Serena Helene Hanavan

Corps de Ballet | Cincinnati, OH | Joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2015

Serena, originally from Cincinnati, began her ballet training with Claudia Rudolph Barrett. At age ten she was awarded the Bronze Medal at Youth America Grand Prix New York City Finals. In 2011, while a student of Oliver Arana, Hanavan won the Youth Grand Prix Award at Youth America Grand Prix and the Silver Medal at the World Ballet Competition. Hanavan relocated to Florida in the fall of 2011 to train with Magaly Suarez at the Art of Classical Ballet. While training in Florida, she appeared frequently as a soloist with Florida Classical Ballet. She was also featured in the Young Medalists Gala at the Miami International Ballet Festival in 2011 and 2012. After winning the Gold Medal at Youth America Grand Prix in both 2012 and 2013, Hanavan was chosen to dance as a soloist in The Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala and Ballet’s Greatest Hits Gala.
In 2013, Hanavan joined Boston Ballet II. During her two seasons with BBII, she danced as a member of the corps de ballet in more than 11 full length ballets as well as several contemporary works.
Hanavan joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2015. Her featured roles include: the Lilac Fairy in Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty, Princess Tiger Lily in Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, Dream Marguerite in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, the Rose and Snow Queen in Victoria Morgan’s The Nutcracker, the Summer Season in Victoria Morgan’s Cinderella, the Turning Girl in George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, and the Dark Angel in George Balanchine’s Serenade. Hanavan was promoted to Corps de Ballet in 2017.

Sponsors: Lynn & Daniel Langmeyer and Dr. Smokey Clay & Mr. Chris Southard

Touchet will never forget her 19th birthday. That was the day Victoria Morgan came to Pacific Northwest Ballet, to audition Touchet’s professional division. “Directors from everywhere auditioned us, but nobody ever picked me,” she says. “I remember thinking she wouldn’t like me anyway, so I told myself to just have fun, and after it was over, she said, ‘I’d like to talk to Janessa’.” Crossed wires with communicating Touchet’s acceptance of Morgan’s apprenticeship offer led to a planned spot with Memphis Ballet, but Morgan called one last time and Touchet was able to come to Cincinnati Ballet instead. “It was meant to be here. I started as an Apprentice and moved all the way through the ranks. I had always had my heart and mind set on Cincinnati Ballet.”

Professional History

  • Boston Ballet II (2013-2015)
  • Cincinnati Ballet: Apprentice

Favorite Roles

  • Kitri in Don Quixiote
  • Swanhilda in Coppelia
  • Juliet in Romeo & Juliet

Competitions and Awards

  • Bronze Medal PreCompetitive – YAGP New York City Finals (2008)
  • Youth Grand Prix Award – YAGP Chicago (2011)
  • Silver Medal World Ballet Competition (2011)
  • Gold Medal Junior Classical, Silver Medal Junior Contemporary – YAGP Tampa (2012)
  • Top 24 Final Round – YAGP New York City Finals (2012)
  • Gold Medal Senior Classical, Silver Medal Senior Contemporary – YAGP Tampa (2013)

Photography: Jennifer Denham

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