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The Team

Founders

Elena Glujidze

Artistic Director

Elena Glurdjidze was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and trained at the prestigious Vaganova Academy in St-Petersburg. In 2002 Elena joined English National Ballet as a Principal ballerina and was promoted in 2007 to Lead Principal ballerina.

Her repertoire included, amongst many others, principal roles in Giselle, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Cinderella, Coppélia, Manon, The Snow Queen, Chopiniana, Etudes, Schéhérazade, Tchaikovsky pas de deux, The Dying Swan and Alice in Wonderland.

In 2009 Elena was nominated for Best Female Dancer at the Critics’ Circle Awards. Won both the 2007 and 2008 Ballet.co.uk Audience Poll for Best Female Dancer, won Best Partner Award at 7th Perm Open Competition in 2002 and in 1997 won the Bronze Medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition. In 1998 she won the 8th Paris International Competition of Soloists. In 2009 Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of Chanel, created a tutu for Fokine’s The Dancing Swan which he fitted exclusively for Elena at Chanel’s headquarters in Paris forming part of the Company’s tribute to The Ballets Russes staged at Sadler’s Wells.

In 2011 British Fashion Designer Giles Deacon created a tutu based on the Black Swan which once again was exclusively designed and created for her.
Her final performance with English National Ballet was as Odette/Odile in Derek Deane’s Swan Lake at the London Coliseum on 18 January 2015, the role she first danced with the Company in 2002.

Following her retirement from dancing professionally, Elena and fellow Vaganova Academy graduate Olga Semenova, embarked upon an Internationally acclaimed Easter and Summer Intensive programme, based at Sadlers Wells Theatre in London.

In 2017 Elena joined forces once again with Olga Semenova to create a brand new Vocational style ballet school for pupils aged from 4-19 years old, based on the Vaganova Method of ballet training. Pupils at Masters of Ballet Academy train up to six days a week in ballet, contemporary and Pas de Deux.


Their West London school has grown in a year and a half to over 100 pupils, with former pupils in the last year alone gaining places at prestigious schools such as The Royal Ballet School (Richmond, UK), The Vaganova Academy (St. Petersburg, Russia), English National Ballet School (London, UK), Paris Opera Ballet (Paris, France) and Central School of Ballet (London, UK).

Olga Semenova

Artistic Director

Olga moved from St.Petersburg to London when Lady Sainsbury invited her to study at The Benesh Institute of Choreology. There she pioneered an exam based Character syllabus for students up to 18 years old, and trained teachers to implement this.
Olga also helped to develop a Vaganova based Syllabus for the Senior school at Central School of Ballet.

Olga trained as a professional ballet dancer at St.Petersburg's prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy, Alma Mater of many of today's international ballet stars. Interestingly, her mother was one of the last students to study under the great Vaganova. After a ballet career, Olga completed a four years professional teaching/coaching course at the Vaganova Ballet Academy and was awarded the PDTC Diploma with Distinction and MA ( Hons).

Olga taught ballet for Junior and Pre-graduation classes at The Vaganova Ballet Academy. Her former students are now dancing in leading Russian and International Companies.

In London, she has taught at different ballet schools and professionals ballet companies as a Ballet Mistress.
Currently, Olga is teaching at English National Ballet School and Central School of Ballet.

Olga is one of the most highly regarded Character tutors in the UK.

Also, she is a Character and Ballet guest teacher at a different school in the UK and Abroad. Olga is adept in Ballet, Character and Contemporary choreography.

Ambassador of ARBTA (Honorary), Honorary Advisor of Vaganova Method at Hong Kong Youth Ballet Academy.

"Olga Semenova is clearly not only knowledgeable but inspirational".
Amanda Jennings " Dance Europe"

" Olga Semenova's choreography of "Gypsy Dance" showed the impressive skills of the schools' youngest students"
Laura Dodge " Dancing Times"

" ....audience were treated to one or two unusual character dances taught by Olga Semenova"
David Mead, "Ballet Europe Reviews".

Teachers

Resmi Malko

Ballet and Pas de Deux Teacher

Resmi received his ballet training at the Academy of Ballet in Tirana, Albania and upon completion, he joined the National Opera Ballet Theatre in Tirana, and within five years was promoted to Principal Dancer. He continued his career there for the next 15 years, performing in countries including Italy, France, Turkey, Greece, Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria, USA, and Canada. After immigrating to North America, he performed with the USA Ballet, Ontario Ballet Theatre and the Canadian company, Ballet Jorgen. In 2003 Resmi graduated with Distinction from the Teacher Training Program for professional dancers at Canada's National Ballet School (NBS) and subsequently joined the artistic teaching staff later that year. After 10 years with the NBS, Mr. Malko decided to broaden his teaching experience by applying to European schools and immediately was recruited as Ballet Master for New English Ballet Theatre in 2012 and 2013.

