NAYB Directors and Faculty

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  • Elizabeth Flores

    Co-Founder and Creative Director

    Elizabeth Flores, Co-Founder and Creative Director of the New American Youth Ballet is a creative visionary with a love for classical ballet and a passion for teaching correct technique in a caring, nurturing environment. She performed as a soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy where she received training on full scholarship, as well as received classical training from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Ms. Flores additionally was accepted to train with the London Royal Ballet School. She studied Voice and Musical Theater with The Juilliard School and choreographed for their musical theater productions during her time there.

    Ms. Flores, known for her creative and entertaining choreography has staged numerous full-length ballets with professional symphony orchestras including: The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Coppelia. Her original works include: The Helen Keller Ballet and Anna Pavlova Inspiration of The Dance, which premiered at Carnegie Hall as well as her newest ballet, Someday, based off of Alison McGhee’s #1 NY Times Bestseller, which premiered in NYC. Ms. Flores has also choreographed for numerous events including Kleinfeld’s Bridal showcase.

    As a dance educator, Ms. Flores has had the great honor and pleasure of teaching thousands of students always insisting on creating a positive, nurturing environment so her students could flourish. Ms. Flores is the Former Head of Summer Dance at Ballet Academy East, was a Ballet Instructor at The Dalton School and was the Artistic Director of the Harkness Youth Ballet at the 92nd Street Y.

    A highly decorated and recognized dance instructor and citizen, Ms. Flores was named Dance Teacher of the Year by Dance Teacher Magazine, awarded the Neighbor of the Year award in Battery Park by the New York City Council, was the recipient of the 1999 Eckerd Salute for Women, the Seventeen/Cover Girl Volunteer Award, and The Governor’s Certificate of Recognition for volunteerism and community service. Her studio, the New American Youth Ballet, was honored with a 10-year business award for community service in Downtown New York City. Combining her love for the arts and service, Ms. Flores was additionally recognized for her contributions to the arts by the New York State Senate.

    Coppelia! Variation Act One

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  • Bonnie Fernandez

    Co-Founder & President

    Produced and costumed professional full length productions since 1993. She engaged professional orchestras for several productions including: Carnegie Hall, Fordham University, Pace University, Anderson Center and the Forum Theater. She has been Elizabeth’s exclusive coach and was rewarded and recognized for her teaching when she was granted the exclusive Bolshoi Scholarship over students from the most prestigious schools in the country. She continues to oversee NAYB’s school and produce all performances.

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  • Kara Cooper

    NAYB Teacher

    Ms Cooper is originally from Baltimore, Maryland; Kara started her early dance education at the Gniazdowska Studio of Ballet. She then went for her BFA in ballet performance at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music under the direction of Shelli Cash and Yi-Qi Cheng. Highlights include Paul Taylor’s ‘Esplanade’, Peasant Pas de Deux, and Flower Festival coached by Vivi Flindt. Kara also furthered her dance training in New York as a trainee at the Martha Graham School of Dance. After performing with companies such as Ballet Deviare and the MorganScott Ballet, she became a primary teacher at the MorganScott Ballet’s Outreach Program in the Bronx and the MorganScott Summer Intensive in San Antonio,Texas. She also works with students of the Rose Academy of Ballet in Queens specializing in Pointe and Pre-Pointe classes. Kara continues to share her enthusiasm and love of ballet with young students and is delighted to be a part of New American Youth Ballet’s dance community.

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  • Laura Brown

    NAYB Assistant Teacher

    Assistant teacher, trained at Milford Performing Arts and the Joffrey Ballet. We are pleased to welcome her to our teaching staff at NAYB! Laura has performed with us as principal dancer and the children love her warm kind nature and we love her exceptional ballet technique!

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  • Diana Paula Paredes

    NAYB Assistant Teacher

    After graduating high school with the Highest Artistry Award, Diana Paula returned to the Joffrey Ballet School for the pre-professional trainee program where she is currently studying. We pleased to have her with our school both on stage and in the classroom!

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  • Maestro Alan Aurelia

    NAYB Music Director

    Maestro Alan Aurelia is Music Director for the New American Youth Ballet and the Richmond County Orchestra, Artistic Director/Conductor Riverside Opera Company, Guest Conductor for Sinfonico diMassa and Montegnioso Festivals in Italy, cover conductor for the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, and President of Tribeca Music and Art. His orchestra has performed at the Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Maestro has worked for Pope John Paul II, Magda Olivero, Issac Stern, Midori, Ray Charles, Benny Goodman, Al Martino and Soloists from the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan and City Opera. The Maestro is also a member of the New York Philharmonics Conductors Table, the Conductors Guild and is represented by Price Rubin & Partners management.

    Contact Maestro Aurelia for more information about music lessons at NAYB.