beyond technique

This event has been cancelled due to COVID-19. We look forward to seeing you in June 2021.


Ticket Type Price Cart
  • Early bird pricing ends March 31, 2020.
  • Any studio or conservatory with 10 or more dancers attending, is eligible for a group rate discount. Please message us in the chatbox below or email us for more information.


Ballet+ Miami is limited to intermediate and advanced dancers ages 8-21 only due to the requirements of the program. For the purposes of this workshop, ‘Intermediate/Advanced’ is roughly defined as a competition or conservatory student  having danced for at least one year in a competition studio as a company member with a minimum of 1-2 ballet classes per week and 10 hours total weekly of dance classes, or enrolled in a conservatory setting with at least six hours of ballet a week and a minimum of 10 hours of total weekly dance classes. What is most important is that dancers come with a strong desire to be challenged and grow.


Student Dancers may participate in either the first or the second week, or both. ALL dancers, regardless of which weeks they participate, will receive the best in training and inspiration from our faculty.

Two-Week Option: Dancers who participate in both weeks will receive a discounted tuition cost and will also be given priority for full participation in original choreography by Francisco Gella and others as well as repertory work from a world-renowned choreographer – reset by their repertoire. The work will be featured at a closing student demonstration on Friday evening, June 19th.

One-Week Option: Students who participate in the first week will learn some repertory, but will obviously not be able to participate in the final show on the19th. Students who participate in Week 2 only will have a limited opportunity to learn choreography and participate in the closing show.


A limited amount of scholarships are available for especially deserving dancers. Scholarships will be allocated according to the combined consideration of both merit and financial need. Decisions on scholarships will be made on a rolling basis and a limited amount of scholarship awards will be offered, so it is better to apply early. Please click HERE to learn more about this opportunity and to apply.


2/1 – Early Deadline for Summer Programs

1st round review and priority in awarding scholarships

5/1 – Late Deadline for Summer Programs

2nd round review and awarded from any remaining scholarship funds

2 Weeks.

80 Hours of Exceptional Training.

6 Expert Teaching Artists & Mentors

1 Unforgettable & Transformative Experience.

A Ballet+ is a two-week (with 1-week options too!) in-depth intensive leading students through developing a strong technical foundation in ballet, modern, and jazz toward a highly refined and authentic individual artistic voice.

We meet competitive and conservatory dancers where they are in their training journey. Our faculty travel through Ballet+ together with each individual student – honoring their uniqueness, encouraging growth, and challenging to realize their potential.

Frequently called a ‘breath of fresh air’ by students, parents, teachers and directors alike, every one of Francisco Gella’s programs delivers on a central commitment: To transform hardworking young adults into remarkable young artists regardless of body type or background, and instilling a belief in them that anything is possible with hard work, a sense of purpose, and a willingness to take risks.

*Space will be limited to 100 dancers per week. We expect that this will sell-out quickly.

About Ballet+ (beyond technique)

Highly-acclaimed choreographer and dance educator, Francisco Gella has introduced his revolutionary dance training technique and philosophy to thousands of dancers around the world through intensives, private instruction, and master classes. Young dancers have the opportunity to spend a one or two-week intensive with him and his team through his innovative program called Ballet+(beyond technique).

Ballet+ is more than a program, it’s a powerful idea and a life-changing experience. The program is based on Francisco’s extensive twenty-five year dance career and his background in gymnastics coaching. With an integrated teaching approach, he and his faculty teach the ‘whole student’ – developing dancers into well-rounded and versatile performers and most importantly, human beings.

Ballet+ (beyond technique) – The Miami Experience, accelerates the training of children, youth and pre-professionals and assists them in being fully prepared and motivated for a successful summer of dance experiences – whether going to an intensive, a national competition or staying at your home studio to train in preparation for a college dance program or professional audition.

With the guidance and knowledge of expert faculty mentors with years of experience dedicated to education, training, performance and choreography, young dancers will quickly become more aware of their own body and the mind’s connection to it.  Regardless of how long they’ve been dancing, participants will grow more than they knew they ever believed was possible and get closer to realizing their potential.

