About
The Artistic Leaders of The Washington Ballet: Julie Kent, Monica Stephenson, Rinat Imaev, Kristy Windom, Elaine Kudo, Xiomara Reyes, Ruben Martin, Victor Barbee. Photo by XMB Photography.

 

Co-founded in 1944 by the late Mary Day and Lisa Gardiner, The Washington School of Ballet (TWSB) is recognized nationally and internationally for its classical training and dedication to excellence in dance and dance education. Artistic Director Julie Kent oversees all aspects and a full integration of the Company and the School to provide the highest level of dance training to students. Xiomara Reyes, Head of School, brings her passion and dedication to teach and inspire a new generation of dancers. This collaborative effort of Kent and Reyes will further elevate standards at TWSB as they bring their professional experience to the institution.

The school trains more than 700 students each year at its Northwest Campus studios on Wisconsin Avenue and an additional 350 students at its Southeast Campus housed at The Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Center (THEARC) also known as TWSB SE. The Joseph C. Coleman Studios at Cathedral Commons serves as an additional NW campus for approximately 180 students.

Learn more about the school locations

The Washington School of Ballet curriculum includes pre-ballet, boys’ classes and a graded program for children through young adulthood, many of whom wish to pursue dance as a career. The school also offers a Professional Training Program that brings together especially talented students from around the world for intensive training under The Washington School of Ballet’s renowned faculty. Overseen by Xiomara Reyes, both the NW and SE campuses share a syllabus to ensure the same excellence in training at each location. Both the NW and SE campuses also offer adult classes.

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School Leadership

School Leadership

Julie Kent

Julie Kent

Artistic Director

Julie Kent became the Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet in July 2016. She is the longest serving ballerina in American Ballet Theatre’s 79 year history. She began her dance …

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Xiomara Reyes

Xiomara Reyes

Head of School

Xiomara Reyes, Head of TWSB, performed as a soloist and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 14 years before retiring from the stage in 2015. She was born in …

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Donna Glover

Donna Glover

Director of School Operations

Monica Stephenson

Monica Stephenson

Associate Head of School SE Campus

Monica Stephenson is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Professional Training Program at the Houston Ballet Academy. In …

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School Administration

School Administration

Donna Glover

Donna Glover

Director of School Operations

Monica Stephenson

Monica Stephenson

Associate Head of School SE Campus

Monica Stephenson is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Professional Training Program at the Houston Ballet Academy. In …

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Kristina Windom

Kristina Windom

Head of Faculty

Kristina Windom trained with Mary Day, Robert Steele, Julio de Bittencourt and Patricia Berrend at The Washington School of Ballet. She was selected for the company, The Washington Ballet, when …

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Kourtney Ginn

Kourtney Ginn

Studio Manager

Kourtney Ginn is a native of Winchester, VA, where she received her early training from Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet. She attended summer programs at places such as Richmond Ballet and …

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Pamela Bjerknes

Pamela Bjerknes

School Manager, Upper Division NW

Pamela Booth Bjerknes, a former member of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), brings extensive teaching, directing, and performing experience to The Washington School of Ballet.  Performing classical and contemporary ballets throughout …

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Molly Hohlt

Molly Hohlt

Faculty Manager, Lower Division

Molly Hohlt, was born in Washington, DC and began her formal ballet training at the age of nine at The Washington School of Ballet. While at The Washington School of …

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Alexandra Schools

Alexandra Schools

School Manager, Lower Division NW

Alex Schools is a native of the Washington, D.C area, where she received her ballet training under Pamela and Michael Bjerknes at American Dance Institute and Patricia Berrend at Berrend …

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Shawna Williams

Shawna Williams

Education Program Manager

Shawna J. Williams began dancing at age five with Mrs. Davis at LaRue Montessori Academy. She received the majority of her training at The Russell School of Ballet, home of …

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Faculty

Faculty

Aaron Jackson

Aaron Jackson

Aaron Jackson received his formal training in New York City at the School of American Ballet, where he trained year-round and in summer intensive. He attended other summer intensives on …

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Alexandra Keen

Alexandra Keen

Alexandra Keen received her classical training from The Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day. She went on to receive her BA in Dance Performance from Point …

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Alice Howes

Alice Howes

Alice Howes is a dance artist and educator who is director of Trajectory Dance Project, a Baltimore-based modern dance ensemble. She has held full-time faculty positions at universities including Coppin …

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Amanda Melrose-Smith

Amanda Melrose-Smith

Amanda Melrose-Smith received her formal training at The Washington School of Ballet and Miami City Ballet School where she had the opportunity to guest with both companies throughout her training. …

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April Lawyer

April Lawyer

April Lawyer has been dancing for over 20 years. She studied dance primarily as part of the Towson University Dance Department. At Towson, she worked with several notable dance instructors, …

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Bahareh Sardari

Bahareh Sardari

Bahareh Sardari graduated from the London Royal Ballet School and the Royal Academy of Dance. She was a soloist with the Iranian National Ballet Company, and has worked and performed …

