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2025 Dance & Choreography

Fellowship Program

December 28 - January 4, 2025

For our 3rd annual Fellowship Program, Ballare Carmel       and guest mentor ALEX KETLEY

are offering an extraordinary week-long mentorship experience for dancers and choreographers

in beautiful Carmel Valley Village  from December 28 - January 4, 2025.​


Thursday, August 1 ~ applications & nominations open

Sunday, September 15 ~ choreography nominations DEADLINE

Sunday, September 29 ~ Choreography finalists announced

Sunday, October 13 ~ Choreography Fellows announced

Sunday, October 27 ~ Choreographers production proposals due

Sunday, October 20 ~ priority review of dancer applications

Sunday, November 3 ~ dancers applications DEADLINE

Sunday, November 24 ~ Dance Fellows announced

"I haven't been a part of a workshop that was so closely focused on creation. It was a taste of company work. Also, this community was much more supportive and warm than others. I felt that I could walk into the space feeling accepted, acknowledged, and wanting to do the same for everyone else. Removing electronics from the space was a definite catalyst for all the genuine connections we were all able to make."    ~ Cardin Chung, Dance Major at USC Glorya Kaufman School of   Dance



CDF is thrilled to offer its 3rd annual Dance & Choreography Fellowship Program. This week-long immersion is designed to provide dancers and choreographers with a TRANSFORMATIONAL in-person experience in a stimulating and productive environment. Throughout the fellowship, dancers will work closely with guest mentor Alex Ketley, Ballare Carmel Artistic Director Lillian Barbeito, and TBD Ballare Company member on Countertechnique, progressive ballet, Hot Mess, partnering, movement generation, composition, repertory, and performance skills. It is an ideal opportunity for dancers to enhance skills while experiencing Ballare Carmel's working atmosphere, plus be considered for future employment.  Choreographers will be given time, space, dancers, production support, and feedback sessions to create or revisit their work. The experience will culminate in a public performance and reception at Hidden Valley Music Seminars' rustic and beloved theater in the heart of stunning Carmel Valley Village. 



Ballare Carmel is the resident company of the Carmel Dance Festival. It was founded in 2021 by Artistic Director Lillian Barbeito

(a graduate of The Juilliard School who founded BODYTRAFFIC and HAVEN Global Sanctuary for Dance) to tell Monterey County stories, myths, and bold feats, through world-class dance. The project-based ensemble's repertoire by established and emerging choreographers includes works by Natasha Adorlee, Jennifer Archibald, Noelle Kayser, Alex Ketley, James Gregg, Javon Ja'Moon Jones, Ihsan Rustem, and Skye Schmidt. Upcoming commissions include Stephanie Martinez and Gianna Burright.  @ballarecarmel



  • daily classes designed to enhance technique and artistry

  • opportunity to perform Ballare Carmel repertory 

  • mentorship and feedback sessions for choreography fellows

  • performance at Hidden Valley's theater

  • enjoy a quiet and enchanting destination where fresh air and nature abound

  • discover new friends and build community

  • acquire new images and performance footage


  • arrival yoga class and soundbath

  • welcome dinner

  • orientation session

  • daily technique classes  (progressive ballet, Countertechnique, partnering, Hot Mess)

  • Ballare Carmel repertory sessions

  • Community Class (locals are invited to participate in the final class)

  • creation sessions/rehearsals

  • acknowledgment partner

  • tech rehearsal

  • dress rehearsal

  • performance

  • reception

  • video of  The Showcase

SAMPLE SCHEDULE (listed in Pacific Time and subject to change) 

