(Newport, RI) – Island Moving Company (IMC), Newport’s classically trained contemporary ballet company, announces the appointment of new dancers, apprentices, and staff members as the company prepares to launch its 40th Anniversary – 2021/2022 season.

“Following a year and a half of unprecedented challenges, we are excited to introduce new artistic and administrative team members who will be joining us as we embark on a significant anniversary season ahead,” said IMC’s Executive Director Peter Bramante.

Artistic Director Miki Ohlsen added, “IMC’s commitment to artistic excellence is further strengthened by the new artists and staff who will now call IMC home. Please join us in welcoming our new talent who will work to provide our audiences, residents, students and visitors with unique, world-class dance education and performance”.

Excerpts of new staff bios are included. Complete bios and more information on the company may be found at

Margot Aknin (Newport, RI) Company Dancer

Margot grew up in San Jose, California, where she trained at Los Gatos Ballet under Marcie Ryken for ten years. She spent three years in the Graduate Program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School.

Margot was a member of BalletMet 2 for their 2015–2016 season, performing corps and soloist roles. She joined Dayton Ballet in 2016.This is Margot’s first season with IMC.

Nicholas A. Esposito (Providence, RI) Business & Operations Manger

Nick comes to IMC from the University of Vermont, where he was Business Manager since 2019 and was previously as a grants administrator and analyst at Middlebury College. He has worked for over 10 years as a small business and not-for-profit business manager, leading finance and administration teams, and supporting strategic planning initiatives, as well as business and fund development efforts.

Athena Flournoy (Newport, RI) Company Apprentice

Athena Flournoy was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Point Park University with a B.F.A. in Modern Dance and a minor in Entrepreneurship. She has worked professionally with the Staycee Pearl Dance Project, in Pittsburgh, PA. This is Athena’s first season with IMC.

Kathleen McAreavey (North Providence, RI) Director of Education & Community Engagement

Kathleen joins IMC after serving as the Education and Community Outreach Manager for FirstWorks for the past eight years. In addition to her position at IMC, she is also the Manager of Education at the Westport (MA) Historical Society.

Kathleen graduated from Providence College with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and concentrations in Business Studies, History, and English. She studied the History and Conservation of Textiles in the Master’s Program at the University of Rhode Island. Her experiences range from exhibit curation and teaching, to curricula development and speech writing.

Laurel Paquin (Barrington, RI) Company & Production Manager

Has over 15 years of experience in Technical Direction and Production Management. She Got her BA in Technical Theater at Rhode Island College. She has worked at various schools and companies all over the south coast in a multitude of capacities around production. She has two beautiful little girls Haven, 4 years, and Autumn, 2 years, that are both aspiring dancers in their back yard. Laurel Has been the Stage manager for several past Island Moving Company Productions in the last few years. She looks forward to continuing that relationship with IMC.

Benjamin Rabe, (Newport, RI) Company Dancer

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ben received his core training at The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School with private training from Nicolas Petrov. While training, he attended summer intensives at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada School, and Miami City Ballet.

Mr. Rabe performed with BalletMet Columbus for two years under the direction of James Kudelka followed by Edwaard Liang. Mr. Rabe was a company dancer with Rochester City Ballet since 2009 and Joins IMC for his first season.

Edgardo Torres (Newport, RI) Company DancerOriginally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Edgardo received his bachelor’s degree in dance from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan in 2020. He also studied at Escuela de Bellas Artes de Barceloneta in San Juan and entro Internacional de Escuelas de Ballet en La Habana, Cuba.

Edgardo comes to IMC from Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, where he was a company member for the past four year. Edgardo is also a champion Salsa dancer and instructor. He has relocated to Newport to join IMC for his first season.