Come dance with us at Academy of International Ballet! Our team of instructors is dedicated to teaching students proper techniques you need to take your dancing to the next level. Whether you’re here for recreation or for professional training, we can help you reach your goals. Continue browsing our team profiles below to learn more.
Denis Gronostayskiy is a graduate of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow Russia and acclaimed as Artist of Distinction in the United States. Gronostayskiy was Principal Artist with the Moscow Renaissance Ballet in Russia, Philadelphia Ballet Theatre, the Richmond Ballet, VA, International Ballet Classique. He danced professionally throughout Europe, Japan and the US. Denis has performed principal roles in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Nutcracker, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, and many more, as well as Balanchine productions and modern and contemporary works of choreographers such a Kirk Peterson, J. Butler, Malcolm Burn, V. Nebrada, C. Connor and others.
He co-founded the Academy of International Ballet for the training of young, aspiring dance artists. Beginning students, adults, and those seeking professional training benefit under the expertise and nurturing environment provided in his classrooms. His students have gone on to receive scholarship at dance colleges and win national awards. Under Gronostayskiy’s artistic direction, International Ballet Classique, has presented a number of full length ballets, including Coppelia, Nutcracker, Giselle, Walpurgis Night, Swan Lake Act II, Paquita and numerous mixed repertory performances throughout the Delaware Valley and on tour.
Gronostayskiy’s artistic talents include choreographing contemporary works, prop and set design and professional photography, especially for dance and head-shot portfolios www.gron.smugmug.com.
Anastasia Babayeva is a graduate of the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow, Russia. She danced professionally with the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia, Chicago Ballet, IL, Richmond Ballet in VA, International Ballet Classique, PA.
She has performed principal roles in great classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Nutcracker, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty and others, as well as Balanchine ballets and contemporary works of world renowned choreographers such as K. Peterson, J. Butler, M. Burn, V. Nebrada, C. Connor and many others. Ms. Babayeva also performed as a guest artist in galas and productions throughout USA.
She co-founder the Academy of International Ballet and in 2003 International Ballet Classique. Under her direction, IBC has presented acclaimed performances of major full-length ballets including Coppelia, Nutcracker, Giselle, Walpurgis Night, Swan Lake Act II, Paquita and numerous mixed repertory performances.
Ms. Babayeva received Outstanding Teacher Award from American Ballet Competition and YAGP in 2007 and 2014. Her students have qualified and won medals in prestigious ballet competitions throughout USA and gone on to dance in professional companies. In 2006 Ms. Babayeva joined the dance faculty at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Her talent doesn’t stop there. Ms. Babayeva creates professional ballet costumes, including tunics, tutus, and tiaras. Her costumes are worn by dancers at competitions and ballet productions. Babayeva was featured in Dancer magazine 2005.
Leonard Goykhman completed his ballet training at the Academy of International Ballet in Media, PA under Denis Gronostaiysky and Anastasia Babayeva. He went on to receive a full scholarship at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where he obtained a B.F.A. in Dance Education and was awarded an “Outstanding Student Teacher” diploma. Currently, Leonid is a soloist with the First State Ballet Theater in Wilmington, DE. He is also a ballet instructor at the First State Ballet Theater School, the Academy of International Ballet, and Broadway Bound Dance Academy in Media PA.
Leonid has performed as a guest artist with several ballet companies including the City Ballet of San Diego in California, and Configuration Dance Theater in Buffalo, NY. He has also participated in numerous ballet competitions including the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (received special honors), the Youth American Grand Prix (1st place in Philadelphia regionals 2007), and the Youth Dance Festival of New jersey (Best Male Dancer 2006).
Zhanna Palagina After finishing Voronez Ballet Academy, Russia, Zhanna become a soloist with National Ballet "Slavs". After couple of years she was asked to join National Show of Russia “Kostroma” as a soloist. She traveled around the world with a company and received awards as a Best folk dancer in Cyprus, and Distinguished participant of the international festival of Folk Arts in Bruceer, France. After moving to United States she start working with Ice skating teams and creating choreography for many of them. We very glad to have Zhanna on our faculty. She’s working with our student since 2009 and our competition group received places in World Ballet Competitions after dancing her choreography.
Hannah Epstein began her ballet training at the Academy of Dance with Victor Wesley at age three. After attending other area schools and exploring other dance forms, she began concentrated ballet study at the School of First State Ballet Theatre when she was twelve. She augmented her training by attending summer intensives at First State Ballet Theater, Gelsey Kirkland Academy, and American Ballet Theater. At eighteen, Hannah joined FSBT's professional company, where she has performed both corps and soloist roles in the Nutcracker (Russian/Chinese), Cinderella (Spring Fairy), Sleeping Beauty (Precious Stones/Fairy, Miettes qui Tombent), Walpurgis Night (Graces) and additional company repertory. During her first four years as a company member, Hannah was also a Dean's List student at the University of Delaware, and earned her BA in English Literature; she has been published for her work on Shakespeare. An advocate for the arts, she has had the opportunity to speak to parent groups about the importance of maintaining arts education as part of the school curriculum.