Saturday, December 28th

          2:00 Check-in

          4:00-5:25 Yoga & Soundbath

          5:30-6:30 Welcome Dinner

          6:30-7:30 Orientation

Sunday, December 29th 

          7:30-8:30 Breakfast

          9:00-12:30  Technique & Rehearsal with Choreography Fellow

          12:30-1:30  Lunch

          1:30-4:30  Improvisation & Rehearsal with Choreography Fellow

          5:30-6:30 Dinner   

Monday, Decemer 30th ~ Friday, January3rd

          7:30-8:30 Breakfast

          9:00-10:25  Technique 

          10:30-12:25 Ballare Carmel Repertory

          12:30-1:30 Lunch

          1:30-5:25  Creation with Choreography Fellow

          5:30-6:30 Dinner

          6:30-8:00 Evening  Seminar/Rehearsal/Fittings or Photos

          8:00-9:30 Tech Wed~Fri 

Saturday, January 6th

        8:00-9:00 Breakfast

          9:30-11 Community Class with Alex Ketley (open to the public)

          11-12:30 Tech Rehearsal

          12:30-1:30 Lunch

          1:30-3:30 Tech Continured

          3:30-5:30 Dress Rehearsal Notes

          5:30-6:30 Closing Night Dinner 

          6:45 House Opens

          7:00 SHOWCASE

          8:30 Reception 



  • 16+ (fellows aged 16 & 17 will be chaperoned and must have a legal guardian sign a waiver)

  • Superb technique in any dance genre

  • Partnering experience and/or desire and commitment to enhance partnering skills

  • Improvisation experience and/or desire and commitment to enhance improvisation skills

  • Performance experience and/or desire and commitment to enhance performance skills

  • Desire to adapt, create, connect, and contribute

"I 100% got what I came for! I was looking to connect further with the dance community and improve my skills in working in process with other artists. I feel that I have made lasting connections and grew a lot as a dancer through this program. I ended each day feeling so inspired with my mind fizzing with creativity that I hope to continue carrying with me throughout the year."

~ Jessica Hovermale, Dance Major at University of Oregon

Dancer Application


1) Email to let the Selection Committe know of your intention to apply and to request an application form.


2) Submit $50 application fee

In order to guarantee that only applicants who are dedicated to making the most of this prestigious dance opportunity apply, we have introduced a $50 application fee. The easiest and fasted way to process your application fee is to request a PayPal invoice by emailing 

3) Complete and application form

Once your application fee has been processed, you will be emailed an application via Google Forms.

4) Email additional materials

Once the application form is complete and submitted, please send all of the following materials in one email to:

  • Video Statement of Interest (talk to camera about yourself and why you are interested in participating in Carmel Dance Festival's 2025 Fellowship Program)

  • Resume with contact information

  • Headshot and full body dance shot 

  • Links to Video(s)​

  • 2 letters of recommendation

  • Indicate in the introduction email if staying overnight on campus or registering as commuter/day use only


Please include the following in your application video(s):

  • 2 minutes of unedited improvisation/one take

  • 2 + minutes of performance or rehearsal footage of choreographed material (any setting acceptable)

Please upload your Video Statement of Interest and Application Videos to Dropbox, Vimeo, or Youtube.  Kindly provide links and include passwords if needed. Videos that need to be downloaded will NOT be considered.


DANCERS' APPLICATION DEADLINE​: Sunday, November 3rd at 5:00 pm Pacific Time

Applications for the 3rd Annual Dance Fellowship will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis from Thursday, August 1st through Sunday, November 3rd at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. We encourage interested dancers to submit their applications by priority review on October 20 for the best consideration. Our selection process will begin early, and up to 20 exceptional dancers will be chosen for this prestigious fellowship program. Apply today!


All Dance Fellows participate on FULL TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS, which are generously sponsored by Carmel Dance Festival patrons.

Please note that the fellowship does not include   financial aid for travel or  Room & Board. Dance Fellows are responsivle for their transportation to Hidden Valley Music Seminars, accommodations and 3 meals per day. Further details regarding meals and housing are provided below.


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"I have never been in a space where I felt deeply supported and could truly play, dream, and collaborate. This experience was so wonderful and exciting as a choreographer. Building a relationship with Lillian and Carmel Dance Festival was so special."

