Photo by Mark DeLong, courtesy of Payne

Herman Payne, a Juilliard graduate with a resumé as diverse as his hometown of Miami, understands and approaches dance in terms of connections. His musical choices and teaching style are fully guided, he says, by how each student decides to relate to the movement and his instruction. So it might come as a surprise that Payne teaches children as young as 8 at the Miami City Ballet School. Says Payne, "When I talk to younger kids, it's more of a one-on-one approach. But I have the same work ethic no matter who I'm teaching, so I'm just as hard on the younger ones."

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Just two years after being appointed director of the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, former PAB principal Arantxa Ochoa (DT, November 2012) has stepped down and relocated to Miami. Last month she began her new position as Miami City Ballet School director of faculty and curriculum.

Ochoa’s departure comes on the heels of some significant changes at PAB. As of the end of last season, more than 40 percent of the company’s dancers have left the company, either by choice or because their contracts weren’t renewed.

Born in Valladolid, Spain, Ochoa joined PAB in 1996, was promoted to principal in 2001 and retired in 2012. She served as a principal instructor at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet for two years before being appointed director.

Photo by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy of Miami City Ballet

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