Melissa Gelfin

Principal Dancer | Philadelphia, PA | Joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2014

Melissa Gelfin began her ballet training with Lisa Collins Vidnovic at Metropolitan Ballet Academy and continued with Barbara Sandonato and Andrea Long-Naidu at Barbara Sandonato School of Ballet. She joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in 2009 and was awarded a National Training Scholarship with ABT. Gelfin joined Orlando Ballet II in 2010, joined the company as an apprentice the following year and was promoted to a company member in January 2012. Gelfin finished as a finalist in the 2014 USA IBC competition in Jackson, Mississippi, performing Don Quixote Pas de Deux, Switch Phase choreographed by Mathew Neenan, Le Corsaire Pas de Duex and Barco Negro choreographed by Telmo Moreira. Gelfin joined Cincinnati Ballet as New Dancer for the 14-15 Season and in February was promoted to Corps de Ballet. In 2015, she performed in Cincinnati Opera’s production of Turandot. Gelfin was promoted to Senior Soloist for Cincinnati Ballet’s 2017-2018 Season.

Sponsor: Bernie & Mary Kay Calonge and Kelly & Tim Brown & Family

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.”

Favorite Roles

  • Tarantella, Square Dance

Competitions & Awards

Melissa Gelfin in Cincinnati Ballet's King Arthur's Camelot

Photography: Peter Mueller

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