Costume Shop Manager
Hailing from Mercer, Wisconsin, Ron began his ballet studies as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Following a summer of training at the Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago, Mr. Altman signed his first professional contract with the Duluth Ballet. His dance career continued with the Joffrey Concert Group, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and New York Theatre Ballet. As a principal guest artist, he has performed with the St. Louis Ballet formerly the Missouri Concert Ballet, Mobile Ballet, Ocala Ballet Theatre—formerly the Marion Performing Ballet, the Boise Ballet, and the Charlotte Youth Ballet. His roles include Prince Charming in Cinderella, Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Albrecht in Giselle, the Cavalier in The Nutcracker, and principal roles in Les Biches and Ondine.
Ron continues to develop his interests in teaching and costume design and has earned his Master of Fine Arts from the Department of Dance at The Ohio State University. He has enjoyed opportunities to coach partnering to leading couples, teach ballet technique, and lecture about dance and costume histories.
He has designed and fabricated costumes for small concert works and full-length productions including Jinsha, Entrechat, a reconstruction of Loie Fuller’s La Mer, and full length productions of La Bayadère, The Stone Flower, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty. His costumes have been worn by dancers in companies across the United States, Iceland, Japan, and Mexico.
Box Office Manager
Bio Coming Soon.
Glenn Del Vecchio
Executive Director Glenn Del Vecchio joined the Grand Rapids Ballet in 2009. Prior to his appointment, Del Vecchio moved to Michigan to serve as director of marketing for Universal Forest Products’ restaurant division. He directed the marketing for a 29 unit group of company owned and franchised casual, quick service and specialty themed restaurants in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Michigan.
For eleven years Glenn worked for Clear Channel Communications. At its peak Clear Channel was the largest radio and live entertainment company in the U.S. and operated 14 radio stations across West Michigan covering every format and demographic age group. Overseeing promotions, non-traditional revenue streams, live performance events, internet and interactive media sales to create and successfully monetize programs to increase revenue and market share.
Del Vecchio joined the ballet as a consultant while with his own firm, Captus Creative. A full service marketing, new media, and production company. Creating marketing, branding and large scale event productions for clients like Van Andel Arena and DeVos Performance Hall, B93 Birthday Bash, Rothbury Festival, Michigan State University, Hospice of Michigan, Davenport University, and Cornerstone University.
He serves on a number of executive boards in the community; Vice Chair, Michigan Dance Council, and Operations committee of the Convention Arena and previously served on the Adoptive family support network board.
In 2014 he accepted the Newsmaker of the year award for the world premiere of Grand Rapids Ballet’s The Nutcracker featuring the creative of team Patricia Barker, Val Caniporoli Chris Van Allsburg and Eugene Lee. The premiere capped the culmination of a multi-year, multi-million dollar campaign to build the production, stabilize the financial picture and raise the profile of the Grand Rapids ballet.
Mr. Del Vecchio was raised in Philadelphia and attended Millersville University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He currently resides in East Grand Rapids with his wife Kirsten and two sons.
Bio coming soon.
Dawnell Dryja (she/her/hers)
Artistic Coordinator & Ballet Master
Dawnell retired from dancing with Grand Rapids Ballet in 2017 after 16 seasons. She then transitioned to Artistic Coordinator and Ballet Mistress at Grand Rapids Ballet. Previously dancing with Cincinnati Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Dayton Ballet and Metropolitan Ballet Theatre of Detroit, Dawnell enjoyed a long, rewarding career with a repertoire spanning the classics to contemporary masterpieces, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Paquita, Dracula, Peter Pan, Aladdin, Firebird, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Jack The Ripper, Red Angels, Fingerprints, Black and White, Sync, Jewels, Allegro Brilliante, Who Cares, Serenade, Four Temperaments, Divertimento No. 15, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Concerto Barocco, Nine Sinatra Songs, Where the Wild Things Are, Celts, Rapture, Il Distratto, Con Amore, The Sofa, This Is Not A Raincoat, and The Gift of the Magi.
Having the opportunity to work with esteemed choreographers and teachers from around the world such as Lila York, Nils Christe, Fredrick Franklin, Suzanne Farrell, Kirk Peterson, Val Caniporoli, Peter Boal, Septime Webre, Raymond Lukens, Mario Radakovsky, and Stanton Welch helped shape her artistry. Having new roles crafted for her and mastering the classics were her happy place as a dancer. Performing live in concert with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and the John Jorgenson Quintet were outstanding stage experiences.
Additionally, Dawnell took over as the owner and Artistic Director of Academy of Dance Arts in Comstock Park, Michigan, six years ago and enjoys fostering an environment where the students can grow in all the different disciplines of dance, as well as staging and creating new works. She holds a professional membership with Dance Masters of America and the Cecchetti Council of America and enjoys guest teaching, dancing and judging around the country.
Ms. Dryja is married to Bryce Black and has a daughter Tevyn who is the light of her life.
Company & Facilities Manager
John Ferraro came to Grand Rapids Ballet in 2008. Initially brought on board as Production Manager having graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy as a theater tech major and having worked with various theaters in Chicago and Boston.
Over time his responsibilities have changed and grown to eventually become Company Manager as well as managing the Grand Rapids Ballet facilities.
After attending Columbia College in Chicago as a photography major John has worked in a variety of industries from industrial design at Synergy Product Development to electronic publishing at McGraw Hill, to technical writing for Siemens Dematic. He also has extensive experience in the custom furniture world.
In what seems to him like another life, John also studied violin making at the Chicago School of Violin Making and continues to make the occasional instrument in his home shop, which he donates to young musicians who can’t afford a good quality violin.
Bio coming soon.
