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Jessica Skinker
Company Artist

Jessica Skinker was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. She began her early training at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) under the direction of Christine Kardell as well as Antonio and Kirven Douhit-Boyd of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She spent her summers training at Nashville Ballet, Joffrey Ballet Texas and on full scholarship at Missouri Contemporary Ballet. With both dance and academic scholarships, Jessica graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mercyhurst University with a B.F.A. in Dance and a B.A. in Pre-Health Sciences.  There, she studied under the tutelage of renowned instructors Jennifer McNamara and Matthew Christensen of Nashville Ballet, Tauna Hunter of Ballet West, Solveig Santillano of MOMIX, Mark Santillano of Pilobolus and Lesley Bories-Scalise of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. She performed with the Mercyhurst Dancers in Giselle as the principal role of Myrtha, Michael Gleason’s Symphonie Italienne, Catherine Meredith’s Aftermath, and in several newly choreographed classical and contemporary works. She has also performed with SoMar Dance Works, Ballet Eclectica, and as a guest artist with Erie Contemporary Ballet Theater in the leading role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Since joining CIB, some of Jessica's favorite roles include; The Christmas Angel in The Nutcracker, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Madame Thénardier in Les Misérables. Jessica is extraordinarily grateful for all the love and support from her family, friends and mentors. She is excited for her third season with Central Illinois Ballet!

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