~ Gianna Burright, 2023 Choreography Fellow


  • all of the above Dance Fellow offerings +

  • dancers to play, create, and discover with 

  • budget of up to $1,000 for sets, props, and costumes

  • intern: help in the studio, perform research, source materials, run errands, etc.

  • pre-fellowship inquiry with Alex Ketley

  • planning session with Lillian Barbeito

  • feedback sessions   

  • tech and dress rehearsals

  • performance venue 

  • post-performance reception

  • video of The Showcase

+ option to participate in:

  • daily technique classes

  • Ballare Carmel repertory sessions



In order to guarantee that only choreographers who are dedicated to making the most of this prestigious dance opportunity are nominated, we have introduced a $65 processing fee. This fee aims to attract individuals who are truly committed to pursuing excellence in the field of dance. Before and in order to have our selection committee review your nomination, request a PayPal invoice for $65 by emailing


To encourage teamwork, choreographers can not nominate themselves; they must be endorsed by someone else. Choreographers should not submit their materials themselves. Nominators should send the following materials to   

  • Nomination Letter ~ Consider including the following: 1. What's unique about the choreography fellowship candidate? 2. Why they are deserving of an award? 3.  How would they benefit from the fellowship? 4.  What could they do with the experience gained during the fellowship in the future?  

  • Candidate's Resume (must include candidate's email and phone number)

  • Videos of Candidate's Choreography (see below for details)

  • 1 additional letter of recommendation


  • Works Sample ONE ~ performance footage of a complete 5+ minute piece with little or no editing (wide shot). When we refer to a "complete piece," we mean an entire work from its beginning to its end, regardless of its duration.

  • Work Sample TWO ~ 3 + minutes of performance or rehearsal footage of additional choreography  (any setting acceptable). For choreographers who have created longer works (over 15 minutes), it's advisable for Work Sample Two to be an excerpt ranging from 3 to 10 minutes that showcases candidates choreographic prowess and/or promise.

  • Please provide links (and include passwords if needed) to the candidate's work samples that have been uploaded to Dropbox, Vimeo, or Youtube. Videos that need to be downloaded will NOT be considered.

CHOREOGRAPHERS' NOMINATION DEADLINE​: Sunday, September 15th at 5:00 pm Pacific 

Nominations will be accepted and reviewed from Thursday, August 1st through Sunday, September 15th at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. Two choreographers will be selected based on what candidates have done, the work proposed, and how fellow will apply what fellowship supports to future choreographic endeavors. 


Shortlisted choreographers will be asked to provide additional information about their proposed work in a questionnaire. Six finalists will be notified/announced on Sunday, September 29th. 2025 Choreography Fellows will be announced on October 13th. They will have two weeks to complete a production questionnaire. 


1. brief synopsis of proposed work  

2. ideal number of dancers

3. what do you hope to give and gain during the fellowship

4. what do you hope the audience walks away with

5. any additional needs (set/props/special lighting/costumes)





"In support of female leadership in dance," Elizabeth "Liza" Yntema is generously sponsoring a $1,000 stipend to encourage parenting choreographers to participate in this Fellowship Program.

Elizabeth "Liza" Yntema, driven by a deep commitment to bolster female leadership within the realm of dance, is exhibiting her unwavering support by generously sponsoring a $1,000 contribution. This contribution is intended to serve as an empowering incentive for parenting choreographers to actively partake in CDF's Choreography Fellowship Program.

It is a somber reality that choreographers who are mothers often grapple with substantial challenges when it comes to traveling and dedicating themselves to their artistic craft due to the pressing issue of childcare. In recognition of this barrier, Ms. Yntema's sponsorship has been designed to mitigate some of these challenges.

In line with her vision, we highly encourage the nomination of mothers who are nursing or have children aged 4 and under. By doing so, we aim to create an inclusive and nurturing environment that supports the talents and aspirations of these remarkable individuals. Your participation and nominations are pivotal in making this initiative a resounding success. We look forward to your contributions in fostering a more diverse and inclusive landscape within the world of dance.































