FACULTY & STAFF
ALEXEI KREMNEV (Ballet, Men's, Partnering, Pointe, Variations, Choreography, Character, Body Conditioning, Repertoire)
ANNA REZNIK (Ballet, Pointe, Variations, Body Conditioning, Repertoire) Click here for bio
LUDMILA LUPU (Ballet, Pointe, Character, Variations, Repertoire)
Ludmila Lupu is a graduate of the Ballet Academy of Moldova. Ludmila has completed 9 years of classical ballet training in the following disciplines: Classical Ballet, Pointe, Variations, Pas-de-Deux, Historical Court Dance, Character Dance, History of World Theater, History of Ballet, Ballet, and Piano Classes, along with general education classes. As a student, Ludmila participated in a number of ballet performances at The National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet of the Republic of Moldova, as well as traveled with the ballet company of the theater throughout the Soviet Union. The training program at the Ballet Academy of Moldova was based on the Vaganova Syllabus. Ludmila’s first ballet teacher was Tatyana Petuhova, a renowned ballet pedagogue, a graduate of Kyiv Ballet Academy, and later on, Ludmila was taught by Sophia Horisova, a graduate of the Vaganova Academy of Ballet, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Upon graduation, Ludmila was employed as a soloist for 15 years by the leading ballet company of Moldova - The National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet of the Republic of Moldova. Throughout these years, she participated in the following ballet performances: Don Quixote, Paquita, Swan Lake, Spartacus, Giselle, Coppelia, Sculptures of Roden, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty, Chopeniana, and Serenades by Balanchine. Ludmila traveled to numerous European countries with the theater.
Ludmila has started her pedagogical career in ballet at The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and, after emigrating to the United States, she has taught at the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Salt Creek Ballet School, Faubourg School of Ballet, Dance West Ballet School, and Chicago Ballet Conservatory of Mohler Ballet School.
Among the staged works are excerpts from Paquita (Regional Dance America Competition, 2008), excerpts from Don Quixote (Regional Dance America Competition, 2010), The Waltz of the Flowers, The Russian Dance, Final Waltz and Apotheosis from The Nutcracker (performance directed by Linda Cunningham, Chicago Ballet Conservatory, 2017, 2018, 2019), Esmeralda (YAGP Finals, 2022).
Ludmila successfully prepares dancers for participation in such dance competitions as the Youth America Grand Prix, where her students received top prizes.
From 2009 until 2020 Ludmila was employed as a teacher of character dance at the Trainee Program and at the Pre-Professional Division of the Joffrey Academy of Dance, official school of the Joffrey Ballet.
MEREDITH HARRILL (Ballet, Pointe, Repertoire, Contemporary)
Meredith Harrill (Orlando, FL) began her dance training at Central Florida Ballet Academy. She continued her training on scholarship at the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington DC. Ms. Harrill was a trainee with Joffrey Ballet Chicago (under the directorship of Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik) and BalletMet Columbus and was given the opportunity to perform with both companies in several productions. Meredith joined State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara in 2013 and was a soloist in several pieces including works by Autumn Eckman, Edgar Zendejas, William Soleau, and Gina Patterson.
Ms. Harrill has received awards from both Youth America Grand Prix and World Ballet Competition and has attended summer programs at Lines Ballet, The Juilliard School, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Meredith joined Visceral Dance Chicago in 2017 and is now in her six season.
BRAEDEN BARNES (Contemporary)
Braeden Barnes, a native from Chicago, Illinois, received his training from Faubourg Ballet, Academy of Dance Arts, San Francisco Ballet School, and Houston Ballet school. Braeden was then accepted into the Joffrey Ballet training program under the directors Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. During his time there, he did works by Francisco Avina, Ronn Stewart, Amy Hall, and Diana Princeton.
