Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Welcomes Two New Apprentices

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) is pleased to welcome two promising young dancers as company apprentices for the 2022 – 2023 season. Ariana Chernyshev and Maria Eduarda Pinto will gain exceptional professional experience and enjoy exciting performance opportunities with the PBT company under the leadership of Artistic Director Susan Jaffe.

“After the success of the inaugural year of the apprenticeship program, I am excited at the possibilities inherent in these dancers’ futures,” Ms. Jaffe says. “I look forward to nurturing them throughout the course of the 2022 – 2023 season and helping them take their artistry to new heights.”

In addition to the invaluable experience of rehearsing and performing alongside PBT company dancers, the apprentices will have the option to pursue certificate or college degree programs through partnerships with Point Park University, Seton Hill University, Community College of Allegheny County and Chatham University. PBT is grateful to Leslie Fleischner and her late husband Hans for their thoughtful support of young dancers pursuing careers in the arts.

About the Apprentices

Ariana Chernyshev

Ariana Chernyshev was born in Pittsburgh and trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School (PBT School) from Pre-Ballet all the way through to the Graduate program. Additionally, she attended summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet. In 2019, Ariana accepted a trainee position at The Washington School of Ballet, where she performed with the company and danced lead roles in classical and contemporary works with the school. As a Graduate student at PBT School, she has had the honor of performing with the company in George Balanchine’s Rubies, Terrence S. Orr’s The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. In 2022, Ariana performed as a guest artist of Tulsa Ballet’s Swan Lake. Ariana enjoys teaching yoga to the high school students at PBT School and is thrilled to perform Susan Jaffe’s Swan Lake in May!

Pittsburgh is home, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to perform for my beautiful city and its vibrant community,” Ariana says. “We are so lucky to have Susan Jaffe as artistic director and I’m beyond excited to be a part of this new chapter for PBT!”


Maria Eduarda Pinto

Maria Eduarda Pinto was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she started taking ballet class at the age of two. She joined the Maria Olenewa Dance School and finished her studies at the Lyceu Dance School supervised by Lorena Boaventura. In 2020, she trained at Miami City Ballet with Aranxta Ochoa and Alexander Iziliaev. She won several awards in competitions in Brazil and was a finalist in the Latin America Selections of the Prix de Lausanne and the Youth America Grand Prix, in addition to participating in several international competitions such as Tanzolymp, ADCIBC, WBC and VKIBC.

I am very happy and excited to join Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre as an apprentice because it has always been my dream as a dancer to start a professional career in a company with several renowned masters and excellent dancers,” Maria says. “It makes me very excited to give my best this season.”