He has mentored students to compete in international competitions and TV broadcasts, in addition to his day-to-day teaching duties at the Central School of Ballet in London. He has coached students for the Prix de Lausanne and the now established BBC Young Dancer competition, few of his students reach up to the finals. One student he mentored, went on to win the three Gold Medals, the Margot Fonteyn, Audience Choice Award and the Choreographic Award at the Genée International Ballet Competition in 2017, a first in the competition’s 88 history.

He has also choreographed and staged classical repertoire for the school’s end of year show and for the 3rd Year touring company, Ballet Central. In addition, he regularly guests teach for schools in the UK, Europe and internationally, including most recently in Singapore. He often returns to coach at the National Opera Ballet Theatre, Tirana.

Stella Avgousti

Ballet Teacher

Stella Avgousti is one of the ballet teachers working at the Master of Ballet Academy, teaching the younger groups: Little Stars, Foundation, Juniors, New Juniors and Pre-Senior.

Stella started her ballet training in a ballet school in Cyprus and became a member of the Dance Cyprus Junior Company in 2011. Stella participated in various local and international ballet competitions, winning various prizes and scholarships. Before moving to London, Stella designed the choreographies for the celebrations of the Cyprus presidency of the European Union supported by the Ministry of Education and Civilisation.

Stella studied BA (Hons) Ballet Education programme at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and she completed the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance (LRAD).

During the summer of 2017, Stella was successful in taking the position of a ballet teacher in the newly formed summer programme for the New English Ballet Theatre (NEBT). She is now working with Masters of Ballet Academy and as a guest teacher at the Cecchetti Associates.

Larissa Bamber

Ballet Teacher

Larissa Bamber was born on the Wirral and was invited to train at the Royal Ballet School’s White Lodge and Upper School from the age of 11. There she was awarded The Bagrit Award for the most promising dancer from Dame Alicia Markova and graduated into The Royal Ballet Company. Larissa performed the entire repertoire of the company from the Corps de Ballet to principal roles at Covent Garden during her professional career. She toured nationally and internationally with the company and performed with Irek Mukhamedov with his company ‘Mukhamedov and Friends.

When Larissa retired from her performing career she trained as a teacher at the RAD on the Professional Dancers Teachers Diploma gaining a Distinction. Larissa has taught at most of the vocational ballet schools in the UK and her last teaching position was with the English National Ballet School where she trained and mentored the graduate year for 13 years. Larissa’s students are now enjoying professional careers in all the major ballet companies in the UK and around the World. Larissa has choreographed and co-produced for productions for the English National Ballet School and the Central School of Ballet at The Royal Festival Hall, The Britten Theatre, The Dorchester, Bloomsbury, Lyceum, Peacock and Unicorn Theatres. Larissa has given many Masterclasses nationally and internationally and adjudicated for various scholarships, awards and competitions.

Sophie Thorpe

Contemporary Teacher

Sophie Thorpe is a freelance dance artist, performer and teacher based in London. After completing her training at London Contemporary Dance School, she went onto join Verve, the post-graduate performance company of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. In 2013 she co-founded the all-female performance collective Feet off the Ground. As a performer, Sophie's work spans theatre, opera and outdoor. She has worked with a variety of choreographers including Tom Dale, Sarah Dowling, Mike Ashcroft, Sarah Fahie, Barnaby Booth and Grov Productions performing both nationally and internationally and has also worked extensively in Opera.

Nathália Bárbara

Ballet Teacher

BA Physical Education (1986)
Dance Diploma (1987); RAD Teacher Certificate (1993)
QTLS (2012)

Brazilian-born Nathalia Barbara has taught dance for more than 30 years, a profession she believes is founded on love, commitment and dedication. Her training was in São Paulo and before becoming a full-time teacher, she toured with the Ballet Metropolitano de São Paulo and Grupo Uirapuru, performing in many classical, neo-classical and contemporary ballets.
The education and artistic development of young dancers has been her lifelong endeavour. She has held
positions as Head of Teachers Training Program and Artistic Director of the Ballet Program in São Paulo,
Brazil. In Canada, she was co-director of the DIWC Ballet Company and Assistant of Director to the
Jeunesse Ballet Company

In 2004 she received an invitation to work in England, where she has taught vocational students for the past 15 years. She has been a member of the faculty at the Elmhurst School for Dance, Central School of Ballet and most recently for 11 years at the English National Ballet School. She also held a position as Artistic Coordinator for the associate's programme at the Central School of Ballet and English
National Ballet.


She has coached several students for international ballet competitions and has also been on the jury panel
for ballet competitions in England, Italy and Brazil. Nathalia has helped nurture and inspired numerous
students, many of whom now work for major ballet companies such as The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo, Leipzig Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Stuttgart Ballet, Norwegian Balletto name a few.