Braeden has worked professionally with Balletmet, Ron de Jesus Dance, Billy Elliot the Musical, Cocodaco Dance Project, LEVELdance, and Nevada Ballet Theatre. During his time at these companies, Braeden has worked with choreographers such as James Canfield, Paul Vasterling, Adam Pelty, Sam Watson, Andre Kastan, Gerald Charles, Eddy Ocampo, Danielle Agami, and Kevin O’Day. He is currently working with Visceral Dance Chicago and it is his third season with the company.
Braeden has also danced professionally in major cities such as Milwaukee, Columbus, Portland, Montreal, Lancaster, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas. During his travels, he has worked and danced works by choreographers such as Jose Navas, Matthew Neenan, Sarah Slipper, Banning Bouldin, Yoshito Sakuraba, Lucas Crandall, and Ronn Stewart.
Braeden Barnes is also a choreographer based in Chicago, IL. His choreography has been featured on stage in such cities as Chicago, Las Vegas, New York City, Denver, and Atlanta. He has choreographed for festivals such as Dance Chicago, Dance Canvas and REVERBDance Festival in New York, where his work won the First Place audience choice award.
He has choreographed on various companies such as Visceral Dance Chicago, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Cirque Du Soleil, LEVELDance, Cocodaco Dance Project, and in New Dances, a collaboration between Thodos Dance Chicago and Dance Works Chicago.
In 2016, He started his own company, Symbiosis, which is based in Denver, CO.
ELA OLARTE (Contemporary)
ELA OLARTE, originally from Davao City, Philippines, is a Chicago-based teacher and choreographer. Ela holds a BFA from The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago with a focus in Choreography and minor in Dance Pedagogy. Further training credits and respective summer programs include The Joffrey Academy, Visceral Dance Center’s Professional Scholarship Program, River North, Ballet Lab, Dance Colective, and Hip Hop Connxion. Ela has worked professionally with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cocodaco Dance Project Professional Company, Visceral Dance, Thodos Dance Chicago, AJA Talent, Purus Motus Cinema, Brian McGinnis, Hanna Brictson, Jessica Miller Tomlinson, and Jon Sloven amongst others. As a choreographer, Ela created work for Dance in the Parks’ 11th season. She was awarded First Place for her piece, “Nocturnal Detail” at the College of DuPage Choreography Competition in 2017. Additionally, Ela has presented pieces for Cocodaco Dance Project, College of DuPage, Detroit Dance City Festival, DanceWorks Chicago, Foster Dance, and has produced independent dance films.
CECI FANO (Pilates)
Ceci Fano began her movement career as a professional dancer with several modern dance companies and independent choreographers throughout Chicago. Through dance, Ceci was drawn to Pilates for physical maintenance, injury prevention, and improved movement quality.
Ceci had the opportunity to teach Pilates and became one of the first Pilates instructors in Chicago. She became certified by Romana's Pilates in 1995. Ceci studied with Romana Kryzanowska herself, Romana's daughter, Sari Mejia Santo, and teacher of teachers, Juanita Lopez.
In 1997 Ceci partnered with Chiropractic Resources, and ten years later created Balance Health + Wellness, building a successful clinic based around Pilates, Chiropractic and other modalities. During this time, Ceci worked with professional athletes, dancers, musicians, as well as ordinary people who want to remain active, fit and healthy for their entire lives.
Ceci has personal experiences with gymnastics, tennis, skiing, running, and golf that allow her to relate to others, helping them with performance and avoid injury.
Ceci is now an independent instructor. She is proud to join A&A Ballet to share her knowledge with pre-professional dancers. It’s her mission to help them be the best they can be. Passing along the principals of Pilates, Ceci helps them with their conditioning, performance and injury prevention, and hopes to improve their experience throughout their careers, and their entire lives.
KYM COSTA (Pilates, Yoga)
Kym was a professional Ballet Dancer having danced for the Civic Ballet at The Ruth Page Foundation in Chicago and freelancing with small companies around the US. Kym studied with several prominent ballet companies including the Joffrey Ballet and the Pennsylvania Ballet and started teaching Ballet at the age of 16. Kym used her strong background as a Dancer to transition into the Fitness Industry.
