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.

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.

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.

Lisa Gillespie

received her ballet training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and at San Francisco Ballet.  She was a principal dancer with Ballet Arizona and has performed with numerous opera companies including Santa Fe, Seattle, Dallas, San Diego, Washington, Los Angeles and Houston.  Lisa has performed contemporary repertoire including works by Pilobus.  She was a company member in Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet for ten years in Los Angeles, London and New York.

Gabrielle Epifano

began her training under the direction of Bretislav Weidlich, former soloist with the National Ballet Theater in Prague and graduate of the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatory. Gabrielle has performed as a guest artist with a number of local companies in such productions as Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Paquita, and Les Sylphides. She has also taken several courses on music theory, kinesiology, pedagogy, and ballet history at the University of Utah. Gabrielle has been studying under Marat Daukayev and dancing at MDSB since 2011 and is very excited to now be a part of the faculty.