For the past decade, she has internationally guested for Masterclasses, Workshops, Summer Programmes,
private coaching and mentoring regularly for schools and companies. Her most recent engagements include guest teaching for Astana Ballet, National Opera Bucharest, Sibiu Ballet, New English Ballet Theatre and schools in England, Romania, Brazil and Italy.

Guest Teachers

Dimitri Gruzdev

Ballet Teacher

Dmitri Gruzdev, a dancer for 25 years with two of the world's finest companies and now passing on his wealth of knowledge and experience to the next generation.

Dmitri trained at the prestigious Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg and graduated in 1989 when he was offered a position at the world-famous Kirov Ballet. In 1993 he joined English National Ballet and worked his way from soloist to become the company's leading Senior Principal male dancer for many years.

Dmitri retired from ENB in 2016, and he is now renowned and sought after teacher and repetiteur with a full diploma from the Royal Ballet School Teacher Training Programme. Since starting his career as a teacher he has worked with professional students and dancers from such companies as the Bolshoi Ballet, Rambert Ballet School, Schottish Ballet, English National Ballet, and also as a private coach for individuals.

Andrey Klemm

Ballet Teacher

Andrey Klemm was born on 30 April 1967. From 1977-1985, he trained at the Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow, from which he graduated with an honorary diploma with first-class honours.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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From 1985-1994, he was a solo dancer at the Moscow Classical Ballet Company. From 1992-1994, he was a student at the faculty of ballet teaching, at The State Institute of the Performing Arts (GITIS). From 1994-1997, he was a member of Bonn Opera Ballet Company (artistic director Valery Panov). Since 1996, he has been Master Teacher at the Ballet Intensive summer courses, in the USA (New York, Chicago, Detroit, Florida). Since 1997, he has been a member of the Berlin State Opera Ballet Company. From 2001-2003, he was Pas de deux teacher at the State Ballet School, Berlin. From 2001-2006, he studied and was given a diploma in, ballet teaching at the New Humanitarian University. From 2001-2007, he was a teacher of ballet at the Berlin State Opera Company, and also at the State Ballet, Berlin. Since 2007, he has been a teacher of ballet at the Paris National Opera.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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He has been guest ballet teacher at the following companies: Stuttgart Ballet, Ballet of Semperoper Dresden, Ballet of Deutschen Oper am Rhein, Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow. Pina Bausch company, Wuppertal. Royal ballet London, Viena State ballet. Tokyo ballet, and many others.⠀⠀

Sara Knight

Ballet Teacher

Sara Knight is a graduate of England's Royal Ballet School, an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance (A.R.A.D.), graduate of the Royal Ballet School Teacher's Training Course (R.B.S. Dip. TTC.) and first British graduate of Russia's Vaganova (Kirov) Ballet Academy. Sara is a recipient of the Royal Ballet Special Award for Excellence personally awarded by Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet.

Upon graduation, Sara was accepted to the Eifman Ballet Theatre. She remained in Russia and danced with Leningrad State Ballet Theatre and The Russian Ballet of St. Petersburg. In the West, she danced with England's Northern Ballet Theatre, European Ballet of London, Boston Ballet and was Principal Dancer with Configuration Dance and the Rebecca Rice Dance Company, USA.

Sara has been invited to teach worldwide including Boston Ballet Company, Boston Ballet School, Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education, Cincinnati Ballet School, Laban Centre London, Northern Ballet Theatre of England, Arts Educational School of the UK, Boston Conservatory, and The International Festival of France. Sara has also served as Ballet Mistress for both London's Central School of Ballet and Ellison Ballet of NYC. She was the Artistic Director for the Ballet School of Stamford as well as the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Greenwich Ballet Academy.

In September 2010, Sara founded SLK Ballet. “A school for gifted dancers to prepare for a career as a professional dancer”. SLK Ballet has an annual exchange with both Central Ballet and English National Ballet School in London, UK. Sara continues to teach worldwide.

Tony Veiler

Ballet Teacher

Tony Veiler is a classical ballet teacher and choreographer who got his ballet education at the St. Petersburg University Humanitarities and Conservatory Rimsky-Korsakov. During his 30 years of experience, he worked as a guest teacher in Italy, France, the UK, Russia, Lebanon, Bulgaria and Finland and his students became soloists and artists of ballet in different Ballet Theatres and Companies around the world. He was also a member of the jury in several International Ballet Competitions in Italy, Sweden, Estonia and Finland. Tony worked as a guest choreographer at the Vanemuine Ballet Theatre and at the Estonia National Opera, and he is the Artistic Director of the International Ballet Company “Young Ballet Fouetté”. As a choreographer Tony set up to stage classical Ballet Performances like “Le Corsaire”, “Giselle” and “Don Quixote” and he made several original choreography performances like “Dance of Life”, “Drop of Yellow”, “Nocturne”, “Ohla la la”. At the moment Tony Veiler is working as a Senior Ballet Teacher and Artistic Director at the Ballet School Fouetté, Estonia.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

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