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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 student 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 and Russian Imperial Ballet School.

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

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

Ambasidor 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's 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.

Guest Teachers

Dmitri Gruzdev

Guest 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.

Larissa Bamber

Guest 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.

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