jury 2019

Charise Renouf


Training; Laine Theatre Arts 

Choreography Credits; ‘West End Eurovision’ (Dominion Theatre), ‘Dancing Kidd’ (PPA), Assistant Choreographer; ‘Gigglebiz’ (CBeebies), ‘Just Sing and Dance’ (Butlins Resorts), ‘Laine Theatre Arts Summer Show’ (Epsom Playhouse) 

Theatre Credits; Featured Dancer ‘West End Bares’ (The Troxy), Dance Captain ‘Peter Pan’ (The Hexagon), Puppeteer/Dancer ‘Justin’s Party’ (UK Tour), Corps De Ballet ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’ (West End, Her Majesty’s Theatre), ‘Olivier Awards’, ‘25th and 30th Anniversary Gala’, Featured Dancer ‘42nd Street’ Gala’ (London Palladium), Dance Captain ‘Cinderella’, ‘Dick Whittington’ (The Hexagon), Featured Dancer ‘Thursford Christmas Spectacular’ (Thursford), Dancer ‘Dick Whittington’ (Milton Keynes), Dancer ‘Sleeping Beauty’ (Churchill Theatre, Bromley) 

TV Credits; Featured Dancer ‘Justin’s House’ (CBeebies); Corps De Ballet ‘The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Concert’ and ‘Olivier Awards’ (BBC); Featured Dancer ‘Got To Dance’ (Sky 1) 

Teaching Credits; Pineapple Dance Studios, Urdang Academy, Performers College, Laine Theatre Arts, London Children’s Ballet, PPA. 

Matthew Prescott

ADO JUDGE 2019 (Joffrey Ballet School)

In 2000, he joined the Joffrey Ballet for a number of years before setting out as a freelance artist. Working as a freelancer, Matthew has worked and performed with Donald Byrd’s Spectrum Dance Theater, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Ballet NY, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Amanda Miller, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, The Alabama Ballet, Armitage Gone! Dance, BalletX, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Morphoses the Wheeldon Company, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Matthew was featured in Robert Altman’s film The Company. Matthew has choreographed works performed by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Chamber Dance Project, the Joffrey Ballet School, BalletX, Interlochen Arts Academy, for Misty Copeland for Prince’s Coming to America 2010 Madison Square Garden performances, as well as the Vail International Dance Festival. Matthew was the Resident Choreographer on the national tour of Billy Elliot as well as performing the roll of Older Billy. Matthew made his Broadway debut on Broadway in the cast of Phantom of the Opera

Jacob Hernandez

ADO JUDGE 2019 (Victor Ullate School)

Born in Canarias, Spain, Jacob Hernández studied there under the orders of the dancer and choreographer Gelu Barbu and a few years later he became part of the prestigious Hamburg Balletschule (Germany) with John Neumeier as director to finish his dance studies.

In 2000, he won a dance contest held in A Coruña (Spain) and in 2001 he was invited to collaborate with Maurice Bejart's Company during his Canary Islands’ tour. Two years later, he began his career as a professional dancer in Nacho Duato's Compañía Nacional de Danza, where he performed several of his famous choreographies such as Arenal, Duende, Coming Together, Rasamble, L'Amoroso, among others.

In 2005 he was invited to dance in the production of Blancanieves Ballet with Tamara Rojo, where he plays one of the solo dwarfs of this ballet. During the 2006/07 season he entered as principal dancer in the Ballet Madrid Company of Pascal Tozeou, in which he performed ballets such as The Nutcracker and The Red Shoes.

A few months later, in February 2007, he returns to his homeland to join the new Gran Canaria Ballet directed by Anatol Yanowsky, where he performs as a soloist pieces by such prestigious choreographers as Jeunehomme by Uwe Scholz, Empty place by Renato Zanella and Returning Points by Annabelle López Ochoa.

