At the heart of all that we do we are asking Who? Where? How? and What? are we serving. With this philosophy we are searching for people to introduce to and share this art form with. We are looking for places where professional in-person ballet is not currently present, both in our community and in our region. We examine and refine our delivery, training and presentation of the art form in order to make it accessible and inspiring. We ensure our motivation is putting the needs of our audiences, students and community before our own aspirations.
In our efforts we look to overcome geographical, economic and societal barriers through touring, scholarship or sponsored classes and by providing an inclusive atmosphere where every student is trained to their greatest potential. We believe a life lived with dance is a life well lived.
Chattanooga Ballet (CHA Ballet) is the only professional ballet company in Chattanooga. The company works with highly recognized choreographers from around the country to present a repertoire that includes works from classical to contemporary and modern genres. In addition to the regular seasons here in Chattanooga the company proudly represents the city touring throughout the southeast region. The company is a dream caster, showing what is possible for the athlete and the artist.
Alessandra Ferrari-Wong was born and raised in Westwood, NJ. She began her dance training with hula at age three, studying under Luana Haraguchi, Kumu Hula of Hālau Hula O Na Mele ‘Aina O Hawai’i. At the age of seven, she began her ballet training at Ballet Arts New Jersey under the direction of Diana Turner Hauser. She has attended summer intensives with American Ballet Theater and Colorado Ballet under scholarship. In addition to being a dancer, she is also a visual artist and recently earned her BFA degree in Art and Art History from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. There she continued her dance training with Antonio Douthit-Boyd and Christine Knoblauch-O’Neal. While in St. Louis, Ms. Ferrari-Wong also worked with Jock Soto and performed in his piece “My Soul Remainer” and placed first in the National Society of Arts and Letters 2017 Regional Ballet Competition. In 2020, she joined New York Dance Project as an Apprentice under the direction of Davis Robertson and Nicole Duffy, and performed roles in Gerald Arpino’s Birthday Variations, and worked with choreographers Maleek Washington, Ephrat Asherie, and Madison Hicks. This is her second season with Chattanooga Ballet.
Born in Pennsylvania, Andrea received her training at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She spent summers with prestigious companies such as Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Charlotte Ballet. At the age of seventeen, she joined Joffrey Ballet Chicago as a trainee, finishing her high school through cyber correspondence and helping create the Cyber & Arts program at Seneca Valley. Shortly after, she moved to Charlotte to work with then artistic director, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, and Kennedy Center Honoree, Patricia McBride. There, under the coaching of Ms. McBride, Andrea performed featured roles such as Fascinatin’ Rhythm from Balanchine’s Who Cares, Odalisques from Le Corsaire, and Rose Adagio from Sleeping Beauty. Ms. Chickness was invited to join Milwaukee Ballet II where she performed in notable leads such as Man I Love Pas de deux and Fascinatin’ Rhythm from Who Cares, Bedroom Pas de deux from Othello, Majisimo, and William Forsythe’s In the Middle Somewhat Elevated. In 2014 Andrea started her European career dancing in Spain with Victor Ullate Ballet and in Germany with Leipzig Ballet as a soloist. Andrea made the decision to return home to the USA to be closer to her family, and has since danced with Columbia Ballet, US International Ballet, and Ballet Spartanburg. Most recently, she performed with Wonderbound, a contemporary company in Denver, Colorado. In addition to her dance career, Andrea is a sports nutrition specialist, personal trainer, and long-distance runner. She enjoys helping others reach their athletic and physical potential through her own coaching company, Ready.Set.Win. Ms. Chickness is grateful for the support of her husband and family, and excited to share her skills with the Chattanooga community.
Hannah began her pre-professional training at North Atlanta Dance Theatre under the direction of Michael Garrison. She attended summer intensive programs at The Royal Ballet School’s Upper School in London, Nashville Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet. Most recently Hannah was an artist with Lexington Ballet for three seasons where she performed as The Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen and Dew Drop in The Nutcracker, Peter Rabbit in The Magical Tales of Beatrix Potter, and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Prior to Lexington, Hannah worked with Louisville Ballet where she performed the roles of Principal Rose in Val Caniparoli’s The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, a Soloist Shade in La Bayadère, and Zulma in Giselle. Outside of performing, Hannah loves teaching classes and sharing her passion for ballet with students of all ages. She is very excited to be with Chattanooga Ballet for her second season!
Mary Kate Shearer
Mary Kate Shearer is from Ridgeland, Mississippi. She trained from age three with Mississippi Metropolitan Ballet under the direction of Jennifer Beasley. Mary Kate attended numerous summer intensive programs, including Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and the School of the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Mary Kate joined the Indiana University Ballet Theater in January 2018. With IUBT, she performed the roles of Yellow Lady in Martha Graham’s Diversion of Angels and Angry Girl in The Concert by Jerome Robbins, and also danced featured roles in Twyla Tharp’s Deuce Coupe, George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht and Allegro Brillante, Dark Elegies by Anthony Tudor, and in The Nutcracker, choreographed by Michael Vernon. In May 2021, Mary Kate graduated from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Ballet Performance with an Outside Field in English and a Certificate in Global French. Since joining Chattanooga Ballet in 2021, Mary Kate’s roles have included the Dewdrop in The Nutcracker, an ugly stepsister in Artistic Director Brian McSween’s Cinderella, and Polyhymnia in McSween’s Three Muses for Apollo. She has also premiered multiple new contemporary and ballet works with the company, notably including Emilia Sandoval’s Then, As In Now and McSween’s Capture. As an instructor with the school of Chattanooga Ballet, Mary Kate loves sharing the joy of ballet with her students. Beyond ballet, Mary Kate is an amateur musicologist of sorts, and has embarked on a journey to listen to the top 500 albums of all time, as discerned by the magazine Rolling Stone. Follow her musical journey @mklistens on Instagram. This is Mary Kate’s second season with Chattanooga Ballet.
Pierceton is a native of Summerville SC, a small town just outside of Charleston, where his passion for dance began at the young age of two. Pierceton was first introduced to tap and gymnastics classes at the Tapio School of Dance and Gymnastics. Pierceton continued his training in commercial dance techniques including jazz, tap and contemporary, competing in multiple national competitions such as The Dance Awards. Pierceton was later introduced to concert dance techniques such as ballet and various American Modern techniques including Graham and Horton. Pierceton is a recent alumnus of the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, a residential high school (C.O 2020) where he completed his high school education with a rigorous focus on dance training under the direction of Dance Chair Josee Garant and President Cedrick Aderly. Pierceton hopes to take part in the lives of other aspiring dancers, particularly young men who oftentimes are unable to have a male role model in the dance world.
Chattanooga Ballet’s (CHA Ballet) mission is to “Serve through the power of dance.” One of the many ways CHA Ballet does this is through master classes that are offered as part of its ART/Motion Tours. Dancers will have the chance to work with the Artistic Director or company members and in some locations will learn some of the company repertoire. Classes are designed for students that are currently taking ballet classes. Enjoy class on stage with a professional company and then return to see that company in performance!
Limited spaces: capped at 30 students. All participants should be familiar with / actively studying ballet.
Chattanooga Ballet (CHA Ballet) is the only professional ballet company in Chattanooga and operates through the mission to “Serve through the power of dance.” As part of that mission, CHA Ballet will provide more communities with more opportunities to see professional dance performances. The company performs a various repertoire from nationally recognized choreographers with works ranging from classical to contemporary and modern. Made up of dancers with exceptional ballet technique and inspiring artistry, CHA Ballet will provide an unforgettable evening on its ART/Motion Tour.