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Ms. Petrinovic was born in the United States of a Brazilian father and American mother. She moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at a young age where she received her early dance training (Vaganova based). She graduated with a B.A. in Theatre and Art from Principia College in Illinois. After marrying, she lived in Santiago, Chile where she danced with Ballet Experimental for several years.
In 1963 she and her family moved to the United States where she received her initial teacher training from Jo Anna Kneeland in Palm Beach, Florida, which became the foundation for her teaching, using principles of kinesiology and anatomy as applied to dance.
She was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from 1963 to 1982, first as Director of Imperial Studios of Ballet, and later as Founder and Artistic Director of the Atlantic Foundation for the Performing Arts. From 1966 to 1970 she commuted to New York City to hold the position of Director of Research and Training at Harkness House for Ballet Arts. While at Harkness House, she trained several faculty members for the organization. During her directorship of the Atlantic Foundation she was the Director of Ballet for the Greater Miami Opera Association from 1977 to 1982.
At the end of 1982 she moved to San Rafael, California as the Performance Director and member of the faculty for the Marin Ballet. In 1987 she accepted the position of Director of the School of the Richmond Ballet in Richmond, Virginia where she remained until 1995. The following two years were spent in West Palm Beach, Florida where she was the School Director for the Academy of Ballet Florida. At this point she retired from directing ballet schools.
Ms. Petrinovic has a long list of dancers who have been trained by her and her faculty, and have performed with national and international companies, including American Ballet Theatre Joffrey Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Houston Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Geneva Ballet, Zurich Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Israel Ballet, and many others. Also she has trained several dancers who have been in Broadway musicals, touring shows, Las Vegas shows, and national and international nightclub shows.
She has choreographed extensively, and in her repertoire are full length ballets as well as shorter works suitable for advanced groups of students and professional companies. She has created ballets for young audiences which have been performed for Elementary Schools in Florida and California. While working with the Greater Miami Opera Association, she had the opportunity to choreograph ballets within several operas. In addition to her original ballets, she has staged many works from the classics.
Presently she is devoting her energies to seminars and workshops for teachers of dance. She has conducted workshops in Virginia, Alabama, Florida, and New Hampshire. Her work with classical ballet, along with a knowledge of kinesiology and anatomy, has resulted in training countless teachers, including David Howard, the internationally acclaimed master teacher; Victoria Leigh, formerly a soloist with American Ballet Theater, on the faculty of the School of Washington Ballet, and currently teaching in the Atlanta area; and Wes Chapman, formerly a principal dancer with American Ballet Theater, Founder and Artistic Director of Alabama Ballet, former director of ABT II. She held the position of Consultant for the Alabama Ballet School, and has trained their teachers. During the past years she has been working with teachers in several schools in South Florida. Many teachers and schools throughout the country have adopted her syllabus which covers eight levels of classical training including pointe work.
Ms. Petrinovic is presently associated with Ballet Palm Beach, formerly Florida Classical Ballet Theatre at the Esther Center, under the direction of Colleen Smith. She is consistently training teachers, coaching, and teaching advanced students.
In addition, Ms. Petrinovic is currently involved in the formation of a group of prominent ballet experts who are well versed in the Petrinovic teaching techniques. Operating under the title “Revolutionary Principals of Movement” spearheaded by Cheryl Ale, with the purpose of furthering her work in training teachers.