Laura Hilley

Fairhope, AL | Apprentice | Joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2014

“When I was 18 months old, I saw a family friend perform in The Nutcracker and was mesmerized!” says Hilley. “I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to take ballet class at age three.” She’s been dancing ever since, training with Mobile Ballet extensively, as well as summer intensives at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theater and Houston Ballet, where she graduated from the Academy in 2014. Hilley’s favorite dance memory thus far is dancing the role of Generosity in The Sleeping Beauty; “the connection to the audience was so strong that they applauded in the middle of my solo—what an incredible experience to know they were moved by my dancing!” Hilley joined Cincinnati Ballet Second Company in 2014 as a Trainee and returns for the 1516 Season as a CBII.

Sponsors: Dr. Jan Gallagher and Janet Ulrich and William & Jayde Ulrich Kief

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.”

Professional History

  • Mobile Ballet
  • Houston Ballet Academy (2011-2014)
  • Cincinnati Ballet: Trainee, CBII (2014-Present)

Favorite Roles

  • Mirlipoo in The Nutcracker
  • Winter Fairy in Cinderella
  • Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty
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