March 17, 2021

KCB Dancer Chat with Aviva Ajmera

Please join us for our Free Facebook Live KCB Dancer Chats; a new community engagement and education series designed to engage the broader public with professional dancers at Kansas City Ballet. Each Dancer Chat provides an opportunity for the public to get to know different company dancers through relaxed, informal conversations sharing their unique perspectives on various topics of the day. Moderated by prominent members of the community and arts lovers these engaging Chats will reveal backgrounds, extraordinary experiences, and strong relationships between professional artists.

Moderator Aviva Ajmera with Kansas City Ballet dancers Danielle Bausinger, Amanda DeVenuta, and Courtney Nitting.

Meet the Moderator

Aviva Ajmera

Aviva is the CEO and Co-Founder of SoLVE KC. A Kansas City Based consulting firm. After almost 25 years of leading strategy creation and implementation, new product development, brand management, consumer marketing and organization re-design, there’s no marketing problem Aviva hasn’t SoLVEd.

Aviva founded SoLVE with the mission to help Kansas City Businesses grow. Offering a unique, hands-on approach to business consulting, SoLVE’s clients are B2B, B2C, and non-profits. Organizations range from $600M national corporations to $500M regional companies, and also include local small business owners and start-ups. Aviva supports clients across numerous industries including Consumer Product Goods, Construction, Wedding, Publishing, Wealth Management, Higher Education, Manufacturing, Technology and a wide array of non-profit organizations.

Prior to SoLVE, Aviva was a partner with The Partnering Group and worked for Accenture.

As a Senior leader at Hallmark Cards, Aviva championed cross-functional teams in Product Development, Innovation, Retail, Corporate Strategy, Customer Strategy, and Business Transformation.

Aviva is an accredited Angel Investor and the former Board Chair with the Women’s Capital Connection, Kansas City’s only female Angel Investing group. She currently serves on several Kansas City Boards including the Kansas City Ballet, Children International & the Women’s Employment Network. Aviva has served as the Upper School Chair for Pembroke Hill School Executive Council and she has served on the Board of Tomboy X in Seattle, WA.

In 2018, Aviva was an award recipient of Kansas City Business Journal’s prestigious Women Who Mean Business Award. Aviva has a BA in Economics and Policy Studies from Rice University; MBA in Marketing, Management & Strategy and Non-profit Management from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Born and raised in Upstate New York, Aviva has made Kansas City her home for 25 years. She is married with 1 daughter, 3 “bonus” children, and four grandchildren.

Meet the Dancers

Danielle Bausinger

Joined KCB in 2014

Ms. Bausinger was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey and started dancing at the age of 3. Shortly thereafter, her family moved to Northern California where she continued her training at Lamorinda Ballet Center under Lynn Homeres from San Francisco Ballet, with Deborah Pitts from Oakland Ballet and Pat Keene from the Royal Ballet. She went on to extend her training by spending the next six years with the San Francisco Ballet School and attended summer programs such as The Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center, The Jillana School, American Ballet Theatre, and International Dance School in Jackson, Mississippi. While attending San Francisco Ballet School, Ms. Bausinger had the privilege of performing many works by George Balanchine, Helgi Tomasson, Lew Christensen, and August Bournonville. She also had the opportunity to perform with the San Francisco Ballet Company in Helgi Tommason’s The NutcrackerSwan Lake and Romeo & Juliet. Ms. Bausinger joined Cincinnati Ballet in 2006, and continued to dance with the company for the next eight seasons. Over the course of her career with Cincinnati Ballet, she has performed featured roles such as Tinkerbell in Septime Webre’s Peter Pan, Myrtha in Devon Carney’s Giselle, The Rose in Victoria Morgan’s and Val Caniparoli’s The Nutcracker, The Lead Woman in James Kudleka’s The Man in Black, Pas de Trios and Big Swan in Swan Lake, and 3rd Movement Principal in George Balanchine’s Symphony in C. She also had the privilege of going on tour with the company in May 2014 to perform at The Joyce Theater in New York City. Since joining KCB in 2014, she has been featured in classical works such as The Queen of Hearts in Septime Webre’s Alice (in Wonderland), Sanguinic in Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Milady de Winter in The Three Musketeers; Snow Queen, Rose and The Sugar Plum Fairy in Devon Carney’s The Nutcracker, Carabosse in Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty, The Wicked Witch in Septime Webre’s Wizard of Oz, and Olympe in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias. She has also been featured in contemporary works such as Concertino by Amy Seiwert, Klein Perspectives by Andi Schermoly, Petite Mort by Jiří Kylián, In the Upper Room by Twyla Tharp, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated by William Forsythe, and Petal by Helen Pickett. This is her 7th season with Kansas City Ballet.

