Gina Bugatti Goetchius, Dancer and Teacher, Has Passed

May 9, 2018

Gina Bugatti Goetchius died on April 27th, 2018, at her home in Mount Vernon, New York. She was born on February 14, 1951, to George Goetchius and Mildred Goetchius. Gina had an iconic, global dance career which spanned nearly five decades. She began her ballet training as a child, and later enrolled in The National Academy of Ballet as a scholarship student under the direction of Thalia Mara. After graduating, she was a trainee at Harkness House, and was promoted to become a member of the Harkness Ballet Company, where she worked with choreographers such as Vicente Nebrada, Geoffrey Holder, Brian Macdonald, Ben Stevenson, Margo Sappington and Norman Walker. She then briefly became a member of The Joffrey II, directed by Jonathan Watts.

Gina was later invited to dance with the Ballet de Caracas as principal dancer under the direction of Vicente Nebrada, where she worked directly with choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, John Butler, Choo-San Goh, Judith Jamison, Elisa Monte, Dennis Nahat, Carlos Orta, Hans van Manen and Hector Zaraspe. She went on to dance with the Ballet Nuevo Mundo as a principal dancer for many years, later to become rehearsal director and assistant to the artistic director, Zhandra Rodríguez.

After returning to the United States after living in Venezuela for 20 years, she became rehearsal director/ballet mistress and later artistic associate director with Tina Ramirez of Ballet Hispánico. During these years Gina was also ballet mistress for the Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo touring worldwide. She was faculty at Peridance Center, and taught master classes at Skidmore College.

In the last ten years of her life, Gina taught at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Valentina Kozlova Dance Conservatory, and at several schools in Westchester County, most notably at the JCC in Scarsdale, which is creating a dance scholarship in her name.

Gina was a beloved teacher and mother. Throughout her life and career, she brought joy, beauty and wonder to those whom she touched. She is survived by her son Sebastian Castillo.