Leadership & Division Heads

Leadership & Division Heads

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 83-year history. She began her dance training with …

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Katie Sopoci Drake

Katie Sopoci Drake

General Manager, The Washington School of Ballet

Katie Sopoci Drake is a seasoned administrator and educator with nearly 2 decades of experience in the arts spanning non-profit arts administration, teaching in higher education, and performing. As the …

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Xiomara Reyes

Xiomara Reyes

Professional Training Division Head

Xiomara Reyes, Head of the Professional Training Division at TWSB, performed as a soloist and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 14 years before retiring from the stage in …

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Kristina Windom

Kristina Windom

Upper Division Head

Kristina Windom trained with Mary Day, Robert Steele, Julio de Bittencourt, Patricia Berrend, and Suzanne Erlon at The Washington School of Ballet. At a very young age, she was invited …

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Tammy Hurt

Tammy Hurt

School Principal SE Campus

Tammy Hurt, a native Washingtonian, started her dance training at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet and later became a member of the Capitol Ballet Company under the direction of Doris …

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Pamela Bjerknes

Pamela Bjerknes

Pre-Ballet & Lower Division Head

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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Pre-Ballet Division Faculty

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Pamela Bjerknes

Pamela Bjerknes

Pre-Ballet & Lower Division Head

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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Morgan Bailie

Morgan Bailie

Morgan Bailie began her formal dance training with the Alabama Ballet School in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Under the direction of Tracey Alvey and Roger Van Fleteren, Morgan trained …

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Emily Cacciotti

Emily Cacciotti

A Wisconsin native, Cacciotti began her early training under the guidance of Marc Darling and Linda Bennett. She went on to study as a trainee at Joffrey Ballet School studying …

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Chanel Dews

Chanel Dews

Chanel R. Dews is a native of Prince George’s County Maryland. She is an alum of Suitland High School where she majored in Dance in the Visual and Performing Arts …

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Valentina Palladino

Valentina Palladino

Valentina Palladino is a professional dancer, choreographer, and educator from Sardinia, Italy. Ms. Palladino began her dancing career in 2003 at the School Ballet Arabesque, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, under the …

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Saki Scheller

Saki Scheller

Photo by XMB Photography.

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Margaret Williamson

Margaret Williamson

Artistic Administrator

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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Lower Division Faculty

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Lower Division Faculty

Pamela Bjerknes

Pamela Bjerknes

Pre-Ballet & Lower Division Head

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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Rafael Bejarano

Rafael Bejarano

Rafael Bejarano Vidal, from Guadalajara, Mexico, began dance training at the age of 11 at the Royal Academy of Dance in Mexico with Ana Torquemada. He has studied intensively throughout …

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Jennifer Buchanan

Jennifer Buchanan

Jennifer Johnson Buchanan is native of Seat Pleasant, MD. She began her training at the age of two at Incarnation Dance Group in Washington, DC under the direction of Katherine …

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Emily Cacciotti

Emily Cacciotti

A Wisconsin native, Cacciotti began her early training under the guidance of Marc Darling and Linda Bennett. She went on to study as a trainee at Joffrey Ballet School studying …

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Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli has enjoyed a broad career in all aspects of the field of dance that stems from performing with the Paul Taylor Dance Company (PTDC). Highlights include PTDC touring …

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Valentina Palladino

Valentina Palladino

Valentina Palladino is a professional dancer, choreographer, and educator from Sardinia, Italy. Ms. Palladino began her dancing career in 2003 at the School Ballet Arabesque, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, under the …

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Sydney Wiggins

Sydney Wiggins

Sydney B. Wiggins is a Washington, DC native and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a BFA in Dance and Choreography. Sydney has been dancing since the age …

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Margaret Williamson

Margaret Williamson

Artistic Administrator

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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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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Elena Ovchinnikova

Elena Ovchinnikova

Dr. Elena Ovchinnikova graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy obtained her PhD in Pedagogic Science (Theory and Methodology of Professional Education in Choreography) and Master Degree in Ballet Pedagogy. Additionally, …