Amanda DeVenuta

Joined KCB in 2014

Amanda DeVenuta is from New York. At the age of 13, she trained with Fabrice Herrault of Paris Opera Ballet in New York City for two years. She then made the move to Boston Ballet’s pre-professional program under the direction of Margaret Tracey for three years until she became a trainee in 2012. She performed in the company’s season as Snow & Flower Corps in Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Mazurka in Petipa’s Sleeping Beauty, 4th movement corps in Symphony In C, the Cello in Jerome Robbins Fanfare, and Swanhilda’s friends in Balanchine’s Coppelia. She then was sent on exchange for the summer to National Ballet of Canada, and the following summer to represent Boston Ballet at the Banff Performing Arts Center. She went to other summer programs including the American Academy of Ballet, Fabrice Herrault at Alvin Ailey, American Ballet Theatre, and Boston Ballet. Ms. DeVenuta spent a year as an apprentice with Minnesota Dance Theatre where she performed the role of snow queen in Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy along with other new works during the season. With Kansas City Ballet, she has performed roles in Rite of Spring, Diving Into The Lilacs, The Three Musketeers, Alice (in wonderland), Giselle, Wunderland, The Four Temperaments, Interplay, Theme and Variations, Diamonds, The Uneven, Play, and Romeo & Juliet. She has been featured as Odette/Odile in Devon Carney’s Swan Lake, Tinkerbell in Devon Carney’s Peter Pan, Sugar Plum Fairy in Devon Carney’s The Nutcracker, Olympe in Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Bomb Squad Ballerina in Twyla Tharp’s In The Upper Room, Mrs. Summers in Val Caniparoli’s The Lottery, Song Fairy, Pas de Trois and the White Cat in Devon Carney’s The Sleeping Beauty and Dorothy in the KC Ballet world premiere of Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz. In 2017, Ms. DeVenuta was named one of Dance Magazine’s Top 25 Dancers to Watch.

Courtney Nitting

Joined KCB in 2018

Courtney Nitting was born in Lafayette, New Jersey and began her dance training at the age of 3 at The New Jersey School of Ballet on scholarship. After nine years at NJB, she was invited to continue her training at The School of American Ballet. It was at SAB that Ms. Nitting received a review from critic Alastair MacCaulay for her featured role in George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments during the annual workshop. Over these years, she also attended summer programs such as American Ballet Theatre, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Boston Ballet. After graduating from SAB on scholarship, she performed with Eglevsky Ballet, Neglia Ballet, and Tom Gold Dance. Ms. Nitting then went on to join Pennsylvania Ballet II for the 2017-2018 season performing in ballets such as Angel Corella’s The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. She joined KCB for the 2018-2019 season where she performed featured roles in William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated and David Parsons’ A Play for Love. She also had the privilege of performing in Septime Webre’s world premiere of The Wizard of Oz, Devon Carney’sThe Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, along with KCB’s New Moves where she choreographed her work Men in Red, and danced in Gary Abbott’s Parallel Lives. Ms. Nitting was featured in a new work Umbra choreographed by Myles Thatcher for the 2020 New Dance Partners. She was featured in 2019 February/March Pointe Magazine article 200 Auditions, 1 Contract, along with a featured article in 2020 June/July issue of Dance Magazine titled Are Young Dancers Specializing Too Soon?