ALEX KETLEY (Filmmaker, Choreographer, Stanford Professor, & Guggenheim Fellow)

is an independent choreographer, filmmaker, and Director of The Foundry. Formally a classical dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, he left the company to create The Foundry as a platform to explore his interests in alternative methods of devising performance. The company has allowed Ketley the freedom to pursue projects that would be difficult to realize within his commissioning career. A few examples of these are; Syntax, an hour-long duet systemically using the mechanics of language as an organizing mechanism, Lost Line researched how the application of environment effects the generation of movement and studied in direct response to California’s diverse physical landscapes, Please Love Me jettisoned the structure of performing in a theater context and was developed with a curiosity about how people genuinely connect and experience artwork, and the No Hero Trilogy which was a multi-year project that explored what dance and performance mean to the lives of people living throughout rural America.


For his independent work as a choreographer, he has been commissioned extensively throughout the United States and has received acknowledgment from the Hubbard Street National Choreographic Competition, the International Choreographic Competition of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Saveaur, the Choo-San Goh Award, the Princess Grace Award for Choreography, four Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Residencies, the Gerbode-Hewlett Choreographer Award, the Eben Demarest Award, the National Choreographic Initiative Residency, a Kenneth Rainin Foundation New and Experimental Works Grant, three CHIME Fellowships, the Artistry Award from the Superfest International Disability Film Festival, and his work was featured on national television through an invitation from the show So You Think You Can Dance. His pieces and collaborations have also been awarded Isadora Duncan Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the categories of; Ensemble, Choreography, as well as Full Company, and nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design.


As an educator, he has taught throughout the world and is currently a Lecturer at Stanford University’s Theater and Performance Studies Department and was the founding Resident Choreographer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance for 14 years until its closure in 2018.


In 2020 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, one of the most prestigious honors in the United States recognizing individuals "who have demonstrated exceptional creative ability in the arts.”



LILLIAN BARBEITO  (Carmel Dance Festival Co-Founder/Ballare Carmel Artistic Director)

brings more than 35 years of dance experience as an artist, producer, director, and educator to her role as Artistic Director of Ballare Carmel. During the course of her career, she has been a performer with contemporary dance companies, the co-founder of a world-renowned non-profit organization, the founder of an innovative corporation, and an internationally recognized, certified teacher of Countertechnique. 


Barbeito grew up in the desert under the blues skies of Santa Fe, New Mexico where she trained with the Santa Fe Dance Foundation and worked with The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Southwest Ballet, and the Santa Fe Opera. She earned her BFA from The Juilliard School where she studied on a 4 year, full-tuition scholarship awarded by Tomorrow’s Leaders of America for her essay about the world dancing together in harmony. Barbeito had an extensive performance career that took her to Europe, New York, and then finally to Los Angeles, where she founded BODYTRAFFIC with Tina Berkett. Under her co-direction, the ensemble received critical acclaim and toured to the most prestigious dance venues across the globe from the Hollywood Bowl to Jacob's Pillow to the Mariinsky Theatre. She has taught internationally for organizations such as CalArts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, L'Artere and L’ecole de Danse in Quebec City, Lyon Opera Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Southland Ballet Academy,  The Wooden Floor, and UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. Barbeito is one of 36 teachers in the world who is certified to teach Anouk van Dijk’s groundbreaking Countertechnique. She has choreographed over 50 works for high schools, universities, competitions, regional ballet companies, and professional modern dance companies throughout the US and Canada. She is the Founder and CEO of HAVEN Global Sanctuary for Dance, a platform dedicated to shaping an equitable, diverse, and inclusive future of dance. 


Barbeito is married to filmmaker and environmentalist Grant Barbeito. They relocated their two sons, Oliver who is 13, and Forest who is 9, two bearded dragons, and an Irish-doodle named Harvey to Carmel Valley to launch the Carmel Dance Festival and Ballare Carmel.