Ballet+ takes student dancers beyond technique to explore their limits as an artist, an athlete, and a technician.


To help you prepare for the experience, here is a downloadable PDF of a previous years schedule as an example of what you can expect this year until we update the schedule closer to the program launch.

Please note that Sunday, June 14th is a day for Week 1 and Week 2 students to take classes together. It is strongly encouraged but optional for Week 1 students.

WEEK 1 *
Monday, June 10:  8am – 6pm
Tuesday, June 11 – Thursday, June 13:  9am – 6pm
Friday, June 14: 9am – 7:30pm
Saturday, June 15:  DAY OFF
Sunday, June 16:  8am – 3pm

Sunday, June 16:  8am – 3pm
Monday, June 17 – Thursday, June 20:  9am – 6pm
Friday, June 21:  9am – 7:30pm

*This is from 2019 – only as an example of what to expect.


Every class will have a teaching assistant and all classes are limited to 50-55 dancers max.  Classes will be based on age group although faculty reserve the right to move a student to a different class if it is obvious they will benefit from the change.




Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Choreographer, Improv

Francisco Gella’s distinguished twenty-five career as a compelling dancer, award-winning choreographer, and widely-recognized dance educator began when he took his first formal dance class at the University of Washington at the age of nineteen. His innovative choreography and highly effective teaching methods are sought after by professional companies, universities, arts high schools, conservatories, and studios across North America and around the globe.

Francisco’s choreographic commissions include Repertory Dance Theatre, Ballet Pacifica, California Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet’s Shut-Up and Dance Production, PHILADANCO’s Danco on Danco program, Laguna Dance Festival, Tucson Regional Ballet, University of Utah Ballet Ensemble, University of Washington Faculty Concert, Irvine Valley College, Ballet East, DANCO/II, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Orange County School for the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.  His commission ‘Between the Lines’, set on PHILADANCO (The Philadelphia Dance Company), premiered at the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts in April, at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, and was selected by PHILADANCO’S Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown as the company’s sole performance at the opening to the Democratic National Convention in 2016.  

Among the recognition he has received includes numerous choreography awards at the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition including Outstanding Choreographer, and the Outstanding Choreography Award at the National Regional Dance America Conference in 2007.  In 2013, Francisco premiered ‘Concentric Harmonies’ at Celebrate Dance in Los Angeles, a work that went on to receive the Grand Prize at the McCallum Theatre Choreography Festival in 2014. In 2014 and 2015, his work ‘Solstice’, performed by the Phoenix Ballet had its world premier at the 60th Anniversary Gala of the Beijing Dance Academy and its European premiere at Poland’s prestigious Lodz International Ballet Festival. In May 2016, his work ‘Souvenirs de Mouvement’ was selected as a featured performance at the nationally recognized Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing & Visual Arts’ annual ‘Flying Horse Gala’. In 2018, Francisco’s work, performed by the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, was selected for the gala performance at the National High School Dance Festival.  Most recently, Francisco was invited to return as a resident artist at the International Dance Festival Palm Springs in 2020 where he has again been commissioned to premiere a new work. And coming up in 2020 he has been invited to create new works for Ballet Idaho and Brigham Young University.

Francisco is the founding artistic director of NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance and COLABO Youth Dance Collective (2008-2015). As founding Chief Creative Officer of Francisco Gella Dance Works, he has created numerous educational programs; Ballet+ (beyond technique) workshops, the Preprofessional Dancer Institute, New Year’s Training Camp, Seattle Dance Advance, the Ballet Company Intensive, the New Century Dance Project (a youth dance festival), the College Prep program, and Dance 360 – an online educational community that provides ongoing knowledge and support for students, parents, and teachers. Additionally, Francisco is the lead ballet and modern faculty member for the 24 Seven Dance Convention and founding director of ARIA Ballet Intensive produced by Break The Floor. Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, Francisco now resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.