Costume Shop Assistant
Nancy, a first-generation Luso-American, was born in historic New Bedford, Massachusetts where the spark that ignited her love of sewing and costumes began. Nancy has 18+ years of costume experience working as a professional healthcare clown at Children’s Hospitals in Boston, Providence, and Chicago for the Big Apple Circus, Healthy Humor, and Vaudeville Chicago. An award-winning costumer and Milliner, Nancy’s work can also be seen at local theaters such as Holland Community Theater, Central Park Players, and Master Arts Theater. Using her creative and colorful costumes, Nancy brings laughter and playful distraction to seniors in nursing care facilities along with music, magic, and more through her organization, The Funnybone Foundation. Nancy worked part-time as a licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant for 17 years in elementary schools before moving to West Michigan in 2015. A competitive rower of American Beetle Boats, Azorean Whaleboats and Cornish Pilot Gigs, Nancy brought the love of rowing to the Grand Rapids area by forming the Great Lakes Currach Rowing Club. She Serves as West/Central Michigan Community Relations Coordinator, a year-round volunteer position, for Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child and formed a sewing group creating clothing and school items for impoverished children around the world. Nancy speaks fluent Portuguese, is a long-time member of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America, and when not at a sewing machine or doing hand embroidery work, she enjoys gardening, reading, cooking, gf baking, and sharing life’s adventures with her husband, Edward.
Julie Lesniak (she/her/hers)
Originally from Montclair, NJ, Julie Lesniak moved to Grand Rapids in 2018 to be closer to loved ones. She studied psychology and dance at Connecticut College where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree. Julie was drawn to work at Grand Rapids Ballet and began as a receptionist. Expanding her skillsets, she now serves as the Development Director. Julie proudly serves on the board of Young Non-Profit Professional of Grand Rapids (YNPN.GR) and is an active member of AFPWM.
Bio coming soon.
Attila Mosolygo (he/him)
School and Junior Company Director
Attila was born in Kisvarda, Hungary. He received his early training at the National Ballet Institute in Budapest. After moving to the United States, he joined the Joffrey Ballet School. He has performed as a guest artist with Mobile Ballet, Bravo Dance, Harrisburg Ballet, Ballet Theatre of Chicago and the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Attila spent sixteen years as a company dancer and eight years as a Ballet Master at Grand Rapids Ballet. As a company dancer, a few of his notable roles include The Prodigal Son in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son, Max in Septime Webre’s Where The Wild Things Are, Charlie Chaplin in Gordon Peirce Schmidt’s Flickers, Tibalt in Mario Radacovsky’s Romeo and Juliet, and Melancholic in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments. Attila became the Director of the Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company in 2011 and School Director in 2017. For the Junior Company, Attila has choreographed Snow White, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Carnival of the Animals, Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, and The Wizard of Oz.
Mindy Mosolygo (she/her)
School Curriculum Coordinator
Mindy has been teaching at the Grand Rapids Ballet School since 1996. She received her early training under the instruction of Charthel Arthur and Robert Estner at Grand Rapids Ballet School. Mindy danced professionally with Grand Rapids Ballet for 15 years before retiring in 2009. She was the company’s Ballet Mistress for 2 years before becoming the School Curriculum Coordinator in 2011. Mindy is married to Attila Mosolygo (School Director and Junior Company Director). They have a daughter, Vivian, and a son, Cameron.
Bio coming soon.
Errol Shewman (he/him/his)
Guest Services Manager
Bio coming soon.
A dancer for the past 18 years at San Francisco Ballet, James Sofranko has danced in numerous works and world premieres by choreographers such as Helgi Tomasson, Val Caniparoli, William Forsythe, Liam Scarlett, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Edwaard Liang, Lar Lubovitch, Wayne McGregor, Mark Morris, Julia Adam, Yuri Possokhov, Christopher Wheeldon, Paul Taylor, Arthur Pita, Stanton Welch, Jorma Elo, Hans Van Manen, Jiri Kylian, John Neumeier, James Kudelka, Lila York, Kenneth Macmillan, George Balanchine, and Jerome Robbins. Some of his favorite roles include ‘Mercutio’ in Tomasson’s Romeo and Juliet, ‘Eros’ in Mark Morris’ Sylvia, ‘Bugle Boy’ in Taylor’s Company B, and the second sailor in Robbins’ Fancy Free.
He received an Isadora Duncan award (“Izzie”) for Best Performance in 2011 in Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony.
James was featured in the principal role of ‘Eddie’ in the Broadway touring company of Movin’ Out, a musical choreographed by Twyla Tharp to the songs of Billy Joel.
In 2012, Sofranko co-founded DanceFAR (Dance For A Reason), an annual benefit performance and after-party that brings the Bay Area dance community together to support the work of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). In 2014, he received the Inspiration Award from CPIC. To date, DanceFAR has raised over $450,000 in support of their programs and initiatives to prevent cancer.
In 2014, Sofranko formed a new contemporary repertory company in San Francisco, SFDanceworks. The first two seasons have played to sold out houses and the company has presented works by Alejandro Cerrudo, Lar Lubovitch, José Limón, and world premieres by Penny Saunders, James Graham, Danielle Rowe, Dana Genshaft, and James Sofranko.
Sofranko has also created many original choreographic works, including two for the San Francisco Ballet School Trainee program, SFDanceworks, Long Beach Ballet, and Marin Dance Theater. James also works as a repetiteur for Yuri Possokhov, resident choreographer for San Francisco Ballet, and has staged his ballets on Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.
Along with his duties to Grand Rapids Ballet, Sofranko will continue to develop SFDanceworks, currently presenting a San Francisco season every summer.