SARAH BAYNE is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated from Penn State University in May of 2003. While at Penn State she performed as a member of Orchesis Dance Company and Dancescape Theater, a student company in affiliation with Allied Motion Modern Dance Company. As a member and president of Orchesis, Sarah had the opportunity to choreograph and perform in many student showcases including the American College Dance Festival at the University of Buffalo and in the PSU 48 hour Dance Marathon in partnership with the Four Diamonds Fund for cancer research. After graduation she came to Virginia where she began taking classes at the Russell School of Ballet. When not dancing Sarah teaches fourth grade in Prince William County and has begun graduate school towards her Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy. Sarah joined the staff in January of 2004 and has choreographed numerous dance numbers for the Fairfax Ballet Jazz, Tap and Modern Dance Revues.
Sarah teaches jazz, modern, tap.
TRACY BOWERS has been dancing most of her life. She danced and performed with Caprio Dance Studio in Virginia Beach under the instruction of Leslie (Murden) Roberts. Ms. Bowers also performed with the Dance Academy and taught there for circa 10 years. Ms. Bowers studied under Patricia Sorrell from the National Ballet of Washington, DC and at Virginia Ballet Theatre in Norfolk for several years before moving to Ashburn, Va. She performed with Leslie Roberts Dancers, a professional tap company which was homebased at the Russell School of Ballet. In 1997, Ms. Bowers joined the staff of the Russell School of Ballet.
Tracy teaches tap, jazz and pre-school classes.
Ms. Fadeyeva was born in Almaty, Kazahkstan and received her training at the
acclaimed Almaty State Ballet Academy. Ms. Fadeyeva danced with the Almaty
State Theatre of Ballet and Opera from 1985-1989. In 1989, she went to Moscow,
Russia to study at the Gitis Choreographic Institute where she studied under
Marina Semynova; she graduated in 1994. From 1993-1996, Ms. Fadeyeva taught at
the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Dance as well as being a guest artist with
many companies in Moscow. In 1996, Ms. Fadeyeva returned to Almaty State Ballet
Academy to continue her career in teaching and taught at the Almaty Institute
of Contemporary Dance. In 2000, Ms. Fadeyeva participated in the International
Festival of Traditional Dance in Almaty and won the Grand Prix. In addition,
many of Ms. Fadeyeva’s students have won prizes in International Ballet
Competitions in Moscow, Budapest, Lausanne, and elsewhere. In 2005, she
choreographed her own production, “Triumph of Athena” with music by Mahler, for
the Almaty State Theatre of Ballet and Opera. That same year, Ms. Fadeyeva
accepted a teaching position with the Ballet Royale in Maryland and came to the
Dina teaches ballet
Jessica Fisher is a professional ballet dancer, born and raised in Northern Virginia. She began her training in ballet and character dance at the Kintz Mejia Academy of Ballet under Mark Mejia and Linda Kintz. Later she furthered her studies to include modern, jazz, and lyrical while continuing her ballet training under Vadim Bircui, Dina Fadeyeva, and Sara Gaydash. At the age of 18 she received her diploma as a graduate of the Vaganova Method and has since traveled coast to coast freelancing as both dancer and teacher. Ms. Fisher is pleased to join the Russell School faculty and looks forward to sharing her knowledge with her students.
Jessica teaches ballet.
Naomi Widelski began her dance training at age 7 under Ingrid Lozano at The Dance and Fitness Academy in Lubbock, Texas. She continued under the instruction of Yvonne Racz-Key at Ballet Lubbock, Texas from 1995-1999. For two years, Naomi danced for Mr. Neil Hess with the West Texas A&M University Dance Ensemble and with the Lone Star Ballet. She danced professionally with Ballet Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee and retired in May 2005. She has attended summer programs at Ballet Magnificat, St. Louis Conservatory of Ballet, and Ballet Austin. Naomi has taught for Studio 413 in Memphis, Ballet Lubbock, Christ in the Arts, NMBC and Sandra’s School of Dance in Albuquerque. Her performing experience includes The Nutcracker, La Bayadere Act 2, Daniel Catanach’s Astansia and Mambo, Karl Condon’s The Rescue, Swan Lake Act 2, and as a soloist in Journey to the High Places. Starting in 2009, Naomi danced in The Nutcracker and the lead role of Alice in Alice in Wonderland with NMBC. She was also the Assistant Artistic Director of NMBC for the 2011-2012 season.
Naomi teaches ballet.
LESLEE GEARHART is a graduate of the Washington Academy of Ballet and Florida Southern College. She is a former professional dancer with the Washington Ballet Company, Harkness Ballet of NYC, and the National Ballet of Washington, DC. She trained with many renowned teachers: Mary Day, Leslie Edwards, Maria Nevelska, Leon Fokine, Asaf Messerer, Vera Volkova, Frederick Franklin, Alexandra Danilova, George Skibine and Alvin Ailey. Ms. Gearhart began teaching in Florida and joined Dance Masters of America and the Professional Dance Teachers Association. She has promoted dance and cultural arts in the Manassas community where her students have gone on to professional dance, art and stage careers. In 2009, Ms. Gearhart joined the staff of the Russell School of Ballet. In 2010, she choreographed the party girls in the first act of The Nutcracker for the Fairfax Ballet.