Ballet, Modern, African-Based Movement, Contemporary, Choreographer

Yusha Marie Sorzano, Associate Director for Community Engagement at Francisco Gella Dance Works is originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Sorzano received her primary instruction from New World School of the Arts, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, and The Dance Theater of Harlem. In her senior year, she received an award for outstanding choreography from New World School of the Arts, as well as an award in dance from the National YoungArts Foundation. She went on to attend the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and in her junior year was invited to join Ailey II. Ms. Sorzano has been a member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, TU Dance, BODYTRAFFIC, and Camille A. Brown and Dancers. She has also performed as a guest artist with Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. Ms. Sorzano has performed in principal roles with the Ailey company and in a wide variety of concert works, including works by noted choreographers Ulysses Dove, Maurice Béjart, Hofesh Shechter, Kyle Abraham, and Mauro Bigonzetti. Additionally, she has performed alongside recording artists Wynton Marsalis, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Rihanna. Her theater, television, and film credits include being a guest artist on “Dancing with the Stars,” principal dancer in Chicago’s acclaimed Goodman Theater’s “Crowns,” and principal dancer in the independent film “You, Me & The Circus”.Deeply passionate about the powerful role that educators play in the lives of young artists, Ms. Sorzano enjoys teaching both nationally and internationally. From Trinidad to the United States and beyond, Ms. Sorzano has had the pleasure of teaching at esteemed educational institutions and festivals around the world, including the Ailey School, Lines Ballet/Dominican Universities BFA Program, TU Dance, Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective, New World School of the Arts, The Windward School, Brasil’s Mostra Danca, and Italy’s Danzainfiera. Ms. Sorzano currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet Schools Dallas summer intensive and as an Associate Director for Program Development with Francisco Gella Dance Works.


Jazz Technique and Theatre Dance

Diego, Founding Artistic Director, Dance NOW! Miami, originally from Rome, Italy, moved to the U.S. in 1997 after an illustrious career as lead dancer and assistant choreographer for many popular Italian T.V. and theatre shows. In the United States, he danced extensively with companies including Michael Uthoff Dance Theater. He trained with Maestro Roberto Salaorni who he considers his mentor, as well as Flavio Bennati (Teatro La Scala), Michelle Ellis (ABT), Mamy Raomeria (Maurice Bejart), Ranko Yokoyama (Luis Falco), Max Stone, Susie Taylor, Roger Dillhaunty, and Michelle Kadison. His choreography has been presented in nine states as well as Europe, Central, and South America. His teaching career, spanning almost three decades, includes national and international organizations such as New World School of the Arts, FIU, Miami City Ballet School, Atlanta Ballet School, Mercyhurst College, Ballet Stadium (Sao Paulo) and I.A.L.S. (Rome), to name a few. Diego currently teaches at Conchita Espinoza Academy. Diego served as regional jazz dance adjudicator for Young Arts until 2012, served on faculty at the Interlochen Summer Camp for 15 years and the Joffrey Ballet School NY Summer Program since 2012 serving as a master teacher and recruiter for both institutions Nationally and Internationally.


Modern Technique

Jeffrey Smith is a Miami based choreographer, multimedia artist, and dance educator. He received his BFA from The Boston Conservatory and his MFA from Florida State University focusing on emerging collaborative relationships between dance and multimedia technology. In 2002 Jeffrey became a member of The Martha Graham Ensemble, touring domestically and performing classic Graham works such as Diversion of Angels, Acts of Light and El Penitente as well as teaching extensively throughout New York City’s five boroughs. In 2005 he became a member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company touring internationally and performing in over 40 of Mr. Taylor’s masterworks. Jeffrey’s multimedia pieces, choreographic works, and films have been seen at various festivals and events. Most recently he’s made works for The Peter London Global Dance Company and Tulane’s Newcomb Dance Company in New Orleans where he also designed interactive projections for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Jeffrey is currently on the faculty at New World School of the Arts.


