The Darien Arts Center has announced the addition of professional dancer Claire St. John and international freelance artist and co-director of East Coast Contemporary Ballet, Alejandro Ulloa as part of an expansion to their dance program, which will take place in the newly renovated DAC Weatherstone Studio this fall. Ulloa and St. John join the popular DAC dance program which offers ages 3 through adults, the opportunity to train in one of the finest dance spaces in Fairfield County and to participate in multiple performances throughout the year.
A native of Nicaragua, Ulloa began his dance training at the Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Nicaragua under the direction of maestro William Herrera. In 2015, Alejandro launched the first-ever ballet and neoclassical ensemble at the Nicaraguan University, where he became the Cultural Promoter for the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua. Later that year, he also became co-producer, teacher, and choreographer for Compañía Ballet de Nicaragua. Ulloa has danced and appeared as a guest artist for Gainesville Ballet, Danse Etoile in Costa Rica, Island Moving Company, Neglia Ballet, Ajkun Ballet Theater, Connecticut Ballet and Thomas Ortiz Dance, among others. In 2016 he was awarded the “Artist of International Projection of the Year'' by the Nicaraguan Artist Association. In 2019, Alejandro, along with DAC Dance Director Claire Mazza, co-founded East Coast Contemporary Ballet.
Claire St. John’s training has encompassed many varieties of dance with a focus in classical ballet. Her early performance experiences were as a soloist with Part Two Dance Company, in The Great Russian Nutcracker with Moscow Ballet for 3 consecutive show seasons, and in Giselle with L’Etoile Russian Ballet Academy alongside ABT soloists Veronika Part and Vitali Krauchenka. In 2017, she graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts where she trained under Norma Pera, Barry Hughson, Deborah Wingert, and Demitri Malikov of Bolshoi Ballet. She attended Shenandoah University as a BFA in Dance where she trained under Shylo Martinez, Maurice Fraga and Tiffanie Carson.
On Tuesdays at the Darien Arts Center, Alejandro Ulloa will be teaching Adult Contemporary Dance from 11:30am-12:15pm, Ballet 4/5 for Grades 6-12 from 3-4pm, and Teen Contemporary for Grades 7-12 from 5:15-6:15pm. He is also teaching Youth Contemporary Dance for Grades 5-7 on Thursdays from 5-7pm and Partnering for advanced students on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. On Mondays, Claire St. John will be teaching Ballet 1 for Grades 1-2 from 5-5:45pm, Ballet 3 for Grades 5-6 from 5-6pm, and Teen Lyrical Jazz for Grades 6-12 from 3-4pm.