JAVON "JA'MOON" JONES (Ballare Carmel Company Member & Choreographer) is a performance artist who discovered his love for movement in his hometown of Detroit, MI. Following his graduation from Cass Technical High School he went on to train, traditionally, at The Juilliard School. During his college tenure Ja’Moon has performed works by some of the leading names in the concert dance community; Crystal Pite, Jose Limon, Bill T Jones and more. Ja’Moon took a leave from his formal studies to join in the thoughtfulness of A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham. He has had the privilege to dance works that have allowed him to move audiences from stages at The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Peter J. Sharp, and Ralph Freud Playhouse. Ja’Moon is developing his own sacred illustrations as an independent performance artist while also continuing to expand through his ventures as a bi-coastal freelance artist. He is currently in Sleep No More. He joined Ballare Carmel in 2022 and is featured in works by Jennifer Archibald and Ihsan Rustem. Ja'Moon is thrilled to be creating a work for Ballare Carmel.


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Choreographer Nomination




Carmel Valley Village was home to the Rumsen (also known as Rumsien, San Carlos Costanoan, and Carmeleno), one of eight groups of the  Ohlone, and indigenous people of California.    Among the rolling hills and grapevines of Carmel Valley, California, you'll find vineyards, tucked-away inns, championship golf courses, award-winning restaurants, rugged hiking, and horseback riding. And it's all just a short, stunning drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea and Big Sur. 


Hidden Valley's eight-acre campus comprises a 300-seat theatre, a dance studio, music rehearsal gazebos, a classroom, a dining/recreation hall, and seventeen lodging rooms.  Large outdoor decks are adjacent to the dance studio and the theatre.  All facilities are on the ground floor and easily accessible.   Hidden Valley Music Seminars was born out of a deep concern for the development of extraordinarily talented young artists.  Programs in the fields of music, theatre, opera and dance have occupied most of the time and energy of the staff and faculty since its inception in 1963. ​   The Master Class concept has always been a part of the Hidden Valley project and through the years, students from around the world have benefitted from the teaching of some of the great musicians of our time.  The Dance Center was initiated in 1973 and, through enthusiastic community support, became one of the most popular of Hidden Valley's programs. ​   In 1983 Hidden Valley joined the educational centers worldwide which were offering Elderhostel programs.  Within four years, Hidden Valley became one of the 75 "supersites" in America presenting at least 40 Elderhostel/Road Scholar weeks per year.  The interaction between the older and younger students has become one of the exciting aspects of the Institute's campus life. The constant thread throughout Hidden Valley's existence has been an uncompromising interest in the careful selection of students and faculty to represent the highest quality of each possible.  Founder and General Director, Peter T. Meckel, notes, "As members of a wonderful local community and an international musical family, we treasure our connections to friends and supporters.  We pledge our unwavering dedication to quality and substance in all aspects of our work."


The magic of this Fellowship takes place inside and OUTSIDE of the dance studio and theater. To help forge lifelong bonds and foster enriching conversations over meals, staying and dining on campus is mandatory for out-of-town fellows. Locals can participate as Day~Use~Only; receive 3 meals a day and use the campus for approximately 1/2 the cost. 



The WADDELL CENTER Residence Hall has 17 simple, clean and cheery, non-smoking rooms. Each room has two twin beds, a dresser, and bathroom with a shower, toilet, and sink.  All rooms exit directly to a deck or walk via sliding glass doors, which can be locked from the inside.  Each room has an individually controlled heater, bed linens and towels.  If you will need an alarm clock or hair dryer, you should bring these with you. 


LUBLOW LODGE is a beautiful new residential center, adding six spacious double-occupancy rooms with a queen bed, a twin bed, air conditioning, and a bathroom with shower, toilet, and sink. The Hidden Valley campus provides free wireless internet access. There is a computer and printer available for guests in the Fireside Room. Additional nights in a Waddell Center or Faculty Lodge room outside the dates of the program you are attending can be arranged, on a space-available basis.  