Modern and Contemporary Rep

Hannah Baumgarten, Founding Artistic Director of “Dance NOW! Miami”, grew up between Santa Cruz, California, and Jerusalem, Israel where she began her dance training. Hannah received a B.F.A. from the Juilliard School in 1993 under the mentorship of Benjamin Harkarvy after attending the University of Utah Ballet Department under Conrad Ludlow, Bene Arnold, and Janek Schergen. Hannah danced with Utah Ballet, Michael Uthoff DanceTheatre, Labyrinth Dance Theatre, William Adair and Dancers, Karen Peterson & Dancers, Momentum Dance Company, Giovanni Luquini & Dancers and Ballet Flamenco La Rosa. While at Juilliard, Hannah danced lead roles in the works of Master Choreographers such as Graham, Limon, Taylor, Sokolow, Harkarvy, and Nikolais and had her choreography presented at several venues in Lincoln Center. She is a Florida Choreographic Fellow; her work has been presented internationally on three continents and nationally in 15 states and Baumgarten has taught throughout the US and abroad at institutions including Instituto de Danza del Teatro Colon, Joffrey Ballet School of NY, Mercyhurst University, Cincinnati Conservatory, New World School of the Arts, and Interlochen Academy among others. She founded Dance NOW! Miami with Diego Salterini in 2000, and through Dance NOW! has toured the US from New York to Arizona, Mexico, Central, South America, and Europe. Hannah was Director of Dance at Dillard Center for the Arts High School in Ft. Lauderdale for 10 years and currently serves as adjunct faculty at the Miami Arts Charter Middle and High Schools. Ms. Baumgarten is certified in Pilates through Core Dynamics and has served as a grant panelist for the State of Florida and Miami-Dade Departments of Cultural Affairs. Baumgarten served on faculty at the Interlochen Summer Camp for 15 years and the Joffrey Ballet School NY Summer Program since 2012 serving as a master teacher and recruiter for both institutions Nationally and Internationally.



After taking her first class over 18 years ago, Gretchen instantly became hooked on the body, mind, and spirit connection of the Pilates Method. In 2008, she obtained her first certification in Mat Pilates under Teri Steele through Dance New Amsterdam in NYC. Gretchen went on to continue her education and received her Comprehensive Certification on all Pilates Apparatus through Polestar Pilates in Miami in 2010. Gretchen eventually had the opportunity to come back as an Instructor, shortly after she also became a Mentor to students going through the Comprehensive Series and then an Educator with Polestar Pilates. Gretchen has taken Advanced Teacher Training courses in Osteoporosis, Scoliosis, Woman’s Health (including pre/postnatal), Pilates for the Dancer, Pilates for Rotational Sports, and Pilates for Hip and Knee Replacements. Gretchen also holds a certificate for Pilates for MS™ & Neurological Conditions taught by Mariska Breland and has hosted Mariska at BREATHE twice to sold-out courses of the same name. Gretchen has also completed level I, level II, and level III trainings for the CoreAlign® by Balanced Body, she is both certified by and is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance. Most recently, Gretchen completed one of her most inspiring trainings to date, The Kathy Grant Heritage Training® (Kathy Grant was an original student of Joseph Pilates) led by renowned teacher and student of Kathy Grant, Cara Reeser.

Having had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of clients, including Cirque du Soleil performers and octogenarians, Gretchen enjoys assessing her client’s abilities and then helping them achieve their goals, and expectations. She finds great reward and pleasure in being able to guide them through their Pilates practice and help them get in touch with their bodies and minds through the teachings of Joseph Pilates. Having a Bachelor’s degree and background in Fine Art, Gretchen always is looking for creative ways to facilitate movement and to design fun and interesting classes.​


Our assistants are current college students majoring in dance. They not only work with our faculty in class, but they also develop relationships with students to assist them in exploring future careers in dance.


BFA Student, Florida State University

Fiona Dorr trained for nearly 15 years in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and hip hop at her home studio in Tuscaloosa, Alabama through which she had the opportunity to work with choreographers and other artists including Francisco Gella, Gregg Russell, Melissa “MJ” Jackson, Kayla Kalbfleish, Tajah Riley, Bree Hafen, and others. She is now in her junior year at Florida State University pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance with a minor in Women’s Studies. While at FSU, Fiona has performed in works by Donna Uchizono, Ilana Goldman, Tim Glenn, and participated in rehearsals with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. Fiona has spent her summers training at intensives across the country with companies including Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.