As a Fitness Professional, Kym used her knowledge of movement to instruct a variety of exercise classes including step, hi/low, cardio dance, Ballet Barre, slide, sculpt, interval, stretch, Spin, circuit, water, walking, boxing, and treading. She studied anatomy, physiology, and proper biomechanics receiving several fitness certifications including NASM Personal Trainer, ACE Instructor & Personal Trainer, AFAA Instructor, Spinning, N’Stretch, and CPR.
Kym ranked nationally as a Sports Aerobic Competitor and coached and choreographed for other competitors while managing Group Exercise Programs at several upscale health clubs managing teams of over 60 instructors. Kym was the Co-Captain and Choreographer for Reebok’s Performance Team and traveled nationally to conduct master classes and presentations for Fitness Workshops.
In1998, Kym turned her focus from mainstream fitness to the mind/body exercises of Yoga and Pilates. She received her first Pilates Certification from the Physical Mind Institute and devoted herself to Pilates and Yoga as a serious student as she had in Dance.
In 1999, while living in Los Angeles, Kym studied at The Yoga Place, YogaWorks, and The Yoga Centre. Kym has been fortunate enough to take workshops from several masters including Anna Forrest and Tim Miller. While in New York, Kym studied at Jivamukti Yoga Center and in Chicago studies at Yoga View and 105F.
In 2000, after completing over 800 hours of apprenticeship from the training centers in Chicago and New York, Kym received her certification in the Authentic Pilates Method of Body Conditioning now called Romana’s Pilates. Romana Kryzanowska was Joseph Pilates’ protégé and Juanita Lopez was Romana’s highest-ranking instructor and is a “Teacher to Teachers”. These two Masters are the teachers with whom Kym spent the most time shaping her teaching style and giving her knowledge needed to maintain the integrity of the exercises and continue the “work”. Kym feels extremely grateful to have studied under Romana and Juanita’s instruction.
In 2008, Kym began studying the link between nutrition and fitness performance, injuries, and disease realizing there is a difference between being fit and being healthy. Kym teamed up with a company that provides programs, products, and services to help all people maximize their physical performance and reach their optimal health. Kym provides presentations and workshops to help all types of people become or stay healthy and fit.
Today, Kym owns Pure Pilates Chicago, LLC where her focus is personalized attention to each student’s body, needs, and goals. She strives to provide each workout with precision & flow while using the breath & control. The concentration needed to move from the center is the ongoing challenge and keeps workouts fresh, interesting, and effective.
Kym believes that regardless of your age or level of fitness – from sedentary senior to professional athlete/Dancer – she can help increase your quality of life/performance by providing you with an energizing Pilates workout focusing on what your body needs.
SUSAN JAFFE (Artistic Director, ABT) - Guest Master Teacher
ALEXEI MOSKALENKO (Assistant Artistic Director, YAGP) - Guest Master Teacher
CARLOS LOPEZ (Director of Repertoire, ABT) - Guest Master Teacher
PASCAL MOLAT (Associate Director, Trainee Program, San Francisco Ballet) - Guest Master Teacher
FRANCISCO GELLA (Chief Creative Officer, Francisco Gella Dance Works) - Guest Master Teacher
MISHA TCHOUPAKOV (YAGP Rehearsal Director/Resident Master Teacher) - Guest Master Teacher
ISABELLA LAFRENIERE (Principal Dancer, NYCB) - Guest Master Teacher
FABRICE CALMELS (formerly Joffrey Ballet, International Star) - Guest Master Teacher
PETER STARK (President and Director, Rock School) - Guest Master Teacher
PHILIP NEAL (formerly NYCB, Artistic Director, Next Generation Ballet) - Guest Master Teacher
ANDREI KLEMM (Company Teacher, Paris Opera Ballet) - Guest Master Teacher
GONZALO GARCIA (Principal Dancer, NYCB) - Guest Master Teacher