Phoenix Ballet Featured Artist
Born and raised in Arizona, Madison Penney began dancing at a very young age and trained in all different disciplines of dance. When she was eight years old, she decided to focus on ballet training and joined Master Ballet Academy, led by Artistic Director Slawomir Wozniak. Since then, while still at a young age, Madison continuously keeps growing as a dancer and an artist. She is recognized as one of the most talented and skilled dancers of the upcoming generation. Among her many accolades and awards are winning the Gold Medal at the World Ballet Competition in 2015, the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Hope Award in 2016, and most recently won the 2017 Grand Prix award at YAGP finals in New York. She has been invited as a guest artist performing in World Ballet Competition Gala in Orlando as well as a guest performer in China at IBC/China. She has been offered many scholarships which some are from Princess Grace in Monaco, Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Ellison Ballet, and most recently received an International Scholar Award with The Royal Ballet in London. Based on her proven ability, Madison has performed with Phoenix Ballet in several productions with seasoned professionals that include soloist roles originated for her by Krista King-Doherty, Albert Blaise Cattafi and Fransisco Gella.In addition, Madison has been featured in Dance Spirit and Pointe magazines. In The Nutcracker this year she will perform multiple roles over the weekend. Don't miss her as the Sugar Plum fairy in the Sunday Matinee performance.
Featured Sedona Dancers
Jessica LeBlanc is a 17 year old who only began her ballet studies less than 3 years ago and is progressing quickly. She has trained with many teachers at Master Ballet Academy in Scottsdale, recently rated the 4th best ballet academy in the US, Achmed Valk in Sedona, as well as teachers from around the world in various master classes. Jessica has also attended summer programs at Master Ballet Academy, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Ballet West. Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Ballet West are two of the best training programs in the country. She is determined to make a career out of ballet and is eager to dance professionally. She will be dancing the Doll in the first act of this Nutcracker production as well as be the soloist in the Mother Ginger divertissement in addition to several corp roles.
Marilyn “Mari” Chang was born on April 10, 2006 in Cottonwood, Arizona and currently lives in Sedona. Her first dance lesson was at the age of three. After performing in the Phoenix Ballet’s Nutcracker in 2014, she realized that ballet was her passion.
When she’s not dancing, Mari is a sixth-grade student at Big Park Community School. She takes piano lessons, mountain bikes, swims, and skis. Anything gourmet is her favorite food. When it comes to screens, movies and Minecraft are the winners.
Mari is excited to make her debut as Clara in Slawomir Wozniak’s The Nutcracker for 2017. Special thanks to Slawomir and Irena Wozniak of Master Ballet Academy / Phoenix Ballet, Winifred Muench of the Sedona Chamber Ballet, and all her inspiring teachers.