The Ailey School

Hannah Hayward was born and raised in the southeastern United States. She began competing and choreographing at the age of 11. She is a former Artists Simply Human Assistant, a YAGP Regional Winner, and a Top 10 winner at The Dance Awards. Hannah made her debut with Complexions Contemporary Ballet Pre- Professional Division in January of 2017, and her screen premiere in “Hi Hello” the film. She is fortunate enough to have trained and been mentored by Fransisco Gella, Yusha-Marie Sorzano, Dwight Rhoden, Desmond Richardson, Stacey Tookey, Teddy Forance, Sarah Brinson, Max Stone, Greg Dolbashian, Milton Myers, and many others. Hannah moved to NYC to pursue her career. She has completed a year at PeriDance Capezio Center’s Certificate Program and is currently in her second year at The Ailey School on a full merit scholarship.

Benjamin Peralta

USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Benjamin Peralta found his passion for dance at just 4 years old. Initially taking classes in ballet and jazz, he quickly fell in love with the artform and began to immerse himself in other dance styles such as contemporary, modern, tap, and hip hop. He honed-in on most of his ballet technique at the Florida Ballet and Orlando Ballet.

Later on, he attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL where he trained with Rhonda Stampalia, Ellie Barrett, and Jennifer Turbyfill. His home studio was Britney Boyd Dance Company where he trained under the direction of Britney Boyd. Within his high school journey, he was fortunate enough to tour with a dance convention called DanceMakers where he trained and assisted under the instruction of Kathryn McCormick, Robert Roldan, Erica Sobol, Keith Clifton, Dejan Tubic, Tommy Alexander, and many more.

Benjamin is currently attending the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance in Los Angeles where he is working towards a BFA in Dance. He trains with artists such as William Forsythe, Jodie Gates, Thomas McManus, Patrick Corbin, Bruce McCormick, Bret Easterling, just to name a few. He first met Francisco while he was setting a work called “Time-lapse” at his performing arts high school and has been in awe of him and his work ever since. He really aligns with Francisco’s vision of a dance community full of mentorship, innovation, and supportiveness and he cannot wait to be a part of the Ballet+ team again this summer.

More 2020 Teaching Artists and Mentors will be announced closer to the event.

Program Location

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center provides a world-class, multi-disciplinary cultural venue and community gathering place in the southern part of Miami-Dade County. The Center plays a key role in the economic and cultural development of the area and opened on October 1, 2011. In addition to providing a diverse range of quality entertainment to people from all backgrounds and ages, the Center’s mission includes an emphasis on educational and outreach activities in partnership with community groups. The Center’s multiple rehearsal and performing spaces also offer accessible state-of-the-art facilities to the Miami-Dade artistic community, presenters, and audiences throughout South Florida.

SMDCAC is located at 10950 SW 211th St., Miami, FL  33189.


We arranged for a limited number of discounted hotel rooms for dancers and their families traveling from a distance.  You’ll want to make your reservation early since there is a limited number. Please check back closer to the program dates for details.

CANCELLATION/REFUND POLICY: No full refunds will be issued for registered participants. A 50% refund will be issued up forty-five days prior to the start of the program.  An exception will be made for documented medical or health reasons due to an unforeseen injury or illness. For dancers with an injury or illness, 100% of the tuition will be refunded up to thirty days prior to the start of the program. If the illness or injury reported to the program director under 30 days, a 50% refund will be issued by check no more than five business days after the completion of the program and the other 50% may be used as a credit for another program in the next twelve months that is produced and owned by Francisco Gella Dance Works. In the case of any injury or illness, a documented note or letter from a licensed physician must be submitted before a refund will be considered.

Feel free to contact us in the chatbox below or email us if you have any questions.