During the following years, he is part of the Víctor Ullate Ballet as soloist and dances in Samsara, Coppélia, 2 You Maestro, Beethoven, Wonderland, etc. Ullate also creates a solo for Jacob in memory of his teacher Maurice Bejart, Après Toi, premiered in Palma de Mallorca and coinciding with the anniversary of his death. Later, he is invited to participate in the XXV Anniversary Gala of Víctor Ullate Ballet-Community of Madrid, along with dance stars such as Lucía Lacarrra, Rut Miró, Igor Yebra, among others.

In 2010 he travelled to France to start his career at the Biarritz Ballet, where he performs such representative pieces as Romeo and Juliet, El Amor Brujo, Bolero, Magnifique, Dernière Chanson, Mozart at 2, Lucifer, Cendrillon, Nocturnes, Estro, La Beauty and the Beast…
And in 2015, he took part in the Donosti Dance Gala (Teatro Victoria Eugenia, Spain), in which he played Romeo y Julieta - Grand Pas de Deux.

As a choreographer he curated some pieces like Memories for the musical Cats (Charity Gala of Save the Children) and Hug in the rain for the Gala of the World Dance Day (Teatro Victoria Eugenia, Spain), with music by Ángel Illarramendi.
He has been invited on numerous occasions to participate in dance competitions, such as the one in Ciudad de Haro or the ORBE National Dance Contest (Burgos), in which he has intervened as chairman and jury.

In his career as a teacher, he has extensive experience as a ballet teacher in schools such as Idance, by Lola Gonzales (Madrid), Ainhoa ​​Pardo (Irún), visiting professor at dance academies such as Miren Gómez, Ana Lanfus, Pausoka (Guipuzkoa), Dance and art center of Madrid, Ballet Chary Utrera, Elisabeth Mateo academy or the Municipal School of dance of Arguineguin (Canary Islands).

He was also a ballet teacher in the third edition of the TV show Fama from Cuatro channel, and invited professor to teach dance courses at the Arriaga Theater.

In the 2016-2017 season, he began his career at the Víctor Ullate School as pedagogical director and Head of Classical Dance Studies. He has been able to perform several performances with the students, in which he highlights Études, which was presented during the End of Course Gala in June of 2017, and, more recently, the Peter Pan Ballet in the last Gala in 2018.

Solange Urdang

ADO JUDGE 2019 (Urdang Academy)

​Solange became CEO of Urdang in 2001


Having herself trained at the Academy, she had a successful career as a dancer and singer in commercial entertainment, TV and pop video.


In 1994, she diversified into art, design and photography and also worked at the Academy in a variety of roles.  Solange is responsible for the successful move to The Old Finsbury Town Hall and expansion into the Academy’s second premises, Urdang 2, echoing the achievements of her mother.  She now focuses on ensuring Urdang maintains and grows its reputation as a leading international performing arts college, continuing its founding ethos and passion of breaking down cultural barriers.

Solange Melo


Natural de Lisboa, nasceu em 1980. Estudou na Escola de Dança do Conservatório Nacional sob orientação do Mestre Georges Garcia. Ingressou na Companhia Nacional de Bailado em 1998 onde foi promovida a Bailarina Principal em 2012. De 2005 a 2007, foi bailarina Solista no Ballet Nacional da Noruega. Faz parte do seu repertório a interpretação de bailados incontornáveis do universo clássico, tais como: O Lago dos Cisnes (Odette/ Odile), Giselle (Giselle/Myrtha), A Bela Adormecida (Aurora), Romeu e Julieta (Julieta), Cinderela (Cinderela), O Quebra-Nozes (Clara/Fada do Açúcar), O Pássaro de Fogo, entre muitas outras. Também tem dançado um vasto repertório neo-clássico e contemporâneo de Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Paul Lightfoot/Sol Léon, Hans van Manen, Olga Roriz, Ohad Naharin entre outros. Foi co-autora do espectáculo para crianças Cinderela em bicos de pés e Dó, Ré, Mi, Perlimpimpim. Desenhou figurinos para bailados do coreógrafo Fernando Duarte. Presentemente frequenta o curso de licenciatura em Bussiness Management da Open University do Reino Unido.  É também Professora Convidada em várias escolas de dança em Portugal. Em 2018, juntamente com Fernando Duarte, funda e assume a Direção Artística da Dança em Diálogos, sendo Murmúrios de Pedro e Inês o primeiro bailado da plataforma coreográfica