Leslee teaches ballet and jazz.
ANDREA HEININGE, a Fairfax County native, trained locally before attending Point Park University where she received her B.F.A. in Dance. While at the university, she worked with choreographers Alan Hineline, Mark Diamond, Heidi Latsky, Sandra Torijano and Jeannie Hill. She attended summer programs at American Ballet Theatre, North Carolina School of the Arts, Parsons Dance Company New York City Intensive and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Ms. Heininge spent 2005-2008 in New York City where she danced with PushFactor Dance Company and Undertoe Dance Project, worked for the New York International Ballet Competition, and taught dance classes at the New York Kids Club. Ms. Heininge is currently directing the Fairfax High School Academy for Communications and the Arts dance program. She is also closely involved with the local community theatre circuit&emdash;including winning a WATCH award for Outstanding Choreography for the Reston Community Players production of Curtains. Ms. Heininge choreographed Danzon, and the Waltz of the Flowers in The Nutcracker for the Fairfax Ballet, as well as dances for the Fairfax Ballet’s Tap, Jazz and Modern Dance Revues.
Andrea teaches ballet, jazz, tap and modern.
AMY ROSSI graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a minor in dance. While in college she danced with the Orchesis Dance Company for three years, serving one year as the president of the company. She also had the opportunity to choreograph for one of the concerts, and her choreography was then presented at the American College Dance Festival in Long Beach, California. While living in San Luis Obispo, California, she taught as a guest teacher at the University and also at a local studio, InMotion. Amy has been on staff at the Russell School of Ballet since 2000. Over the years she has taught beginning through advanced levels of jazz, contemporary and lyrical dance and many of her students have gone on to study dance in college and dance professionally.
Amy teaches jazz, lyrical, modern.
KORINNA SHEPPARD began her dance training at the age of 9 at Chesterfield Dance Center in Midlothian, Va where she studied with Elizabeth Venini and Carrie Hughes. Ms. Sheppard trained in ballet, pointe, modern dance, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, Broadway jazz, hip hop and flamenco. She studied with top jazz and hip hop dancers and choreographers: Frank Hatchet, Dan Karaty and Barry Lather. In 2003, she attended a summer dance intensive at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa. In 2004, she was selected from dancers across the US by the Eastern Dance Association to perform in the half time show at the NFL Pro-Bowl in Honolulu, Hi. She has received numerous awards as a dancer on a local and national level. In 2010, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance at George Mason University and joined the staff of the Russell School of Ballet. where she teaches ballet, jazz and modern dance classes.
Korinna teaches ballet, jazz and modern.
HOLLI TIPPL is from a family of performers and started dancing and playing music at a young age. She performed in musicals throughout high school and college where she used her dance skills. Ms. Tippl taught dance and studied for three years at The Dance Factory in Melbourne, Australia, where she received an elementary jazz teaching level certificate. Following a career in pediatric nursing, Ms. Tippl returned to dance. In 2003, she joined the staff of the Russell School of Ballet, where she continues to enjoys choreographing for children’s productions.
Holli teaches creative dance, ballet, jazz, modern and pre-school children.
MARGARET VIRKUS began studying ballet with Balanchine
trained Judith Lee Johnson in St. Petersburg, Florida. She went on to study with notable teachers Alexandra Danilova, Leon Danielian, Valentina Pereyaslavec, Maria Yurieva Swoboda and Igor Schwezoff in New York and with Edward Caton, John White, Margarita de Saa and Barbara Weisberger in Philadelphia. For two years in Texas, Margaret had the good fortune to study daily under master teacher Victor Moreno of the legendary Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
She was awarded full scholarships at the American Ballet Theatre School,
Pennsylvania Ballet School and the National Ballet School in Washington, D.C.,
where she attended the professional ballet and academic program and graduated
high school. In her senior year Maragret performed in a production of Coppelia
under the direction of the iconic Frederic Franklin, who had personally invited
her to attend his school in Washington.
Margaret danced as a soloist with the Fort Worth Ballet under the direction of
Fernando Schaffenberg while majoring in ballet at Texas Christian University. A
few of her favorite roles include the second soloist in George Balanchine’s
Concerto Barrocco, the title role in La Sylphide, Marie Taglioni in Pas de
Quatre, and the Don Quixote pas de deux.
Ms. Virkus has choreographed and staged numerous ballets including the Grand
Pas from Paquita, Act 2 of La Sylphide, the Nutcracker, and many original
works. She has taught classical ballet for over 30 years in the Washington area
at the Atrium Studio of Dance under Annetta Holser, the Washington School of
Ballet under Mary Day and the Russell School of Ballet where she continues to
enjoy sharing her ballet heritage with her students.