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Upper Division Faculty

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Upper Division Faculty

Kristina Windom

Kristina Windom

Upper Division Head

Kristina Windom trained with Mary Day, Robert Steele, Julio de Bittencourt, Patricia Berrend, and Suzanne Erlon at The Washington School of Ballet. At a very young age, she was invited …

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Barbara Bears

Barbara Bears

Barbara Bears, winner of the silver medal at the 1991 International Ballet Competition, was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and received her early dance training from Victoria Leigh and James …

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Rafael Bejarano

Rafael Bejarano

Rafael Bejarano Vidal, from Guadalajara, Mexico, began dance training at the age of 11 at the Royal Academy of Dance in Mexico with Ana Torquemada. He has studied intensively throughout …

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Pamela Bjerknes

Pamela Bjerknes

Pre-Ballet & Lower Division Head

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 …

Read More
Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli has enjoyed a broad career in all aspects of the field of dance that stems from performing with the Paul Taylor Dance Company (PTDC). Highlights include PTDC touring …

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Amanda Fair

Amanda Fair

Amanda, a graduate of The Baltimore School for the Arts dance department, is a full time dance and spoken word artist living in Baltimore Maryland and working in the Maryland/DC …

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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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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 83-year history. She began her dance training with …

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Ayano Kimura

Ayano Kimura

Ayano Kimura of Japan, is in 10th season with The Washington Ballet and third year teaching at The Washington School of Ballet. Kimura, born in Germany, went on a short-term …

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Amanda Melrose-Smith

Amanda Melrose-Smith

Amanda received her formal ballet training on scholarship at The Washington School of Ballet with Septime Webre, Rebecca Wright, and Victoria Leigh, and at Miami City Ballet with Edward Villella, …

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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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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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Elena Ovchinnikova

Elena Ovchinnikova

Dr. Elena Ovchinnikova graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy obtained her PhD in Pedagogic Science (Theory and Methodology of Professional Education in Choreography) and Master Degree in Ballet Pedagogy. Additionally, …

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Valentina Palladino

Valentina Palladino

Valentina Palladino is a professional dancer, choreographer, and educator from Sardinia, Italy. Ms. Palladino began her dancing career in 2003 at the School Ballet Arabesque, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, under the …

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Da’Shown Rawl

Da’Shown Rawl

Da’Shown Rawl studied Ballet and Modern at the Baltimore School of the Arts in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from the prestigious Dance Department of George Mason University (GMU). While at …

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Xiomara Reyes

Xiomara Reyes

Professional Training Division Head

Xiomara Reyes, Head of the Professional Training Division at TWSB, performed as a soloist and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 14 years before retiring from the stage in …

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Arron Scott

Arron Scott

Arron Scott was raised in State College, Pennsylvania, and started his training at the Ballet Theatre of Central Pennsylvania at age nine. He has danced on full scholarships at American …

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Katherine Smith

Katherine Smith

Katherine Smith a native Washingtonian, is a graduate from The Duke Ellington School of the Arts and received her B.F.A. from the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts [currently University of …

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Stephanie Sorota

Stephanie Sorota

Stephanie Sorota of Glen Rock, New Jersey is in her eighth season with The Washington Ballet. She has performed in works by various choreographers including George Balanchine, Gemma Bond, Sir Anthony …

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Masanori Takiguchi

Masanori Takiguchi

Masanori Takiguchi of Tokyo, Japan is in his third season with The Washington Ballet after dancing with TWB’s Studio Company. He began his training at Studio Les Bijoux and in …

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Françoise Thouveny-Doyle

Françoise Thouveny-Doyle

Françoise Thouveny-Doyle is a native of France. She started her classical ballet training in her hometown of Orléans and in Paris at le Centre de Danse de Paris training with …

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Sydney Wiggins

Sydney Wiggins

Sydney B. Wiggins is a Washington, DC native and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) with a BFA in Dance and Choreography. Sydney has been dancing since the age …

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Alizah Wilson

Alizah Wilson

Alizah Wilson grew up in Dallas, Texas, and started her ballet training when she was five years old. She studied for ten years at the Dallas Ballet Center under the …

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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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Professional Training Division Faculty

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Professional Training Division Faculty

