The Ballet Experience

The Ballet Experience 2017-05-23T17:32:16+00:00

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Kara Zimmerman








Kara Zimmerman was born in Hershey, PA and trained at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA.  She has been dancing professionally for the past 16 years, and most recently with the Victor Ullate Ballet Company in Madrid, Spain. 

After graduating High School, Kara moved to Seattle, WA to attend the Pacific Northwest Ballet School’s Professional Division program on full scholarship. She trained there for two years before joining the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company as a member of the Corps de Ballet in 2000. During her 8 seasons with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, she had the privilege of traveling to England, Scotland, Hong Kong, and Turkey to perform with the company. 

In 2008 Kara joined the Cincinnati Ballet as a Senior Soloist. Then one year later, she joined the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, IL where she danced in the company for the next 6 seasons. 

While dancing at the Joffrey Ballet, she has  performed lead roles in ballets such as Stravinsky Violin Concerto (Aria II), In the Night (2nd pas), The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum, Snow Queen, Arabian), In the Middle Somewhat Elevated (main pas), Cinderella (Summer Fairy), Don Quixote (Dryad Queen), Age of Innocence (2nd pas), Tulle (Lead Woman), Lilac Garden (The Other Woman), Prodigal Son (Siren), After the Rain, Reflections, Othello and Infra to name a few. 

In August of 2015 Kara moved to Madrid, Spain to join the Victor Ullate Ballet Company. During the past year she has been performing all throughout Spain and France and toured to South America where the company performed in Uruguay and Colombia.

Cara Gary








Cara Marie Gary joined The Joffrey Ballet in July 2012. Ms. Gary began her formal ballet training at International Ballet Academy in Greer, South Carolina, under Hennadii Bespechnyi and Vlada Kysselova. She competed in several international competitions, including the VI Serge Lifar International Ballet Competition held in Kiev, Ukraine, and received a Diploma of Laureate in 2006. Ms. Gary was a top twelve finalist in the Youth America Grand Prix National Finals in 2008 and 2009, won the overall Grand Prix Award in the 2009 YAGP regional semi-finals, and competed in the IX USA International Ballet Competition held in Jackson, Mississippi in 2010.

Prior to joining The Joffrey Ballet, Ms. Gary danced with American Ballet Theatre’s ABT II and was an apprentice with Orlando Ballet. Her repertoire included roles in Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Flames of Paris pas de deux,Interplay, ContinuoAllegro Brillante, Stars and Stripes pas de deux, Vivace Motifs, PavlovskA Taste of Sweet VelvetBarbara, and Ballo Per Sei. Ms. Gary has also performed the title role in The NutcrackerLa SylphideDon Quixote,PaquitaMarkitankaCoppelia, and Giselle.

Since joining The Joffrey Ballet, Ms. Gary has danced many classical and contemporary roles, including Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, a Shade and Gamzatti’s Sister in La Bayadère, Pas de trois, Pas de quatre and Little Swans in Swan Lake, Juliet’s friend in Romeo and Juliet, Circus Couple in Tulle, and roles in Pretty BALLET, Interplay, Son of Chamber Symphony, Othello, Le Sacre du Printemps, Age of Innocence, Allegro Brillante, Continuum, In Creases, and Incantations.

In 2014, Joffrey’s ballet master, Nicolas Blanc, choreographed Rendez-vous on Ms. Gary and former Joffrey dancer Aaron Smyth for their participation in the X USA IBC, which received the Best Choreography Award and was showcased in the final gala.

Ms. Gary graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Greenville University in May 2014 with a BA in Business Administration.

Yumelia Garcia







After retiring from Joffrey Ballet in 2014 Yumelia Garcia has not let the grass grow under her feet. While she is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she also continues to make guest performances around the country from Florida to Alaska. In 2015 Gordon Pierce Schmidt created the ballet Day of the Gypsy, performed at the Harris Theater in Chicago, on Ms. Garcia that was among the Chicago Tribune’s best performances in 2015, and has been the guest principal dancer for the Jacksonville Symphony in Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and this past April performed Cinderella. She has just recently worked in New York with the Kathryn Posin Dance Company collaborating with Meredith Monk in a commissioned ballet for the Harkness Dance Festival in Manhattan. She also is part of Joffrey Ballet’s teaching workshop in San Antonio TX and teaches and coaches for a number of schools from Buffalo NY to Los Angeles CA.

Ms. Garcia was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her professional training at the Escuela de Ballet Gustavo Franklin (Vaganova school). Upon graduating with honors, Vicente Nebrada invited her to join the National Ballet of Caracas at the tender age of 15, and promoted her to soloist one year later. Ms. Garcia began her U.S. career with Heinz Pohl at Ohio Ballet. She then joined the Milwaukee Ballet, performing as a principal dancer. While in Milwaukee, in addition to having Kathryn Posin’s Scheherazade created for her, Ms. Garcia performed many classical roles, including Kitri in Don Quijote, Giselle, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, and Carmen. She later moved on to Ballet Florida, where she was featured in contemporary and classical works, most recently as Cleopatra, by Ben Stevenson. In 2009, Ms. Garcia was invited by Ashley Wheater to join the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, where she hit the stage to critical acclaim in roles such as Valencienne in The Merry Widow and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker.  Her performance in Ashton’s Cinderella was featured in Point Magazine as one of the “Best Performances of the Year 2010.”

Yumelia Garcia’s remarkable versatility, technical prowess, and intensity have given her extensive experience in works by Alonzo King, Choo San Goh, David Parsons, Jean Paul Comelin, Mark Godden, George Balanchine, Trey McIntyre, Jimmy Gamonet, Christopher Wheeldon, Lar Lubovitch, Jiri Kylian, William Forsythe, Wayne McGregor and Robert Joffrey.

With Surprise Guest Artist!