students of Joffrey Texas.

Trinette Singleton

Trinette Singleton (she/her)


Trinette Singleton was a principal dancer with The Joffrey Ballet for nearly twenty years. She was thrust into national prominence in 1967, appearing in the multi-media ballet, Astarte, created on her by her mentor, Robert Joffrey. She was the first American dancer to appear on the cover of the national news Time magazine.

Currently, Trinette is Co-Artistic Director of Repertory Dance Theatre in Allentown, PA. She was also on the faculty at DeSales University, Center Valley, PA. In 2010, Trinette was appointed to the Board of Directors for The Gerald Arpino Foundation. She is on the Advisory Board for Cecchetti USA and has recently been made an Honorary Member of Cecchetti International-Classical Ballet.

Trinette holds her Licentiate, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, London, England, and her Doctor of Fine Arts, Honoris Causa, DeSales University.

Jared Oaks

Jared Oaks (he/him) is one of the leading young ballet conductors in the United States, and is Music Director of Ballet West. Since joining the company in 2008, Jared has conducted at the Capitol Theatre and Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, the Kennedy Center, Chicago's Auditorium Theatre, the Wortham Theater in Houston, and the Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis. He is also in demand as a collaborative pianist throughout the country.

Jared studied with renowned conductors Terence Kern, Ronald Staheli, and in masterclasses throughout Europe and North America. He is a fellow of the American-Scandinavian Foundation and co-founder of the Composer Discovery Initiative.


Shawn Ellison has worked as a musician in Austin, Texas since 1982. He is a pianist, but has also performed as a composer, arranger, bandleader, organist, vocalist, musical director, and dance class accompanist. He has been privileged to share the stage with Cat Anderson, Slide Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Gorshin, and Phyllis Diller. He has worked extensively with dancers and choreographers, and was integral in the formation of two children’s dance/movement programs, Believe In Me and Something’s Afoot.

Mr. Ellison holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies from Texas State University.



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