Dancer Dreams and Aspirations for 2019

With each January come thoughts and dreams about what may lie ahead in the coming year

Here’s what seven Cincinnati Ballet dancers had to say about what they hope they will have accomplished – either personally, professionally or both – by year’s end:


James Cunningham & Chisako Oga

“I want to be able to say that it was one of the best years of my life so far! I hope that it is a year full of positive energy, and definitely that it’s a healthy one, too. Hopefully I can say that I was able to dance every role and every program the best I could. I also hope that I have a beautiful and successful wedding this summer as I’m happily wed to my fiancé!”– Chisako Oga

“I always try to grow more in my artistry. With each new year comes new experiences and ways we learn how to overcome adversity and achieve our goals. I hope to learn how to control stress better in ways that are more beneficial, and to grow more every day as a dancer and as a person in hopes of becoming the best version of myself I can be. I also hope to spread more positivity, acceptance, and self-love to my family, friends and people around me.” – Samantha Griffin

“Something I hope to accomplish by the end of the year is starting to continue my education. I graduated a few years ago with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Arts Administration. Now that I’m with the Company, I hope to continue pursuing some other academic interests.” – Matthew Griffin


Cervilio, Leonardo, & Jackie Amador

“This year I would like to stay injury free in order to be able to keep up the high quality performances for Cincinnati audiences.  We are expecting our second child in the middle of the year, and I would also love a healthy, smooth delivery for my wife as she had with our beautiful Leonardo.” Cervilio Miguel Amador

“Next year, I want to be able to say that every opportunity I had to become stronger, smarter and more experienced was one that I took hold of, no matter how intimidating or difficult. I want to make sure by the last day of 2019 that I have learned all that I could and never let a day go by for granted, both professionally and personally. On a totally personal level, I hope that throughout 2019 I am able to continue working on and growing my blog.”  Melissa Gelfin


Serena & Kale Hanavan

“Personally, it’s going to be hard to beat 2018. Getting married last July was HUGE!! But, at the end of 2019, I want to have loved more and stressed less! I hope to have experienced new adventures with my husband, and to have taken the time to enjoy every little thing that makes life with him so incredible! Professionally, I hope that I have grown more as an artist, especially in contemporary works. I also want to be stronger, both physically and mentally, and to be even more focused and determined to reach my goals.” – Serena Helene Hanavan

“When looking back at the end of 2019, I want to reflect on my adventures that come from traveling the country and the globe. It is sublime and fulfilling food for the soul that brings life and wisdom to the roles that I work on throughout my performance career.  Another goal of mine is to cultivate and enrich my relationship with dance audience members. I want them to be impacted by the atmosphere and world that I create in the theater through my dancing, character development, and relationships I have with the other Cincinnati Ballet dancers. I want audience members to walk away excited, changed, and wanting more.” – Christian Renforth

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