      Waddell Center:

  •      Double Room plus 3 meals per day ~ $1,000

  •      Single Room plus 3 meals per day ~ $1,300

     Lubow Lodge (new building):

  •      Double Room plus 3 meals per day ~ $1,200

  •      Single Room plus 3 meals per day ~ $1,500


One of the reasons the Fellowship Program is so impactful is the rich learning and sharing experiences that extend beyond the studio, particularly during meals. To foster strong bonds and a sense of community, it is mandatory for all Fellows to dine together. For individuals with specific dietary restrictions, we understand the need to bring their own meals, but they are still required to pay the commuter fee. The Day Use Only/Commuter Fee is $500.00, which covers the cost of three meals a day along with a facilities fee. This ensures that everyone can fully participate in the program's communal aspects and create lasting connections.




Call: (831) 659-3115



"I hoped to gain a more intimate and creative relationship with myself and the people around me. I walked away not only having the wish fulfilled beyond what I could have dreamt, but feeling more supported, more encouraged, and more hopeful for my future than ever before."   

~ 2023  Dance Fellow


"This week was rejuvenating and inspiring. It was refreshing to take a break from my regular dance community and create a new one with other artists. I think the structure of the week created many opportunities to share and create and support one another, and the choice to exclude phones from shared spaces was a catalyst for people actually engaging in conversation and taking in what was going on around them. Thank you all for your efforts to create spaces that were safe, open, and engaging. I imagine I will still be processing experiences and new thoughts from this week for quite a while and I will definitely be taking things I learned about myself and dance into my dance community at home."   

~ Katie Marshall, 2023   Dance Fellow


"My week in Carmel reinvigorated my inspiration for art and dance and began my year the best way possible."   

~ Isabella Soo Hoo, Dance Major at Boston Conservatory


 "This was different from other intensives that I've been to because there was such an emphasis on community that was a breath of fresh air. I was also able to step out of my comfort zone and make major artistic breakthroughs in only a week. It was also more challenging in ways that I wasn't expecting, but I learned so much about myself that I couldn't have learned anywhere else."   

~ Gabija Vabalaite, Dance Major at UCI


"Alex Ketley taught a class called Hot Mess in and in that class you had to let everything go and not overthink the tasks that were asked of you and this idea of just going for it is something I hope to bring back with me in my future dance endeavors," 

~ Genevieve Antonetty, Dance Major at NYU

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Savannah Dunn, Madison Falconer, Brian Golden


Nicol Bui, Bailey Duffield, Elyse Fahye, Sage Melton, Dalya Modlin, Piper Northburg, Ceilia Rammel, Kyra Shimogori, Lauren Blair Smith, Alisson Trigos, Lauren Velasco

Special thanks to Our 2nd Annual Fellowship Program Sponsors:

Peter Meckel & Hidden Valley Music Seminars

Thomas D. Halaczkiewicz Foundation

Dave Stewart & Nancy Scholink

Yellow Brick Road Foundation

Carlos Lens & Scott Franey

Carmel Valley Kiwanis

Elizabeth "Liza" Ytenma




Natasha Adorlee, Gianna Burright, Nicole Hennington


Veronica Allen, Genevieve Antonetty, Natalie Arronno, Cardin Chung, Ariel Clarke, Grace Cuny, Bailey Duffield, Isabelle Edgar, Marie Finley, Jessica Hovermale, Kloii Hummingbird, Theresa Knudson, Isabelle Lara, Katherine Lingle, Katie Marshall, Sage Melton, Sophia Nielson, Paloma Perez-Rojas, Isabella Soo Hoo, Courtney Sprouse, Gabija Vabalaite, Olivia Wood, Jenna Cardona Wu,  Ho Ming "Angus" Wu, and  Dillon Zamora                                                                      

Special thanks to:

Carmel Gives,  Dave Stewart & Nancy Scholink,   

and the Thomas D. Halaczkiewicz Foundation

for helping sponsor our inaugural

Dance & Choreography Fellow Program!

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