Please reload


Stephanie Pope


After graduating from Rambert Ballet School, Stephanie (ARAD (dip PDTC)) performed as a classical ballet dancer as well as pursuing a successful West End and TV career.

Having retired as a performer Stephanie gained her teaching qualification on the Professional Dancers Teachers Course from The Royal Academy of Dance. Following a position as resident ballet teacher at Bush Davies School she went to Hong Kong as Senior Ballet Mistress for the feeder school to the Hong Kong Ballet Company. On her return to England she joined the Urdang Academy as Head of Students and after Leonie Urdang’s death became Principal. Stephanie regularly lectures at the Royal Academy of Dance and the British Ballet Organisation on vocational teaching practice.

Dominique Portier


French teacher and dancer studies in Lyon with Marcel Martin in Cannes with Rosella Hightower, under whose direction he enters the Opera of Marseille.

From 1971 to 1974 he was soloist of the Ballets of Marseilles by Roland Petit; later he was the first dancer at the Lyon Opera, a city where he conducted a dance school.

Since 1982, after moving to Italy, he collaborates as assistant, maitre and first dancer with the main Italian companies including: Balletto 90, MDA Produzioni Danza, Balletto di Roma and Balletto di Napoli as well as the lyrical bodies of Turin, Verona, Catania and Genoa .

She plays leading roles in the "Carla Fracci Italian Ballet Company".

He made numerous interpretations alongside well-known actors and singers such as Paola Pitagora, Maria Monti, Bianca Toccafondi and Giorgio Albertazzi.

His teaching activity in many Italian schools is intense, and he is a member of the jury of international competitions such as: the Competition of Joinville in Brazil and the Competition of 'Bento-em Danza' - Brazil, MAD in Palermo and Rome and many others.

Guest in Buenos Aires in the international appointments dedicated to Astor Piazzolla in 1995 and 2002.

Together with Claudia Zachary, he is in charge of public relations, in Italy, of SO-DANÇA: a Brazilian company of dance items.

Solange Urdang


Solange became CEO of Urdang in 2001


Having herself trained at the Academy, she had a successful career as a dancer and singer in commercial entertainment, TV and pop video.


In 1994, she diversified into art, design and photography and also worked at the Academy in a variety of roles.  Solange is responsible for the successful move to The Old Finsbury Town Hall and expansion into the Academy’s second premises, Urdang 2, echoing the achievements of her mother.  She now focuses on ensuring Urdang maintains and grows its reputation as a leading international performing arts college, continuing its founding ethos and passion of breaking down cultural barriers.

