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Sarah 
Ricard Orza

Faculty

Sarah Ricard Orza is from Amherst, Massachusetts. She trained at Amherst Ballet School and on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet.  In 1999, she joined New York City Ballet as an apprentice. She became a member of the corps de ballet in 2000 and danced with the company until 2006 before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2007. She was promoted to soloist in 2010 and principal in 2017.

At PNB, she has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Coppélia, Diamonds,  Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Symphony in C; Peter Boal’s Giselle; Val Caniparoli’s The Seasons; David Dawson’s Empire Noir and A Million Kisses to my Skin; Ulysses Dove’s Serious Pleasures and Vespers; William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and New Suite; Kiyon Gaines’ Sum Stravinsky; Paul Gibson’s The Piano Dance; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty; Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land, Petite Mort, and Sechs Tänze (Six Dances); Jessica Lang’s Her Door to the Sky; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon and Roméo et Juliette; Benjamin Millepied’s Appassionata; Mark Morris’ Pacific; Justin Peck’s Debonair and Year of the Rabbit; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Alexei Ratmansky’s Don Quixote and Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins’ The Concert, Dances at a Gathering, Fancy Free, In the Night, Opus 19/The Dreamer, and West Side Story Suite (Maria); Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella, Nutcracker, and Swan Lake (Odette/Odile, Queen Mother, Pas de trois, Persian Dance); Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less; Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs, Opus 111, and Waiting at the Station; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Carousel (A Dance), Polyphonia, Tide Harmonic,  and Variations Sérieuses. She originated leading roles in Kyle Davis’ A Dark and Lonely Space, Millepied’s 3 Movements, and Price Suddarth’s Signature. At New York City Ballet, Ms. Orza danced leading roles in Balanchine’s Coppélia, Peter Martins’ The Sleeping Beauty, and Robbins’ Fanfare and Interplay. She also was featured in Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Theme and Variations, and Symphony in Three Movements; Martins’ Ash, Fearful Symmetries, Hallelujah Junction, and Swan Lake; Robbins’ NY Export: Opus Jazz and West Side Story Suite; and Richard Tanner’s Ancient Airs and Dances. She originated roles in Eliot Feld’s Organon, Miriam Mahdaviani’s In the Mi(d)st, Martins’ Bach Concerto V, Tanner’s Soirée, Helgi Tomasson’s Prism, and Wheeldon’s Shambards. Sarah retired from PNB in 2020. She is married to retired  principal dancer Seth Orza. Together they run the ballet shoe company, Orza. They have two daughters, Lola and Stella.

Lesley
Rausch

Faculty

Lesley Rausch is from Columbus, Ohio. She studied with Shir Lee Wu at Columbus Youth Ballet and at Pacific Northwest Ballet School. She took summer courses at the School of American Ballet, International Dance School at Jackson, Mississippi, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Lesley joined Pacific Northwest Ballet as member of the corps de ballet in 2001. She was promoted to soloist in 2007 and principal in 2011, retiring in 2023.

Lesley has danced leading roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Coppélia (Swanilda, Dawn), Diamonds, Emeralds, The Four Temperaments, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Sugar Plum Fairy, Dewdrop), La Valse, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Divertissement pas de deux, Titania, Helena), Prodigal Son, Rubies, Serenade, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, and Symphony in C; Peter Boal’s Giselle (Giselle, Zulme); Val Caniparoli’s The Bridge and Lambarena; David Dawson’s Empire Noir and A Million Kisses to My Skin; Ulysses Dove’s Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, Red Angels, Serious Pleasures, and Vespers; Nacho Duato’s Jardí Tancat; William Forsythe’s Artifact II, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, New Suite, and One Flat Thing, reproduced; Kiyon Gaines’ ə{SCHWA}; Paul Gibson’s The Piano Dance and Rush; Ronald Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty (Aurora); Jiri Kylian’s Forgotten Land and Petite Mort; Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Cendrillon (Stepmother) and Roméo et Juliette (Juliet, Rosaline); Mark Morris’ Pacific; Crystal Pite’s Emergence; Alexei Ratmansky’s Concerto DSCH, Don Quixote (Kitri, Mercedes, Queen of the Dryads), and Pictures at an Exhibition; Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun, The Concert, Fancy Free, Glass Pieces, and Other Dances; Kent Stowell’s Carmina Burana, Cinderella (Cinderella), Nutcracker (Clara, Flora, Peacock), and Swan Lake (Odette/Odile, Persian Dance); Twyla Tharp’s Brief Fling, In the Upper Room, Nine Sinatra Songs, Opus 111, and Waterbaby Bagatelles; and Christopher Wheeldon’s Polyphonia. She originated leading roles in Caniparoli’s The Seasons, Kyle Davis’ Las Estrellas, Gaines’ Sum Stravinsky, Edwaard Liang’s The Veil Between Worlds, Benjamin Millepied’s 3 Movements, Susan Stroman’s TAKE FIVE…More or Less, and Price Suddarth’s Signature.

In 1998, Lesley was a finalist in the Concours International de Danse de Paris. Lesley has performed as a guest artist with Chicago Dancing Festival (Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun), Lafayette Ballet Theatre (Snow pas de deux and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker), Nantucket Atheneum Dance Festival (Balcony pas de deux from Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Cylindrical Shadows), Nevada Ballet Theatre (Titania in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ballet Hawaii (Snow Queen, Dewdrop Fairy, and Hi’iaka in Septime Webre’s Nutcracker; Dark Angel in Balanchine’s Serenade; Tom Pazik’s By George; and Bobby Barnett’s Reflections).

In addition to her performing career, Lesley has been a guest teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Montana Ballet Company, Ballet Hawaii, Evergreen City Ballet, New American Youth Ballet, and Punahou Dance School. She was on the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School from 2017-2023. Lesley is a Stott Certified Pilates Instructor, and a certified instructor in Tai Ji Quan Moving for Better Balance and Madeline Black’s Series One and Two.

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