Introducing New Teaching Artist: Olivia MacKinnon, Ballerina with NYCB

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust | Photo © Erin Baiano

Olivia MacKinnon was born in Mobile Alabama and is a ballerina with the New York City Ballet (NYCB). At the age of 17, she joined NYCB and has toured around the world including Denmark, France, Japan, China, Greece, West Indies, and various cities in the United States. As a professional ballerina and choreographer, she has created works for New York City Fashion Week and the House of Doyenne. Olivia is the founder of Ballet Inspired Fitness, she teaches both ballet and fitness classes for students all over the world. Olivia was featured in John Wick Parabellum film, and has had appearances in several documentaries. She has worked with numerous well known companies and artists such as Elle Decor, Museum of Modern Art, Puma, Rebecca Minkoff, Sarah Jessica Parker and Tiffany and Co.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust | Photo © Paul Kolnik

Divertimento from ‘Le Baiser de la Fée’
Emeralds from Jewels
George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Coffee, Marzipan, Flowers, Dolls, Dewdrop)
Raymonda Variations
Tschaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2

Eight Easy Pieces
The Sleeping Beauty (Vivacity)
Swan Lake (Pas de Trois, Pas de Quatre, Princess)
Fanfare (Cellos)

Warren Carlyle: SOMETHING TO DANCE ABOUT Jerome Robbins, Broadway to Ballet
JR: Les Bosquets
Lauren Lovette: For Clara
Justin Peck: The Most Incredible Thing, Principia
Gianna Reisen: Composer’s Holiday

Photo © Gabriela Celeste

Note: Virtual Ballet Class Schedule to be announced soon – please subscribe for news. To request specific day and time for groups of 5+ students, please email

New Teaching Artist: Antonio Carmena, former Soloist with the New York City Ballet.

Portrait©Gerardo Vizmanos

We are excited to welcome Antonio Carmena to our roster of teaching artists. Mr. Carmena has taught dance in leading universities, ballet companies and schools thought the United States and Europe while appearing as Soloist for twelve of his nineteen years with New York City Ballet. 

Mr. Carmena is a faculty professor teaching ballet for Barnard College’s Dance Department. He taught in New York City Ballet’s Outreach Program giving master classes in Australia, Ireland, France and throughout the United States. He has been a master teacher for institutions as Pacific Northwest Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet School, The School of Ballet Arizona, Ballet Hispanico, Ballet de Barcelona, the New York State Summer School, the University of Southern California’s Gloria Kaufman School of Dance, Temple University, BODYTRAFFIC, the Marin Ballet, the Laguna Ballet, the Real Conservatory in Madrid, the Royal Danish Ballet Summer Program, Art of. Summer intensive and Stage de Danse in Liege, Belgium.

During his time at New York City Ballet, Mr. Carmena worked with the New York City Ballet Young Patrons committee for several years which is designed to bring young audiences to ballet and encourage their financial support of the organization. His enthusiasm and involvement helped the program double in size. He was immersed in fundraising goals, marketing and event planning, and the financial parameters associated with Young Patrons programs.In 2018, Mr. Carmena participated in shadowing Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal and was essentially participating in an administrative intensive with PNB’s management team. Through these experiences he has gained valuable insights into the complexity and many moving parts of every ballet company

He demonstrated ballet classes for a very popular series of instructional videos by the master teacher Finis Jhung. In addition, in 2017 The Columbia University Ballet Collaborative invited him to choreograph his first work, “Los Cuatro.” In 2019 he choreographed his second ballet for Ballet de Barcelona, “Together”, in collaboration with Marcus Salazar.

Mr. Carmena received his training at the Royal Conservatory of Professional Dance in Madrid, Spain. Awards include the Gold Medal in 1996 at the Third International Competition, Havana, Cuba; the 1997 Gold Medal at the Prix de Lausanne as well as the “Prix des Telespectateurs,” an honor voted on by television viewers of the Competition; the Grand Prix at the Seventh Eurovision Competition for Young Dancers and the “Most Outstanding Young Dancer” in the First International Dance Competition in Zaragoza, Spain. 

After winning the Prix de Lausanne Scholarship, he was invited to study at the School of American Ballet, the official School of New York City Ballet. He was named an apprentice to the Company in 1998, joined the full Company the following year and was promoted to Soloist in 2006. He retired from the New York City Ballet in 2017.

Mr. Carmena’s repertoire with the Company included leading roles in classical ballets and works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, August Bournonville and Peter Martins. He originated roles in creations by Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Mauro Bigonzetti, Liam Scarlett, Susan Stroman and Douglas Lee. 

He appeared as a guest artist with numerous companies in the United States and Europe including the Laguna Ballet, The Hartford Ballet, the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi di Salerno, the Festival di Spoleto, and the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. 

In addition to his dance career, Mr. Carmena is an accomplished chef. With a scholarship from Career Transition for Dancers, he studied at the French Culinary Institute, taking the “La Technique” course under the direction of Chefs Ryan Orkus and Jessica Botta. He has several videos on YouTube demonstrating favorite recipes from “The Ballet Cookbook” by ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq. 

Photo©Paul Kolnik for NYCB