Casey Herd


The American dancer Casey Herd began his training at The School for Ballet West (Salt Lake City, Utah) and later at Ballet West Conservatory where as a boy his talent was quickly recognized by the teacher and company founder William Christensen. As a result of his training with Mr. Christensen, Casey was given the opportunity to audition for the company, and at age 16 he was offered an apprenticeship. He continued his training at The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington D.C. studying with renowned teacher Andre Garbuz from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was offered scholarships to schools around the United States including Balanchine’s School of American Ballet in New York City, and began his professional career with one of the world’s leading companies, American Ballet Theater. An opportunity was offered to Mr. Herd to join Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where he was introduced to more innovative choreography, and quickly rose to the rank of principal dancer.  While in Seattle Mr. Herd’s repertoire expanded dramatically to include leading roles in works by some of the great choreographers such as George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins, and many more.  Having previously been a guest artist with Dutch National Ballet, he was invited in 2008 to join the company as a principal. In 2011, Dance Europe placed Mr. Herd nineteenth in their top 100 international dancers who have made outstanding achievements. In 2012 he received The Alexandra Radius Award. In the jury report they credit him for being a “phenomenal partner and versatile in both the classical and contemporary repertoire” and has dance with many of the world’s most renowned ballerinas. Mr. Herd was twice invited as a principal guest artist with San Francisco Ballet, and has been invited to perform leading roles with many other prestigious ballet companies and Galas throughout the world, such as English National Ballet, and Lithuanian National Ballet, and was invited to go back and guest with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. He danced in the Prix Benois de la Danse Gala,  (year) in Vicenza, Italy and (year) in Moscow, Russia, the Dance Open Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, Prague Ballet Festival, the Gala de Ballet Despertarez  a gala of international ballet stars in Mexico City, Ballet Festival in Tokyo, Japan and Osaka, Japan, Fall For Dance Festival in New York City, Miami International Ballet Gala, Dance Across America at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and International Dance Festival in Havana, Cuba. He has also worked in independent projects in Seoul, Korea, and Copenhagen, Denmark.



Photo by: Angela Sterling

  • 2008-2016 | Principal - Dutch National Ballet

  • 1999-2008 | Principal - Pacific Northwest Ballet

  • 1997-1999 | American Ballet Theatre 


  • 2017 | Guest Principal - Royal New Zealand Ballet

  • 2014-2015 | Guest Principal - English National Ballet 

  • 2014 | Guest Principal - Lithuanian National Ballet

  • 2013 | Guest Principal - Pacific Northwest Ballet 

  • 2009-2010 | Guest Principal - San Francisco Ballet

  • 2007 | Guest principal - Dutch National Ballet



  • Prague Ballet International Ballet Gala

  • Prix Benois de la Danse  (Vicenza, Italy + Moscow, Russia)

  • Gala de Ballet Despertares (Mexico City, Mexico)

  • Dance Open Festival (St. Petersburg, Russia)

  • Ballet Festival (Tokyo + Osaka, Japan)

  • Fall For Dance Festival (New York City, USA)

  • (Fall For Dance Festival commissioned an original pas de deux, choreographed by Justin Peck, and invited Casey & Sarah Mearns)

  • and many more



-Finalist Paris International Ballet Competition

-In 2011, Dance Europe placed Casey nineteenth in their top 100 international dancers who have made outstanding achievements. 

-In 2012 he received The Alexandra Radius Award. In the jury report they credit him for being a “phenomenal partner and versatile in both the classical and contemporary repertoire.”





Kirov Academy (Washington D.C., USA)

Ballet West Conservatory (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

Pacific Northwest Ballet (Seattle, USA)

Teaching and Coaching


  • Throughout my 20 year career as a dancer I have had the opportunity to give private classes and coaching sessions to both students and professional colleges.

