Mrs. Svetlana Bak-Gavrilova, Director, Co-Founder
Graduated from the world famous Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. She studied under Alla Sizova and Marina Vasilyeva, both former soloists from Mariinsky Theater (Kirov Ballet). As a soloist, Svetlana performed and toured around the world with The Mikhailovsky State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Mr. Kirill Bak-Stepanoff, Director, Co-Founder
Graduated from Vaganova Ballet Academy (St. Petersburg, Russia) under the instruction of Vladlen Semenov, a former Mariinsky Theater (Kirov Ballet) soloist and instructor. After graduation, Kirill joined the Boris Eifman Ballet Theater, where he danced many solo roles. Kirill also toured and performed in many countries across Europe with Mikhailovsky State Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Taylor Reemts graduated from Academy of Russian Ballet in Minnesota where she was trained as a classical ballet dancer with Vaganova syllabus inclining. 2018 was Taylor’s first season with Minnesota Ballet School. Taylor teaches Pre-Ballet and Ballet 1 levels as well as Adult Ballet classes.
Matilda Bak teaches Pre-Ballet and Ballet 1. She joined ARB at the age of three and still takes classes in the advanced level. Throughout her years with MBS, Matilda danced in all MBS/ARB original productions, such as Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals and other classical ballet repertoire. Matilda performed Clara, Arabian Solo, Snow Queen in MBS's annual production The Nutcracker.
Lucia Erickson began her training at age three with the Academy of Russian Ballet in Minnesota. She participated in summer courses at Minnesota Dance Theater, Marat Daukayev School of Ballet, the Rock School, the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and the School of American Ballet. At 16, Lucia moved to Philadelphia and began training at the School of Pennsylvania Ballet. There, Erickson performed in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Angel Corella’s Swan Lake, and Samantha Dunster’s La Fille Mal Gardée, Snow White, Prince Charming, and Peter Pan. After two years in the school, Lucia joined PBII for the 2018-2019 season, and was promoted to corps de ballet for the 2019/2020 season.
Her roles include: Don Quixote (Cupid, Flower Girl), George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® (Dew Drop, Lead Marzipan), La Bayadère (Shades Pas de Trois)
Jennifer L. Bennett graduated from Kirov Academy of Ballet, Washington D.C. where She studied under instruction Alla Sizova – Prima Assoluta Ballerina Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet. As apprentice Jennifer tour across of United State with Kirov Ballet National Nutcracker. After graduation She was soon promoted to Artistic Director Ballet Petite and Youth Performing Arts School, Bethesda, Maryland.
2008-2012 Jennifer become a Principle Dancer with Ballet Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Performance roles include Beethoven’s 9th symphony, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Mozart’s 40th Symphony, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, La Bayadere and Don Quixote.
2011-15 Mrs. Bennett start teach in Classical Ballet Academy in St. Paul MN
2015- Present She is full time faculty member and sole ballet teacher for competitive lines at Studio 4 Dance, Burnsville, Minnesota
Heather Haugen Aerial Ballet teacher, She earned a Bachelor of Arts in dance from Pomona College, Pilates certification from Long Beach Dance Conditioning Academy, GYROTONIC® certification and a certificate in GYROKINESIS®.Heather has performed throughout the United States as an aerialist at large venues such as the Anaheim Convention Center and smaller venues such as The Southern Theater in Minneapolis.
Born in Kazakhstan, Toleu Mukanov received his early training at the Almaty Choreographic College and later on graduated from Kyrgyzstan Ballet School. In 2002 he was a gold medal recipient at the International Ballet Competition in Crimea, Ukraine, and in 2006 he received a silver medal at the Almaty Ballet Competition. Immediately upon graduation he joined Astana Ballet in Kazakhstan. Later on he danced with Kyrgyzstan’s Opera and Ballet Theatre, Moscow’s Russian Ballet Theatre and Russian National Ballet Company. His past roles include: Basilio in Don Quixote, Golden Idol in La Bayadere, Ali in Le Corsaire, James in La Sylphide, Franz in Coppelia, Joker in Swan Lake, Blue Bird in Sleeping Beauty, Peasant Pas de Deux in Giselle. Mr Mkanov joined Festival Ballet Providence in April 2012 – October 2014. 2016- Toleu’s first season with Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota.