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Caroline Rocher

Caroline Rocher

Caroline Rocher trained at the Conservatoire de Montpellier with Madame Claparède, and later studied at the Rudra Béjart art school in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1998, she moved to America to …

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Cece Farha

Cece Farha

CeCe Farha began teaching on the faculty of The Washington School of Ballet in 1999 under the direction of Mary Day and she serves as Children’s Ballet Master for TWB’s  …

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Christy Bartholomew

Christy Bartholomew

Christy Bartholomew hails from New Orleans, Louisiana. She developed a strong appreciation for the arts at an early age, which ultimately led her to pursue a professional career in the …

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Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli, danced with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1986-1993.  Now acting as repetiteur for the Paul Taylor Dance Foundation, she stages Mr. Taylor’s work on professional companies and …

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Damien Johnson

Damien Johnson

Damien Johnson is originally from Dallas, Texas. He received his early dance training from Kitty Carter, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and The Etkin-Atkinson …

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DeMoya Watson Brown

DeMoya Watson Brown

DeMoya Watson Brown has been instructing and choreographing professionally for over 18 years. She has created and developed programs for summer dance institutes, served as coordinator and artistic director of …

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Ebru Cologlu-Hungelmann

Ebru Cologlu-Hungelmann

Ebru Cologlu-Hungelmann was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She started her ballet training at the State Conservatory of Istanbul when she was nine years old. She studied ballet and modern dance …

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Edwin Aparicio

Edwin Aparicio

Edwin Aparicio is considered to be one of the most sought-after flamenco performers, teachers and choreographers in the United States. He has been described by critics as “the most amazing …

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Elizabeth Gaither

Elizabeth Gaither

Elizabeth Gaither has had a 22 year career as a professional ballerina. She joined Houston Ballet Company at the age of 15, and danced with them for five seasons. She …

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Florian Rouiller

Florian Rouiller

Florian Rouiller is a dance teacher, choreographer, and performer who received a BFA from the John Cranko School in Stuttgart, and performed with the Stuttgart Ballet in Sleeping Beauty, and Giselle. Upon immigrating …

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Irina Wunder

Irina Wunder

Irina Wunder received her classical training in Turkmenistan, then a republic of the former Soviet Union. She performed with the Republic’s Theater of Opera and Ballet and toured with the …

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Kjara Wurst

Kjara Wurst

Kjara Wurst is a Slovene choreographer, teacher, and artistic director of Kjara’s Dance Project. She completed her formal training with the Slovene National Ballet Conservatory. After continuing to study with …

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Kristina Windom

Kristina Windom

Head of Faculty

Kristina Windom trained with Mary Day, Robert Steele, Julio de Bittencourt and Patricia Berrend at The Washington School of Ballet. She was selected for the company, The Washington Ballet, when …

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Kyoko Terada

Kyoko Terada

Kyoko began her flamenco studies in Washington, DC with Edwin Aparicio and Anna Menendez, and with Estrella Morena and Omayra Amaya in Miami.  In 2003, she was invited to join …

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Linda Baranovics

Linda Baranovics

Linda Baranovics began her ballet career as a young adult while attending Georgetown University in 1977. After graduating in 1978, she continued her training at The Washington School of Ballet. …

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Lori Clark

Lori Clark

Lori Clark is a full-time dancer/choreographer and holds a Master’s degree in Dance from American University. She studied Kathak (North Indian classical dance) at Sri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra in …

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Mané Rebelo-Plaut

Mané Rebelo-Plaut

Mané Rebelo-Plaut, born in Portugal, studied gymnastics for several years before enrolling at the School of the Lisbon Dance Company, where she studied ballet, jazz, and modern. She danced with …

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Margaret Williamson

Margaret Williamson

Faculty of TWSB SE

Margaret Giragosian Williamson received her early training at The Washington Ballet, the Maryland Youth Ballet, and the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. During this time, she was also privileged to spend …

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Mimmo Miccolis

Mimmo Miccolis

Mimmo Miccolis, born in Italy, is a neoclassical and contemporary teacher and choreographer at The Washington Ballet. He was the winner of the “Outstanding Choreographer Award” at the Youth American …

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Miya Hisaka Silva

Miya Hisaka Silva

One of Washington, DC’s movers and shakers in the arts scene since l984, Ms. Hisaka carries the legacy of some of the world’s most renown dance leaders as well as …

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Molly Hohlt

Molly Hohlt

Faculty Manager, Lower Division

Molly Hohlt, was born in Washington, DC and began her formal ballet training at the age of nine at The Washington School of Ballet. While at The Washington School of …

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Nancie J. Woods

Nancie J. Woods

Originally from England, Woods trained at Elmhurst Ballet School and the Rambert Academy of Ballet. Her professional career began in Strasbourg, France with the Ballet du Rhin. Upon moving to …

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Nancy Flores

Nancy Flores

Nancy Flores is a Baltimore native of Puerto Rican heritage. Influenced by her musical family, she learned to dance salsa and merengue at the age of 7. The passion to …