  • Pirouetteando Summer Intensive | Guadalajara, Mexico - 2016

  • Pirouetteando Summer Intensive | Guadalajara, Mexico - 2017

  • Ballet school Mabel Alter Summer Intensive | The Hague, The Netherlands - 2017

  • Ave Maria Academy of Ballet Masterclass Series | Virginia, USA - 2017

  • Masterclass Series Conservatory of Seville | Seville, Spain - 2018

  • Guest Teacher Alba Estudi de Dansa | Menorca, Spain - 2018

Please reload




Born in Cork, Ireland, Richard d'Alton is a graduated Dancer and Teacher (with Diploma and Certification) of the National Ballet School of Cuba. He won a Bronze Medal and a Silver Medal, respectively, in the 1998 and 1999 International Ballet Competition's in Havana, Cuba. In 1999 he joined the National Ballet of Cuba at the invitation of Prima Ballerina Assoluta, Alicia Alonso. Subsequently he joined the Orlando Ballet at the invitation of renowned dancer Fernando Bujones. As a Principal Artist he has danced roles including Basilio in Don Quixote, Franz in Coppelia, Albretch in Giselle, Alain in La Fille Mal Gardee, Lucien in Paquita, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, George Balanchine's Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, Ben Stevenson's Harlequinade, August Bournonville's Flower Festival in Genzano, Le Corsaire, La Esmeralda, Merchant and the Slave, Flames of Paris, Minkus Pas de Trois, Le Talisman, La Vivandiere Pas de Six, and Grand Pas Classique. He has also danced contemporary works by choreographers including Glen Tetley, Robert North, Alberto Mendez, Alberto Alonso, Gustavo Herrera and Fernando Bujones, among many others. Mr. d'Alton was also elected to the position of 'Dancer Representative' for Orlando Ballet, where he worked closely with Mr. Bujones and the Executive Staff on all dancer-related issues.

Mr. d'Alton began his teaching career in 2004, and his success as an internationally recognized teacher are apparent through the accolades of his dancers. Aside from his dancers being offered contracts and trainee positions to companies around the world including Balet Sibiu (Romania), Sarasota Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Louisville Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Florida, and Ballet Austin among others, they have also represented the United States of America in competitions such as the 37th Prix de Lausanne (Switzerland), 5th Nureyev IBC (Budapest), 6th Helsinki IBC (Finland), the 3rd Sibiu IBC (Romania), and the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Certamen Internacional de Ciutat Barcelona (Spain).

Mr. d'Alton's dancers have been accepted to prestigious schools including the The Royal Ballet School - London, Académie de Danse Princesse Grace, Royal Ballet School of Antwerp, The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Kirov Academy, Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy, San Francisco Ballet, and they have received scholarships to schools such as the Kirov Academy, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, The Ailey School, American Ballet Theatre's Summer Intensives, Boston Ballet, and Texas Ballet Theater. He is also a three time recipient of Outstanding Choreographer at the Youth America Grand Prix Semi-Finals (2004, 2005, 2006) and an Outstanding Choreographer winner at New York City Dance Alliance, Jump, Nexstar, and Hall of Fame. In 2012 he staged a contemporary work for Teatrul de Balet Sibiu in Romania and two contemporary Pas de Deux for the 5th Sibiu International Ballet Competition. In 2015 and 2016 he was an Official Choreographer for the V and VI International Dance Competition in Barcelona, Spain

Mr. d'Alton is in high demand as a Master Teacher, and he has been honored to have taught at some of the world's leading ballet schools and companies including The Royal Ballet School (Covent Garden), Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Dresden Semperoper Ballet (Germany), Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Teatrul de Balet Sibiu (Romania), the Wiener Stattsoper (Vienna State Opera Ballet School), Liceul de Coregrafie 'Floria Capsali' (Offical School of the Bucharest National Opera, Romania), the Nacionaline M.K Ciurlionis School of Art (Lithuanian National Ballet School) and the Den Norske Opera Ballett (Norwegian National Ballet School). He has also taught class at the English National Ballet School in London & The Royal Ballet School of Antwerp in Belgium. In January and February 2012 he taught Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet in five cities on their 2012 North American Tour. In 2015 Mr. d'Alton taught the classical competitors and finalists of the V International Dance Competition in Barcelona, Spain. Since 2012 Mr. d'Alton has also been a Guest Ballet Master with both the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius & the Czech National Ballet (Narodni Divadlo) in Prague. From 2006 to 2015 he was the Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer of International Ballet of Houston (USA). In December 2015 he taught ballet class for the 'Jurgita Dronina & Friends Gala' in Vilnius which included Principal Dancers from La Scala Milan, The Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, and the English National Ballet.