Alicia Diener is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education, concentration in jazz dance. As a dancer and educator for over twenty years, Alicia has taught all ages and levels of dancers, in both private studios and public schools in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware.
Alicia is a current faculty member at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE specializing in jazz, contemporary and modern studies in their Dance Minor Department. Her recent piece, Three Ninas, premiered at the University’s Dance Minor Concert. She continues to work as a guest artist and choreographer at area schools, including the Delaware Dance Company, where she served on the faculty for nine years. Her original works and contributions are featured in concert for the DDC Performing Company and the DDC Youth Dance Ensemble, including performances in Cinderella and the Nutcracker, as well as original choreography in Tales from the Enchanted Forest, Spring Gala and various productions.
Ms. Diener is a member of the National Dance Education Organization and chairs the University of Delaware’s International Dance Festival. She began teaching with AIB in their intensive program and is excited to join the faculty this year. With an enthusiastic approach and passion for dance, she strives to provide comprehensive dance technique, versatility of style and appreciation of the art form to all of her students.
Ms. Higdon first began her years of dance education on the Eastern shore of Maryland at the age of ten. Julia went on to continue her years of professional training at various institutions, such as the Kirov Academy of Ballet, the Rock School for Dance Education, and the University of the Arts. For the last few years, Ms. Higdon has had the privilege of working with Brian Sanders’ acrobatic dance troupe, ‘JUNK,’ and with blacklight mask and dance theatre company, ‘Archedream for Humankind.’ Offstage, Ms. Higdon educates many young, aspiring dancers in the hopes of carrying on the inspiration and traditions of the art form. In recent years, she has had pleasure to perform with and manage Philadelphia - based companies, including "JUNK" "Archedream for Humankind" and "Cardell Dance Theatre". Ms. Higdon is also local entrepreneur, recently becoming owner of Dancewear on Broad alongside partner, William Robinson.
Lucy Fisher holds a Bachelors Degree in Theater Arts with a concentration in Acting and a Masters Degree in Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she worked as a Teacher Assistant in both acting and dance classes. She has been trained in jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, hip hop, and musical theatre from Rogers Dance Academy, Spotlight Music, and Downtown Performing Arts Center. She has performed Off-Broadway in the Beginnings workshop and regionally in musicals, plays, concerts, and operas throughout NJ, NY, and PA. She has performed throughout most of the the tri-state area, including Town and Country Players, Maplewood Strollers, Hexagon Players, The Kelsey Theater, Washington’s Crossing Open Air Theater, Eastern Opera of NJ, The Opera at Florham Park, The Minetta Theater in NYC, The Pocono Playhouse, and the Bucks County Playhouse. She currently teaches dance, acting, voice, piano, instructs children’s birthday parties, and directs children’s theatre at several studios throughout NJ and PA, including The Perkiomen School, DPAC, and Music Mountain Theatre. She is also an evaluator for the Rising Stars Awards for Paper Mill Playhouse.
Alejandra Ramirez-Ortiz started her formal ballet training at the age of
eight in Durango, Mexico, under the supervision of Raúl Santillán, former dancer of the Mexican National Ballet. From 1986 to 1991, she periodically received training from the National School of Dance in Mexico City. In 1991, Alejandra moved to Monterrey, Mexico and started a major in engineering while continuing her ballet training at the Performing Arts School of Nuevo Leon University. In 1994, she joined the Classic Dance Ensemble of Nuevo Leon University, led by professor Fernando Alonso, co-founder of the National Ballet of Cuba. Noticing her passion for ballet, Fernando Alonso and his team gave Alejandra principal roles in the performances of the ensemble and selected her as the school representative in the Alicia Alonso's International Competition in La Havana, Cuba in 1997, where Alejandra made it to the final round. Alejandra moved to France the same year, where she attended Rosella Hightower’s school of dance in Cannes. In 2003, she moved to the US and has since trained and collaborated with: Andrei Ustinov and Elena Martinson, former star dancers of the Kirov ballet; with Donna Muzio, artistic director and founder of the Brandywine Ballet and the Dance Center in West Chester, PA; at International Ballet Theater Academy in Frazer, PA; and at Dance Elite in Horsham, PA. Alejandra enjoys sharing her love for ballet with students of all ages. Over the past seven years, she has received intensive training in different teaching modalities for children with Autism, which she has applied in working with her own autistic daughter.
OUR SUB AND PREVIOUS FUCULTY
Anna Ivanova, Rachel Neitzke, Wonder Amanda Lawrence, Felicia Brodie, McKenna Sign, Sienna Truskett, Aleksey Babayev and many more.