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 as a sought after guest instructor in the US and abroad. He has guest taught in Naples and Rome in Italy, Beijing and Wuhan in China, Toronto in Canada, Tokyo in Japan, Helsinki and Savanlina in Finland, and worked as a ballet master for Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Within the United States, Mr. Rayevskiy has taught at the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, DC, Brooksher Ballet in Mesa, AZ, Ponte Vedra Ballet in Ponte Vedra, FL, and Atlanta Ballet in Atlanta, GA. As an advocate for the students 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 be seen performing in domestic and international classical and contemporary ballet companies, professional competitions such as YAGP and Prix de Lausanne where his students have both placed and received scholarships, and prestigious universities around the world. He has also placed students in schools such as the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Additionally, Mr. Rayevskiy is a member of CID UNESCO organization, has been honored by Strathmore’s Who’s Who organization of talented individuals, and is a philanthropist for the Dance Open Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2016, Mr. Rayevskiy worked with Misty Copeland to bring her Project Plié to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Detroit and its surrounding suburbs. Recently, he has served as a judge for the Weekend in Palcoscenico International Dance Competition in Pinerolo, Italy and for Roma Dance Contest in Rome, Italy.
Mr. Rayevskiy worked with Ardani Artists to rehearse the Mariinsky Theatre in La Bayadère and The Sleeping Beauty when they were on tour at the Detroit Opera House. He has also produced the Stars of Russian Ballet and Réalité de l’Art performances that brought in world-renowned dancers, singers, musicians, and artists for collaboration including Mike Ellison, Olga Pavlova, Sergei Sidorsky, Frances Chung, Maria Kochetkova, Daniil Simkin, Brooklyn Mack, Mayara Pineiro, Iana Salenko, Gennadi Nedvigin, Rasta Thomas, Maria Mosina, Keenan Kampa, Xander Parrish, Joseph Phillips, Anton Korsakov, Andrei Ivanov, Alisa Sodoleva, Lauren Strongin, Patricia Zhou, Maria Beck, Portia Adams, and Precious Adams. He further worked with Mike Ellison for the Detroit Concert of Colors at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
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 where she studied under Marianna Lobanova, Elena Tenchikova, and Nikolai Kabaniaev 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. Some of her students have successfully joined companies and prestigious universities’ dance programs. Additionally, she privately coaches students to prepare them for competitions such as YAGP where they have placed and earned scholarships. Most recently, she served on the judges panel for the U.P.’s Got Talent competition in Sault Ste. Marie, MI.
Instructor (BDAA Location)
Ariel Adamson is an Ann Arbor native who began her training in the Vaganova method with Carol Radovic in 1989 at CAS Ballet Theatre School. At the age of 13, she was accepted into the pre-professional program through CAS Ballet. She danced in many productions with Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre, eventually joining the senior company.
In 2013, Ms. Adamson began to regularly teach at CAS Ballet. She also became a rehearsal mistress for Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre. In her time with the school, she began to choreograph for spring productions. In 2017, Ms. Adamson became Assistant Artistic Director to Carol Radovic at Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing.
Instructor (BDAA Location)
Megan Batkins received her Vaganova training from Carol Radovic at CAS Ballet Theatre School. C. Radovic mentored Ms. Batkins from a young age through adulthood, providing the opportunity to perform many lead roles with Ann Arbor Ballet Theater. She had supplementary training and performance opportunities from A. Bossov of Bossov Ballet Theatre, A. Sisova at the Kirov Academy of Ballet, B. Smith of Greater Lansing Ballet in addition to summer intensives and master classes in New York, Maine, Washington, DC, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Post college, Ms. Batkins moved to Milwaukee, WI where she continued dancing with Milwaukee Ballet while developing her business career.
Ms. Batkins returned to CAS Ballet Theatre School in 2016, and she began teaching intermediate and advanced ballet classes in 2018 and 2019. In addition to teaching ballet, she has a career as an Account Manager for a Fortune 500 distribution company.
Instructor (BDAA Location)
Zofia Bochenek began her training at a small Vaganova studio close to home. She is a graduate of Ballet Detroit and continues to dance. At age 19, she traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia where she participated in the International Dance Open Festival and performed a variation from Giselle at the Hermitage Theatre. Ms. Bochenek has also performed with Ann Arbor Ballet Theater for several years and has participated in their annual Nutcracker as well as their production of Dracula. In addition to ballet, she has studied a wide variety of dance genres including contemporary, modern, and tap. Along with teaching, Ms. Bochenek is also continuing her education by pursuing a degree in Information Systems Management with a minor in Information Systems Security at the University of Michigan – Dearborn.
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.