Neoclassical ballet

Pittsburgh Ballet Theater signs new dancers for 2022-23 season

Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater (PBT) Susan Jaffe signed five new dancers to the company’s roster for PBT’s 2022-23 season. The season opens October 7-9, with Storytelling in Motion at August Wilson African American Cultural Center.

Ariana Chernyshev, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will join the company as an apprentice for the 2022-23 season. Chernyshev trained at the PBT school from pre-ballet through the graduate program. Pittsburgh native David O’Matz joins the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater as a corps de ballet dancer, having previously danced with the Orlando Ballet. Maria Eduarda Pinto from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil also joins the company as an apprentice.

In other roster changes for the 2022-23 season, soloists Masahiro Haneji of Japan and Lucius Kirst of Los Angeles were promoted to principal dancers and Colin McCaslin of Vineland, New Jersey was promoted from corps de ballet to soloist. 2021-22 season apprentices Sujanya Dhillon of Vancouver, Canada and Jacob Miller of Lawrence, Massachusetts have been promoted to corps de ballet. Principal dancer Alejandro Diaz of Miami, Florida has resigned as principal dancer. Corps de Ballet dancers Cooper Verona of Connecticut and Victoria Watford of Cleveland, Ohio left PBT to join the Met Ballet in Columbus, Ohio.

Single tickets for Storytelling in Motion and the other productions of the 2022-2023 season are on sale now on, 412-456-6666 or the box office in Theater Square. Tickets start at $29. Subscription packages are available now by visiting or by calling 412-454-9107.

About the new dancers

Sujanya Dhillon, from Vancouver, Canada, trained at Goh Ballet Academy, Miami City Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School and attended summer programs at all three. She received First Place Scholarships from Coastal Capital Savings and Affinity Dance in 2017, received the Shakti Award for Artistic Achievement in 2019, and received the British Columbia Arts Council Fellowship in 2018 and 2020. She also received a Young Artists Relief Fund scholarship from The American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet in 2020, created to support artists in the time of COVID-19. His repertoire includes excerpts from La Bayadère, Don Quichotte and George Balanchineby Coppélia, as well as the Four Seasons by the Goh Ballet Academy, Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker. Sujanya was an apprentice at PBT in the 2021-2022 season.

Jacob Miller began his ballet training at the Northeast Dance Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He left home to continue his training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNSCA) in 2016, where he received the Gillian Murphy Sotck exchange. After graduating from high school in dance, Miller stayed at UNCSA for college and is currently working toward her BFA in dance performance. During her studies, Miller worked with many renowned choreographers, such as Goyo Montero, Assur Barton and Susan Jaffe. He has also performed leading roles in classical and neoclassical ballets, such as La Belle au bois dormant by Marius Petipa and George Balanchineof the Baroque Concerto. Miller was an apprentice at PBT in the 2021-22 season.

David O’Matz joins Pittsburgh Ballet Theater from Orlando Ballet, where he has been dancing since February 2021. He also previously danced at the Joffrey Ballet Studio Company and trained at the San Francisco Ballet School and the Ballet Academy in Pittsburgh. The selected repertoire includes Hilarion in Giselle, the pas de trois variation in Swan Lake, Rapid Maneuver by Nicolas Blanc, Life’s a Bridge by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Ballet D’Isoline by Helgi Tomasson and Stars and Stripes by George Balanchine.

About New Apprentices

Ariana Chernyshev was born in Pittsburgh and trained at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School (PBT School) from pre-ballet through the graduate program. Additionally, she has completed summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet, and Washington School of Ballet. In 2019, Ariana accepted an intern position at the Washington School of Ballet, where she performed with the company and danced lead roles in classical and contemporary works with the school. As a graduate student at the PBT school, she had the honor of performing with the company at George BalanchineRuby by Terrence S. Orr, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty by Terrence S. Orr. In 2022, Ariana performed as a guest artist of Swan Lake with Tulsa Ballet. Ariana enjoys teaching yoga to high school students at PBT school and was thrilled to perform Susan Jaffe‘s Swan Lake last May.

Maria Eduarda Pinto was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she began taking ballet lessons at the age of two. She joined the Maria Olenewa dance school and finished her studies at the Lyceu dance school under the direction of Lorena Boaventura. In 2020, she trained at the Miami City Ballet with Aranxta Ochoa and Alexander Iziliaev. She has won several awards in competitions in Brazil and was a finalist in the Latin America Selections of the Prix de Lausanne and the Grand Prix Youth America, in addition to participating in several international competitions such as Tanzolymp, ADCIBC, WBC and VKIBC.