Ballet / Pointe / Variations / Partnering
Sergey Rayevskiy received his early training as a full-time scholarship recipient at the Vaganova Academy in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. He graduated with honors from the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C., and went on to dance professional neo-classical and classical solo and principal roles with Mariinsky Theatre’s North American Tour, Sarasota Ballet and Tulsa Ballet.
Mr. Rayevskiy continues to share his love of dance and technical precision with students worldwide as the Director of Ballet Detroit, and a sought after guest instructor in the US and abroad. As an advocate for the student and professionals he mentors, Mr. Rayevskiy negotiates guest contracts, coordinates performance and repertoire, and arranges auditions. With many years of interaction within professional companies and elite ballet schools, he counsels his students about additional opportunities for them to grow as dancers within dance communities both in the US and overseas.
Alumni of Mr. Rayevskiy’s training can been seen performing in domestic and international classical and contemporary ballet companies, professional competitions such as YAGP and Prix de Lausanne, and prestigious universities around the world.
Assistant Artistic Director
Ballet / Pointe / Variations / Character
Ariana Myers first began her training in her hometown of Winchester, VA. At the age of 16, she was accepted into the Kirov Academy of Ballet’s year-round program and graduated with honors. Following her graduation, she was accepted into Kirov’s Vaganova technique teaching certification program and received her certification in Vaganova technique after completing an intensive year of study.
Upon graduating from the certification program, Ms. Myers taught in several ballet schools in Virginia and Texas teaching ballet, pointe, character, and variations, setting original choreography, and mentoring students to help them attain more opportunities in the dance world. She is also pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Natasha Foreman is a composer and a historian of dance and music whose research specializes in dance-music relationships in a global context. She holds a Ph.D. in music history and ethnomusicology with a research focus on dance-music relationships, and has been teaching in the College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts at Wayne State University since 2001. She studied ballet from early childhood, and trained at the Minnesota Dance Theater and Zenon Dance Company from 1985-1987. At St. Olaf College, she studied ballet history with Toni Sostek and Dr. Ann Wagner, and folk/ethnic dance history with Anne von Bibra. Her academic research concentrates on non-Western contemporary dance, with a current focus on Japanese butoh. She has appeared as a dancer at the Detroit Sidewalk Arts Festival, the N’Namdi Gallery, Allied Media Arts, and Detroit PuppetART Theater, and the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. In 2019, she will join the Kyoto Nichibunken International Research Institute for Japanese Studies as a visiting research scholar, in order to more deeply pursue research in butoh.
Permanent Guest Faculty
Olga Pavlova, Russian prima ballerina, was born in Moscow, Russia. She graduated from the famed Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and she holds a Masters Degree in Teaching and Choreography from Moscow Academy of Professional Arts. At the International Ballet Competition in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Pavlova was awarded the Gold Medal and the 1st Prize.
As the founder of Pavlova Dance Works she produced and re-staged Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in Moscow, originally choreographed by Paul Mejia. Ms. Pavlova choreographed her original version of The Nutcracker for The Dallas Youth Ballet, and re-staged Paquita for Biloxi City Ballet.
As a seasoned coach and ballet mistress in Dallas, one of her students became a winner of Youth Grand Prix at the regional competition. The book about her: “A Ballerina For Our Time: Olga Pavlova” is now available.
Rasta Thomas was born in San Francisco, California in 1981 and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Thomas studied at the world-renowned Kirov Academy in Washington D.C. As a teenager, he made dance competition history with honors including the Special Jury Prize from the 1994 Paris International Dance Competition, the Gold Medal in the Junior Men’s Division from the 1996 Varna International Ballet Competition, and the Gold Medal in the Senior Men’s Division from the Jackson, MS USA-IBC.