In February 2016, Mr. d'Alton was a Judge at the International Dance Competition (Expression) in Florence, Italy. In May 2016, he taught the Principal Dancers of the 2016 Grand Gala in Barcelona, Spain which included dancers from Aalto Ballet Essen, Teatrul de Balet Sibiu, and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. He was a Judge for the Bucharest Dance Festival in Romania (November 2016), the Dance World Cup Spain (February 2017), & the Concurso 'Expression' in Florence, Italy (February 2017). In October 2017 he will be a Judge at the Algarve Dance Open in Portugal. Currently residing in Europe, Mr. d'Alton is a Freelance Teacher, Choreographer, and Judge working closely with his mother and sister at National Dance Academy Ireland.



Tania Matos was first introduced to the world of professional classical ballet at the age of 13, when she was chosen to perform in the New York City Ballet production of Mozartiana at the Covent Garden Opera House, London.

Having completed 9 years of intensive ballet studies in 2 of England's most prestigious schools, Bush Davies and Central School of Ballet, she has enjoyed a continuous active performing career from 1989 to 2008. She has a wealth of experience ranging from the severe disciplines of corps de ballet, to soloist and principal dancer.
She has danced with various companies including Northern Ballet Theatre, Portuguese National Ballet, Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve, as well as being invited to perform many of the well-known pas de deux as guest artiste. 
Her lead/principal roles include Giselle, Carmen, and Don Quixote. Her repertoire also includes neo classical and contemporary pieces by George Balanchine, Jose Limone, Nils Christie, Jean Christophe Maillot, Frederic Forsythe, and Nacho Duato.

She has been assistant choreographer and rehearsal director for Piers Gielgud in the Oliver Stone feature Film Alexander and the fashion show for Stella McCartney with Adidas. Within film, TV and the fashion industry, she choreographed and coached for Jones The Bootmaker, and performed and choreographed the German TV advertisement for Audi.  

She has choreographed and coached for Spirit Productions, her own company Chic Classique and Ballet Riviera, has
tour/company managed international touring productions to destinations such as China, South Africa and Monte Carlo and, speaking four languages, has also interpreted for HM Customs and HM courts in London. 

During 3 successful years as Artistic Director/Producer/Choreographer/Teacher of the Vevey Youth Ballet School and professional company Ballet Riviera, her work was recognised by Cheryl Angear, a well known London dance critic. Who invited her to show some of her work in a London Charity gala in 2010.

Since moving back to the UK, she has worked with Ballet Theatre UK as Ballet Mistress/Rehearsal Director and taught and coached at the BTUK School. 

Now freelancing, as well as teaching privately, she has choreographed and performed in a video for the 80’s icon Howard Jones, guest teaches for The Elmhurst School of Dance, Matthew Bourne’s company New Adventures, for York Scholars, Madd, LCPA and Peter and Shannon Parker’s Midlands Associates. She also choreographs and teaches for Midland Theatre Ballet.



Elaine trained at the Royal Academy of Dance graduating with Licentiate, Diploma and Associate.

She then went on to perform professionally in both classical and contemporary companies at soloist level before embarking on a teaching career that has spanned the last thirty years.


Initially spending seven years in New Zealand performing, teaching and choreographing, she returned to the UK in 1992 where she taught at many vocational schools until accepting a position at Laine Theatre Arts where she was Head of Classical Ballet for nearly twelve years.


In 2006, Elaine was appointed Artistic Director for the Dance School of Scotland, a Centre of Excellence which is funded totally by the Government for vocational dance training. Designing and implementing an effective dance training and curriculum as well as producing performances in the Theatre Royal, many of her students are now performing professionally in many aspects of dance and theatre throughout the world.


In 2011, Elaine moved back to England to take up the position of Director of Dance at the Legat School of Dance where, again, she developed a programme and training system which saw 100% success rate in her graduates achieving success in their further professional dance training.


Elaine has been an examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance for the past sixteen years and also works as a freelance teacher and coach spending time in both Portugal and the UK.

Please reload