Escazu, Costa Rica

Event Details:
  • Ballet+ Costa Rica
    January 18, 2017 - January 22, 2017

Event Phone: 213-926-3861

More Than 30 Hours of Training With Expert Faculty Mentors!

Francisco Gella’s Ballet+ is more than a program, it’s a powerful idea and a transformative experience.

Ballet+ is based on his extensive twenty-five year dance career and his background in gymnastics. With an integrated teaching approach, he incorporates spirituality, psychology, physiology, and kinesthetic awareness – all toward developing you into a more holistic and versatile dancer.

Taking place for the first time in Costa Rica, Ballet+ is designed to accelerate your training and to assist you in being fully prepared and motivated for a successful future 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, you’ll quickly become more aware of your own body and the mind’s connection to it.  Regardless of how many years you’ve been dancing, you’ll do more than you knew you ever believed you could and get closer to realizing your potential.

Ballet+ will take you beyond technique to explore your limits as an artist, an athlete, and a technician.

For Questions and more information email:


Ballet+ is for intermediate and advanced dancers ages 9-22 from all schools and studios in Costa Rica and beyond.  For the purposes of this workshop, ‘Intermediate/Advanced’ is roughly defined as a student pre-professional having danced for at least one year in a studio as a company member with a minimum of 3 hours of ballet training 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.


A special Future Stars program for young dancers ages 6-8 will also be offered.  Participants should be currently enrolled in beginner dance classes including ballet. The Future Stars program will be a total of 3 classes spanning 4 hours a day. Each class will be no more than 45-60 minutes. Classes will focus on introductory ballet technique, jazz, and creative movement. The young dancers will be taught proper class etiquette in an age-appropriate, enjoyable environment that will instill self-confidence and respect for the art form of dance.

Faculty reserve the right to move dancers to a different group if they feel they feel the learning and development needs of a specific student dancer will be better met by doing so.  

No full refunds will be issued for registered participants. A 50% refund will be issued up to thirty 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.

Faculty Biographies



Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Improv

Francisco Gella’s distinguished career as a professional dancer, choreographer, artistic director and dance educator in the genres of ballet, modern and contemporary dance, spans more than twenty years since he took his first ballet class at the University of Washington during his freshman year. Universities, schools, and companies seek after his award-winning innovative choreography, and highly effective inspirational teaching methods, across North America and around the globe. Francisco is the founding artistic director COLABO Youth Dance Collective and currently has artistic residencies in Orem, Utah and Dallas, Texas. He also serves as ballet director for the nationally acclaimed 24 Seven Dance Convention and the ARIA BalletIntensive. Born in Bacolod City, Philippines, Mr. Gella immigrated to the United States at age eleven and now resides in Los Angeles, CA



Ballet, Modern, Contemporary

Originally from The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Sorzano has been a member of Ailey II,Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, TU Dance and the Los Angeles based BODYTRAFFIC. She has performed in principal roles with The Ailey company and in a variety of concert works from noted choreographers, including Ulysses Dove, Robert Battle, Hofesh Shechter, Mauro Bigonzetti, Judith Jameson and Ron K. Brown. She has worked with recording artists Wynton Marsalis, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Rihanna, and she has been a guest artist on “Dancing with the Stars.” She also starred as the principal dancer in the independent film “You Me and The Circus.” Ms.Sorzano is a faculty member of The Joffrey Jazz Contemporary Program. When not performing, she enjoys teaching master classes nationally and internationally.



Modern and Musical Theatre Dance

Wilson is a graduate of the University of Washington with an M.F.A. degree in Dance and a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the Evans School of Public Affairs. He also received a B.F.A. degree in Acting and B.A. minor in Dance from Montclair State University. Prior to earning his Masters in Fine Arts degree, he lived in the New York City area where he worked as a performer for television, radio spots, commercials, concert dance companies and Off-Broadway and Broadway musicals. His choreography has been seen throughout the States including at The Kennedy Center in D.C. and has been invited to festivals in Venezuela and Australia. He’s taught at University of Minnesota, Purchase, MSU, Tisch School of the Arts, CAP 21, Steps on Broadway and Dance New Amsterdam, to name a few. His research on how to better equip performing arts students to have sustained careers in their fields has been invited for presentation at the International Conference on Visual and Performing Arts in Athens, Greece and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Oahu, HI.