In 1995, he became a member of Le Jeune Ballet de France and in 1997, was invited to be a principal dancer with the Hartford Ballet. Some of his guest credits include American Ballet Theatre, Victor Ullate Ballet of Spain, National Ballet of China, Joffrey Ballet, Lines Contemporary Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 2001, Mr. Thomas was the first American to become a member of the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia and then in 2003 he joined Dance Theatre of Harlem as a principal dancer. He has been in several TV documentaries, performed at the Academy Awards, was a featured dancer in an international ad campaign for GAP, and appeared in the feature film, One Last Dance, starring Patrick Swayze. He has performed at the White House for the President of the United States and opened for Aretha Franklin at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater.
In 2005, Mr. Thomas starred on Broadway in Twyla Tharp’s hit musical, Movin’ Out. In 2007, he performed as a guest artist in Othello in the title role with American Ballet Theatre for their Met season. Mr. Thomas is the founding director of Bad Boys of Dance (BBD). In 2011, Mr. Thomas held the position of Resident Director at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, California.
Dmitri Suslov is Director of the Senior Performance Ensemble and Associate Director of the Trainee Program in the BalletMet Dance Academy. In 2010, he was awarded the “Outstanding Teacher Award” by the Youth America Grand Prix. Mr. Suslov is a native of Moscow, Russia where he graduated from the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy with a degree in classical ballet and pedagogy.
Mr. Suslov joined the famed Bolshoi Ballet in 1990 where he toured extensively around the world. He has been a soloist with Bolshoi Ballet and a principal dancer with the Renaissance Ballet Theater, the Sacramento Ballet, and BalletMet. Mr. Suslov has been a guest artist and award-winner at the first and fourth National Nureyev Festival as well as performing with the “Stars of Russian Ballet.” His repertoire includes all major principal roles from classical as well as contemporary ballets such as Don Quixote, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Serenade, Requiem and more. Mr. Suslov was a Guest Artist at the New York City Gala honoring his former teacher, the legendary Peter Pestov of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and has been a guest adjudicator for Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s annual exams.
Irma Cardano is an award-winning performer and choreographer for TV and stage. She currently resides in Italy where she teaches at the artistic center in Portici (Academy of Performing Arts), Rome’s Renato Greco Dance Studio and is a sought-after guest instructor at workshops in cities around the world as a teacher and choreographer for contemporary dance. Her pieces have been set at universities and institutions all over the world, including the United States, Armenia, Russia, India, and Holland. Ms. Cardano’s students have moved on to receive scholarships at institutions in the United States and abroad and to execute successful artistic careers.
Ms. Cardano received her early classical ballet training in Naples with Maestro Pierluigi Marzoni, and refined her technique with masters Robert Streiner and Alain Astiè. She studied modern dance in Rome under the guidance of teacher and choreographer Renato Greco, and later with Mat Mattox, Bill Hastings, Chat Walker, Max Stone, Alain Danielson, and Jason Parsons. As a performer, Irma has been privileged to perform on stage at the prestigious Bari, Bologna, Catania, Rome and Trieste theaters, as well as a solo piece in the multimedia show Faust, directed by Laura Angiulli and performed at the DAHMS. Her personal style, developed after years of experience, is musical, smooth, emotional, and full of movement.
Ms. Cardano is a guest choreographer at Ballet Detroit, and most recently set her original piece, “So Close”, on the dancers of Ballet Detroit. The world premiere of “So Close” was held at the Detroit Opera House in November, 2016.
Sergei Sidorsky is a graduate of the Kyiv State Choreographic School. He was a premier dancer with the Shevchenko National Opera of Ukraine as well as an Honored Artist of Ukraine. Mr. Sidorsky was a Laureate of The ІV Serge Lifar International Competition of Ballet in 2002, a diploma holder of the VIII Open Russian Ballet Competition Arabesque in 2004, a holder of a prize for the best performance of a pas de deux with music by P. Tchaikovsky in 2004, and winner of the M. Petipa Prize for accurate performance and academism in classical dance in 2004.
He is currently a principal dancer and ballet master at Dance Alive in Florida.