Florrie discovered her love of ballet performance at Paula Fichtenkort’s Academy of Dance in Savannah, Georgia. At ten, she moved to Carlisle, PA to train with legendary Marcia Dale Weary and the faculty of Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, where she danced soloist roles in Sean Lavery’s Twinkliana, Kelly Ann Sloan’s A Serious Sonata for Choreoplan 2011, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Florrie continued her training at Next Generation Ballet with Peter Stark, Ivonne Lemus, and Philip Neal. She won gold at the Youth America Grand Prix semi-finals, and placed in the “Top 12” at the YAGP New York City Finals, where she was selected by Gillian Murphy and Susan Jaffe to receive the first Gillian Murphy Endowed Scholarship to UNCSA. Florrie danced Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty as well as the title role of Giselle in Next Generation Ballet’s full-length productions. She also performed Philip Neal’s Grand Avenue Blues at the YAGP Gala, “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow.” Florrie studied with Tina LeBlanc and Sofiane Sylve at San Francisco Ballet School on full scholarship, and performed Russian Corps in George Balanchine’s Serenade. Florrie received scholarships to summer intensives at CPYB, Next Generation Ballet, The School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, as well as the E. John Busser Scholarship. In 2017, Florrie was honored to dance Alexandre Proia’s solo tribute To Violette, in memory of Violette Verdy at a fundraising gala. Florrie was featured in Dance Spirit Magazine, and Premier Dance Network’s Becoming Ballet podcasts.
Touchet will never forget her 19th birthday. That was the day Victoria Morgan came to Pacific Northwest Ballet, to audition Touchet’s professional division. “Directors from everywhere auditioned us, but nobody ever picked me,” she says. “I remember thinking she wouldn’t like me anyway, so I told myself to just have fun, and after it was over, she said, ‘I’d like to talk to Janessa’.” Crossed wires with communicating Touchet’s acceptance of Morgan’s apprenticeship offer led to a planned spot with Memphis Ballet, but Morgan called one last time and Touchet was able to come to Cincinnati Ballet instead. “It was meant to be here. I started as an Apprentice and moved all the way through the ranks. I had always had my heart and mind set on Cincinnati Ballet.”
Photography: Peter Mueller