Xiomara Reyes

Xiomara Reyes

Professional Training Division Head

Xiomara Reyes, Head of the Professional Training Division at TWSB, performed as a soloist and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre for 14 years before retiring from the stage in …

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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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Victor Barbee

Victor Barbee

Associate Artistic Director

Victor Barbee was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and received his ballet training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet. He joined the …

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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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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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Lisae Jordan

Lisae Jordan

Lisae Jordan is originally from upstate New York, where many small towns have ballet schools as a result of the Ford Foundation’s support for George Balanchine and his efforts to …

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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 83-year history. She began her dance training with …

Read More
Arron Scott

Arron Scott

Arron Scott was raised in State College, Pennsylvania, and started his training at the Ballet Theatre of Central Pennsylvania at age nine. He has danced on full scholarships at American …

Read More
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 …

Read More
Françoise Thouveny-Doyle

Françoise Thouveny-Doyle

Françoise Thouveny-Doyle is a native of France. She started her classical ballet training in her hometown of Orléans and in Paris at le Centre de Danse de Paris training with …

Read More
Kristina Windom

Kristina Windom

Upper Division Head

Kristina Windom trained with Mary Day, Robert Steele, Julio de Bittencourt, Patricia Berrend, and Suzanne Erlon at The Washington School of Ballet. At a very young age, she was invited …

Read More
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 …

Read More
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 …

Read More
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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Adult Program Faculty

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Adult Program Faculty

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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Rafael Bejarano

Rafael Bejarano

Rafael Bejarano Vidal, from Guadalajara, Mexico, began dance training at the age of 11 at the Royal Academy of Dance in Mexico with Ana Torquemada. He has studied intensively throughout …

Read More
Jennifer Buchanan

Jennifer Buchanan

Jennifer Johnson Buchanan is native of Seat Pleasant, MD. She began her training at the age of two at Incarnation Dance Group in Washington, DC under the direction of Katherine …

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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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Jessy Dick

Jessy Dick

Jessy Dick, a native of Michigan, is in her sixth season with The Washington Ballet (TWB).  She joined TWB Studio Company in 2017 and was promoted to the company in …

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Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli

Constance Dinapoli has enjoyed a broad career in all aspects of the field of dance that stems from performing with the Paul Taylor Dance Company (PTDC). Highlights include PTDC touring …

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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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Miya Hisaka

Miya Hisaka

Adult Program Artistic Operations Manager

With a life commitment to diversity and excellence in concert dance, Miya has been a Producing Executive/Artistic Director, teacher, choreographer, arts and diversity advocate, and urban planner. Since l984, faculty at WSB, under …

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Aaron Jackson

Aaron Jackson

Born in Johnson City, Tennessee, Aaron Jackson began his dance training at the age of ten, with Susan Pace-White at Holloway Dancing School. He attended summer intensives on full scholarship …

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Lisae Jordan

Lisae Jordan

Lisae Jordan is originally from upstate New York, where many small towns have ballet schools as a result of the Ford Foundation’s support for George Balanchine and his efforts to …

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Tamás Krizsa

Tamás Krizsa

Ballet Master

Tamás Krizsa, of Hungary, is in his 13th season with The Washington Ballet. Krizsa graduated from the Hungarian Dance Academy with honors in 2002. During his school years, he was …

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Miriana Lausic Arratia

Miriana Lausic Arratia

Miriana M. Lausic Arratia, born in Punta Arenas, Chile, is of Latina and Croatian heritage. Her original training was at the Croatian National Theatre in Split, under the direction of …

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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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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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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 …

Read More
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  …

Read More
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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Accompanists

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Accompanists

Glenn Sales

Glenn Sales

Music Supervisor

Glenn Sales, Pianist, has been well-known to Washington, DC audiences since his National Symphony Orchestra debut at age 14 and his subsequent invitations as soloist with NSO. Sales attended the …

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TWB Accompanists

TWB Accompanists

Glenn Sales, Music Supervisor (pictured left. Photo by Spencer Bentley) Accompanists: Mikayel Mikaelyan, Michael Parker, Irina Rutkaitiene, Irina Edigarova, Mikaelian Levon (Levon Mikaelian), Alina Belenky, Yelena Nusinovich, Elena Ayanyan, Grigori …

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