Elena Dmitrieva was a ballerina for 25 years after graduating from the most famous Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1977. After graduation She start dance career with the St. Petersburg Opera Theatre Conservatory and became Principal Ballerina, shorter after She was invited to Mikhailovsky State Opera and Ballet Theatre in St. Peterburg, Russia. In 2001 Ms. Elena received Her Master Degree in ballet pedagogy and choreography from same Vaganova Ballet Academy. Now Ms. Elena Dmitrieva represents the second generation of Russian Ballet professors who have mastered the knowledge contained in the world-renowned Vaganova syllabus. Currently Ms. Elena Ballet Master with Victoria Ballet Company and taught many Ballet programs in Japan, Russia and Canada.
Nikolay Morschakov graduated with honors from the Saratov State Choreographic Academy, Russia in 1995. Immediately after, he was selected for Grigorovich Ballet as a Soloist dancer. Elevated to principal dancer in 1999, Mr. Morschakov was featured as Jean de Brienne in “Raymonda”, Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet”, Basilio in “Don Quixote”, both Spartacus and Crassus in “Spartacus”, Prince Siegfried and Von Rothbart in “Swan Lake”, Poet in “Chopiniana”, Cavalier in “Nutcracker” and in other leading and solo roles. In 2003 he joined Sarasota Ballet of Florida as a principal dancer where danced Lieutenant Pinkerton in “Madame Butterfly”, Armand in “Camille”, Alexei in “La Boutique Fantasque”. Since 2005, Mr. Morschakov had been a principal dancer, ballet master, and a choreographer with Dance Alive National Ballet Company. In 2008, he became a freelance dancer and a private ballet instructor. Mr. Morschakov is a Laureate of the Philip Morris International Ballet Competition in 1999 and 2001. During his career he performed in Russia, USA, Portugal, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, Lebanon, and Turkey.
Elena Shokhina is the Artistic Director and Ballet Mistress. She graduated from the famed Vaganava Ballet Academyin St. Petersburg, Russia following 8 years of rigorous training. As a ballerina she was a principal dancer with bothSt. Petersburg Ballet (Russia) and Nevada Ballet Theatre (USA). Elena opened Brevard Ballet Academy in the historic Eau Gallie Art District (EGAD) in the fall of 2014
Alexander Smirnov is graduated from State Ballet Academy in Perm, Russia in 1995. Upon graduation he was invited to perform with the Saint Petersburg Academic Theater and Saint Petersburg Ballet Theater where he rose through the ranks and eventually became a Principal Dancer. In 2000 Mr. Smirnov joined the Ballet Oficial de la Provincia de Cordoba, Argentina, also as a Principal Dancer and four years later, he moved to the United States to join Ballet Internationale of Indianapolis. In 2006 Hi joined Dance Alive National Ballet in Florida. In 2009 He moved to Minnesota and join Minnesota Dance Theatre. He has danced principal roles in many classical ballets including Carmen, Chopiniana, Coppelia, Don Quixote, Firebird, Giselle, Le Corsair, Midsummer’s Night Dream, Nutcracker, Paquita, Petroushka, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake.
Dmitriy Tuboltsev received his Master Degree of Teaching and Choreography at the Institute of State Theatrical Arts (GITIS) in 1997. Prior to that he attended both the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg Russia and the Kazakhstan National Ballet Academy. Dimitriy participated in many international competitions and was principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet under the direction of Yuri Grigorovich. He danced internationally as a principal dancer in various countries around the world, including the U.S. Some of the companies he danced with include: The Bolshoi Ballet, Kazakhstan National Ballet, Leningrad Ballet Theater, “Russian Ballet” Theater, Ballet Theater of Maryland and Ohio Ballet.
Vadim Pijicov is the ballet master at L’Etoile Ballet Academy. He received his education Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. After graduating, he enjoyed a spectacular career as a Principal Dancer with the National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Republic of Moldova. Mr. Pijicov has also worked as a Principal Dancer at the prestigious Cozi/Shtefanescu Ballet Company of Regio-Emilia, Italy, and as a soloist with Ballet International of Indianapolis, IN.
Marina Osipova graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, with her BFA in Ballet in 1992. Following her graduation, she joined the “Russian Ballet” company in St. Petersburg. In 1997, she became a member of the Mikhailovsky State Opera and Ballet Theatre. In 2000, she also began studying for her Master’s Degree at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. She joined the faculty at the Vaganova Academy in 2001 and complete her Ph.D. in Ballet. 2013-15 Marina Osipova was Head of the department of classical dance in Boris Eifman Ballet Academy.
2015 to 2018, Miss Osipova collaborated with the Institute of Theater Arts of Moscow as an Associate Professor of the Department of Choreography, in the subject Classes of Classical Dance Teaching.