Lead Teacher and Director for Future Stars Program (ages 6-8)

Michaela Marie Pickett began her dance training at the age of 6 at Los Angeles Ballet Academy in Los Angeles, CA. During her 12 years at LABA, Michaela studied ballet under the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) method, passing all of her exams with Distinction, in addition to training in a variety of jazz and contemporary dance styles. Michaela went on to attend Chapman University in Orange, CA on Chancellor’s Scholarship, where she received a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance Performance Major and Nutrition Minor. She not only continued her ballet, jazz, and contemporary training while at Chapman, but also began to heavily train in various classical and contemporary modern dance techniques. Michaela has studied under various world-renowned teachers and choreographers, and has attended an array of summer intensives, including but not limited to: American Academy of Ballet (Westchester, NY), School of American Ballet (New York, NY), Royal Ballet School (London, England), and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Chicago, IL). In the span of her professional career, Michaela has danced as Company Member with Sean Greene’s Shield Wall and JESSICA KONDRATH | THE MOVEMENT, both based in Los Angeles, CA — and has also taken part in commercial dance work in the LA area. Michaela is now living in Salt Lake City, UT and dancing as Company Member with SALT Contemporary Dance II. In addition to pursuing a professional dance career of her own and serving as Creative Assistant for Francisco Gella Dance Works, Michaela possesses an immense passion for teaching dance. She has taught at The Art of Dance and Ballet Academy in Placentia, CA, quite heavily at Los Angeles Ballet Academy in Los Angeles, CA, and is currently teaching at Creative Arts Academy in Bountiful, UT.


*Detailed schedule of classes will be released by December 31. Schedule is subject to change.


Wednesday, January 18

8-8:30am                   Check-in/Registration

8:30-9am                   Kick-off with director and faculty

9am-12:30pm           Future Stars Program (ages 6-8)

9am-3:30pm             Intermediate/Advanced Classes: Group A (ages 9-13); Group B (ages 14-22)

6:30-8pm              Adult/Professional Ballet Class w/Yusha Marie Sorzano


Thursday, January 19

9am-12:30pm           Future Stars Program (ages 6-8)

9-9:15am                   Big Group Warm Up (ages 9-22)

9:15-3:30pm             Intermediate/Advanced: Group A (ages 9-13); Group B (ages 14-22)

6:30-8pm              Adult/Professional Ballet Class w/Francisco Gella


Friday, January 20

9am-1pm                   Future Stars Program (ages 6-8)

9-9:15am                   Big Group Warm Up (ages 9-22)

9:15-3:30pm             Intermediate/Advanced Classes: Group A (ages 9-13); Group B (ages 14-22)

6:30-8pm               Adult/Professional Modern Class w/Wilson Mendieta


Saturday, January 21

9am-12:30pm          Future Stars Program (ages 6-8)

9-9:15am                   Big Group Warm Up (ages 9-22)

9:15-3:30pm             Intermediate/Advanced Classes: Group A (ages 9-13); Group B (ages 14-22)

4-5pm                        College and Career Planning Panel & Workshop  (Parents invited)

1-2:30pm               Adult/Professional Ballet Class w/Francisco Gella


Sunday, January 22

9am-12:30pm           Future Stars Program (ages 6-8)

9am-3:45pm             Intermediate/Advanced Classes: Group A (ages 9-13); Group B (ages 14-22)

3:45-5pm                  Closing Program with Students, Parents and Teachers. Students and Teachers will discuss what they learned,

awards will be presented, and photos will be taken.

1-2:30pm              Adult/Professional Contemporary Class w/Michaela Pickett



Venue Phone: 506 2288 5490

317 Avenida Escazu, Escazu, Costa Rica