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Master Ballet and More with Viktor Yeliohin International Ballet Academy

By Marina Jokic

A ballet and dance studio rooted in the Russian method, Viktor Yeliohin International Ballet Academy (VYIBA) was founded by Yeliohin in 2010 to carry on this world-renowned and venerable heritage.

Yeliohin was a soloist at the Donetsk Ballet of Ukraine, professor of choreography and studio director with a career spanning over twenty years. Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Yeliohin graduated from the Tashkent State Higher School of National Dance and Choreography and earned a doctorate from the Ukrainian Academy of Dance in Kiev in 1995.

"It had been a dream of mine [to open a dance academy] since 1997 after teaching locally and participating in many summer camps as a guest instructor throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey," Yeliohin said. "I knew I could be an asset to the community by broadening students' experiences and making them stronger dancers."

The teachers at VYIBA are experts in their fields, coming from varied dance backgrounds and possessing years of teaching experience. Classes are offered in all levels of ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance. Creative movement classes and a dance camp for young children are also available. At VYIBA, students can be sure to expect a friendly and welcoming environment and to be placed in a course corresponding with their experience level.

Yeliohin's Ukrainian heritage enables him to share an entirely different cultural understanding and approach to dancing with his students than they would otherwise receive. With over 20 years of dance experience participating in performances all over the world, including throughout the United States and the Soviet Union, Yeliohin has a trove of knowledge. On a more basic level, he teaches his students the importance of being on time, following through with their commitments, and how to present themselves in class. He might be considered old-school in his methods, but knows how to get results.

Vaganova is the oldest style of classical ballet and the strongest. In the Soviet Union, ballet dancers were required to study with Russian teachers for over eight years to fully understand each level and to successfully execute their technique. There are not many schools in the area that provide this kind of teaching for their students. VYIBA, however, provides students with the opportunity to perform many times throughout the year, giving them valuable stage experience.

"VYIBA offers amazing opportunities to be a well-rounded student and years of experience to produce strong dancers," Yeliohin said. "We teach properly, all of our teachers are college educated, with professional experience and many years of training."

This year, Yeliohin wants to highlight the studio's 25th Jubilee performance of the Nutcracker by the Donetsk Ballet Company, complete with new choreography, costumes, scenes, and music. It promises to be a true feast for the senses.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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