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Noline Edmond

Noline Edmond

Noline Edmond has studied at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and with Marcia Dale Weary, Leslie Hench, Re Rabassi-Davis, Lazlo Berdo, Rafael Grigorian, Gennadi Vostikov and German Zamuel.  She has …

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Pamela Bjerknes

Pamela Bjerknes

School Manager, Upper Division NW

Pamela Booth Bjerknes, a former member of American Ballet Theatre (ABT), brings extensive teaching, directing, and performing experience to The Washington School of Ballet.  Performing classical and contemporary ballets throughout …

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Rebekah House

Rebekah House

Rebekah House was born in Washington, DC and raised in Baltimore, MD.  She now resides in Upper Marlboro, MD with her family and six children.  She was introduced to Zumba …

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Rinat Imaev

Rinat Imaev

Senior Faculty And Company Teacher

Rinat Imaev, Company Teacher and Senior Faculty, was previously a company teacher with American Ballet Theatre for 15 years. He has made an international career performing and teaching across the globe in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. Born in Oufa, Russia, …

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RoAnne Duncan

RoAnne Duncan

RoAnne Duncan has had over fifteen years of professional experience as a classical ballet dancer, including six years of performing experience with Maurice Béjart’s Ballet of the 20th Century, Béjart …

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Robbin Tasha Ford

Robbin Tasha Ford

Robbin Tasha-Ford was born in New York and raised in Washington, DC. She was a scholarship student at The Jones-Haywood School of Dance and later danced with the school’s company, …

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Roger Plaut

Roger Plaut

Roger Plaut first studied ballet at the Maryland School of the Ballet and the Academy of the Maryland Youth Ballet. During his teenage years, he studied on scholarship at the American Ballet …

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Royce Zackery

Royce Zackery

Royce Zackery received a Master of Arts in Dance Education from N.Y.U. Steinhardt/American Ballet Theatre and is certified in the ABT National Teaching Curriculum with a concentrated degree in Ballet Pedagogy. He …

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Saki Scheller

Saki Scheller

Saki K. Scheller is originally from Hyogo, Japan and was trained in jazz, tap, modern, ballet, ballroom, and Japanese traditional dance. She came to the United States to study Performing Arts …

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Shawna Williams

Shawna Williams

Education Program Manager

Shawna J. Williams began dancing at age five with Mrs. Davis at LaRue Montessori Academy. She received the majority of her training at The Russell School of Ballet, home of …

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Shu-Chen Cuff

Shu-Chen Cuff

Shu-Chen Cuff was born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan where she established a well-rounded background in dance with training in ballet, modern, Chinese Opera movements and various Chinese folk dances. She immigrated to …

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Sofia Tsanova

Sofia Tsanova

Sofia Tsanova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, to a family of principal dancers. Growing up in the National Ballet and Opera Theatre of Sofia, she watched rehearsals and performances and …

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Stephen Baranovics

Stephen Baranovics

Stephen Baranovics began his ballet training with Gayle Parmelee in New Orleans, Louisiana. At 16, Baranovics moved to the bright lights of New York City. He recalls a vivid moment …

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Suzanne Kritzberg

Suzanne Kritzberg

Suzanne Kritzberg was a principal dancer and teacher for the Minnesota Ballet for twenty-two years. She performed more than fifty roles from the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker to …

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Therese Gahl

Therese Gahl

Therese Gahl received her primary dance training from The Washington School of Ballet under the tutelage of Mary Day. In 2007, she became a member of Ballet West II in …

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Tiffany Maqubela

Tiffany Maqubela

Tiffany Maqubela is a RYT-200 vinyasa yoga instructor registered with Yoga Alliance and received her certification at the Buddha B Yoga Center in Washington, DC. Ms. Maqubela discovered yoga through …

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Yao Odamtten

Yao Odamtten

Fondly known as “Mr. Yao”, Yao E. Odamtten (pronounced oh-DAM-tin) is passionate about the healthy physical and psychosocial power of dance to transform both lives and society. Mr. Yao’s rich …

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TWB Accompanists

TWB Accompanists

Glenn Sales, Music Supervisor Accompanists: Mikayel Mikaelyan, Michael Parker, Irina Rutkaitiene, Irina Edigarova, Mikaelian Levon (Levon Mikaelian), Alina Belenky, Yelena Nusinovich, Elena Ayanyan, Grigori Hovhannisyan, Leeza Wildgen, Bella Kristosturyan, Natalia …

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Alumni

Co-founded by legendary ballet pioneers, Mary Day and Lisa Gardiner, The Washington School of Ballet has produced many notable alumni including: Virginia Johnson, Kevin McKenzie, Amanda McKerrow, Shirley MacLaine, Georgia Engel, and Chelsea Clinton.

The Washington School of Ballet students have gone on to dance professionally with The Washington Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and numerous other companies all over the US and the world.

Join our TWSB Alumni Group on Facebook to connect with former classmates and to receive special invitations and promotions.

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