Marat Daukayev

received his professional training at the Vaganova and Perm Ballet Schools. In 1972, he won the Bronze Medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition. He was subsequently invited to join the Kirov as a soloist where he was quickly promoted to principal dancer. During his 20 year career he danced the leading male roles in the complete repertoire of classical ballets with numerous international ballet tours. He has also performed in both film and television. St. Petersburg audiences loved him for the brilliant technique and exceptional dramatic ability that he brought to his roles.

Hasmik Amirian-Bennet

was accepted into the Armenian Ballet at the age of 7 and trained by Anaida Ter-Gabrielian, Feya Balabina, Ludimilla Sacharova, and Maxim Marturosian. At 18, she joined the Armenian National Opera Ballet Theatre, working with Irina Yshakova and Elena Araratova. She was quickly promoted to Soloist and toured the world performing soloist and principal roles. Hasmik then joined Los Angeles Classical Ballet as a soloist. She has taught ballet in Los Angeles and around the country for many years. Hasmik joined MDSB in 2002 and was appointed Assistant Director in 2007.

Stella Gardiner

began her ballet training under Donald Journeaux, who studied with Russian dancers from the Imperial school. She performed principal and soloist roles in original ballets created by Mr. Journeaux. The role of Suzuki in the premiere production of Paul Rizos’ Madame Butterfly was created for her. She also studied under Mia Slavenska, Alexandra Denisova, Tatiana Riabouchinska, and Marat Daukayev. She has received her certification in massage therapy from the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing. Stella has been with MDSB since its opening in 2001.

Arpi Azlvyan

danced with the Armenian National Theatre of Ballet and Opera for 10 years and graduated from the School of Choreography in Armenia. She has over 15 years of experience as a ballet dancer and has performed in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Paquita, Gayane, Les Sylphydes, and Le Corsaire. Arpi has been a dance instructor and choreographer since 1993 teaching ballet to children and adults in all aspects of dance. She is also a certified Gyrotonic instructor. Arpi joined the faculty of Marat Daukayev School of Ballet in 2010.

Alison Hickey

was introduced to Classical Ballet in Chile at age 6 at the Virginia Bezanilla Dance School. Her passion for dance expanded into a variety of dance techniques, such as Afro- Brazilian, Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary dance. She attended the Izidor Hundler Conservatory in Chile and also the Broadway Dance Center in NYC. At age 18 she began training in Occupational Therapy School to work with children with special needs. Her education in childhood development has given her the tools to create and implement dance programs that allow children to engage in dance of all kinds.

Andi Schermoly

attended the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg, South Africa. She competed as a member of the South African Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastics Team. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Royal Ballet School in London, where she completed her dance education. She joined Boston Ballet and was soon invited to join Nederlands Dans Theater where she toured the world dancing a repertoire of Jiri Kylian, Mats Ek, Paul Lightfoot, among others. Andi has choreographed professionally for The South African Ballet Theatre, NDT workshops, Boston Ballet 2, as well as students attending ballet competitions in the U.S. and abroad.

Nazgul Shinn

received her training from the Almaty Ballet Academy in Kazakhstan. Upon graduation, she was invited to work at the Kyrgyz National Ballet Theater as a demi-soloist. She was soon awarded the opportunity to study at the Kirov Ballet Academy in Washington D.C.; whereupon she was recruited to work at the Universal Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea. Her professional repertoire includes La Sylphide, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty. Nazgul comes to Marat Daukayev School of Ballet from Southland Ballet Academy, where she has taught for the past 4 years.

Wendy Quinn

is a native of Oklahoma and has been dancing since the age of 4. She won the title of Miss Dance Oklahoma and received full scholarships to San Francisco Ballet, Dallas-Irving Ballet, and Ballet West, among others. Wendy has performed across the United States and in 1986 received a scholarship to study with Joe Tremaine and moved to Los Angeles. She discovered Pilates in 2000 and became a trained and certified Pilates instructor soon after. Her many clients include Olympic Gold Medalists, celebrities, and dancers. She joined the faculty of Marat Daukayev School of Ballet in 2010.