Matthew began his ballet training in Norfolk, Virginia at Ballet Virginia International under the direction of Janina Bove and Suzanne Lownsbury Long. In 2014, Matthew was 1 of 13 dancers in the state of Virginia specially selected to attend Virginia’s Governor’s School for the Arts Summer program. After attending the summer intensive program at Orlando Ballet, he joined the Orlando Ballet School Academy under the direction of Deirdre Miles Burger in 2015. Matthew became a trainee the following year and then joined Orlando Ballet II the next year in 2017. While dancing at Orlando Ballet Matthew had the opportunity to dance in original works by artistic director Robert Hill such as “The Firebird”, “Romeo &Juliet”, “Piano Concerto No.2” and many more, as well as by Artist in Residence Arcadian Broad including “Arcadian Broad’s Beauty & the Beast” and ”Seasons of Movement: Summer”. Matthew has also worked with various notable choreographers, ballet mistresses and directors such as Susan Jones, Val Caniparoli, and Michael Pink. He has worked with various notable teachers and dancers such as Olivier Munoz, Julio Bocca, Kim Marsh, Yan Chen, Joseph Gatti and Adiarys Almeida.
This is Matthew’s first season with San Diego Ballet
Who influenced you most to become the dancer you are today?
I would have to say my first ballet teacher Pamela Washburn who believed in me and encouraged me to go forward with something that seemed unattainable when I first started ballet, as well as setting the ground base for my love for ballet!
What was the funniest episode(s) you’ve experienced in your career?
While dancing at Orlando Ballet there was a joke between me and a few dancers that I “could go into any spot in a ballet we’d done and know it”, so multiple times(too many times) throughout the seasons there were times when you could find me doing Clara’s(a young child) entire role or jumping in as many other children roles in ballets when they weren’t called to rehearsals! There was even once I was considered to go into Swan Corps for a rehearsal of Swan Lake….jokingly of course!
Who would you most like to share the stage with (living or dead)?
Either Alessandra Ferri or Ángel Corella! They both have inspired me so much and have given the best example of growing as a dancer and true ballet performance quality. The first ballet I ever saw was a DVD of them dancing together in Romeo and Juliet!
What goes through your mind just before you perform?
“Just breathe, relax and dance in the absolute moment you in on stage”
What do you like/admire most about San Diego Ballet?
What I admire most about San Diego is their diverse style! Javier Velasco really brings ballet to a new level with such unique movement mixed with classical that you can’t take your eyes off of! As well as the warm welcoming environment of the staff and dancers!