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Our Faculty

MR. DAVID C. BEALES, Bolshoi Ballet Academy TCP, Society of Russian Ballet Advanced, A.R.A.D.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM INSTRUCTOR
Mr. David Beales is a teacher of classical ballet specializing in the Russian ballet methods. He is internationally recognized and respected for his expertise in the Vaganova technique and method, and the Bolshoi Academy teaching method. His students are accepted into and participate in many prestigious international programs such as the Open World Dance Foundation Intensives in NYC and Latvia, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensives in NYC, and many others. Since 2007, he has taught numerous master classes, workshops, and seminars throughout British Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil and the United States.  Mr. Beales is currently the only instructor in Canada with both Vaganova Ballet Academy Faculty and Bolshoi Ballet Academy credentials.  Mr. Beales is also an Associate Member of the Society of Russian Ballet (SRB) and is fully qualified to teach the SRB Examination Syllabus. (read more)

 

 

LUDA TKATCHENKO
Accompanist and Music Theory Instructor

Mrs. Tkatchenko comes from Russian, where she spent most of her childhood and early adult years studying piano through a specialized music school, college and Khakov Conservatory in Ukraine.  Upon graduation from university, she began teaching piano, music theory and music history.  In 1999, Ms. Tkatchenko came to Canada and shortly thereafter, became a piano accompanist and music adjudicator in festivals in Vancouver.  Ms. Tkatchenko received certification through the Canadian Music Teacher Association.  In 2012, she moved to Victoria where she has been the pianist for Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet.

 

 
  Stephanie Wilson

Stephanie Wilson

STEPHANIE WILSON 
Society of Russian Ballet Affiliate, RAD CBTS, Bolshoi Ballet Academy TCP Lvl. 1-3, AIDT Adv., Certified Progressing Ballet Technique

Youth Dance Program and RAD Vocational Instructor

Stephanie began her dance training at the age of 3. She has trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop, and acro. She has attained her Advanced II level ballet exam in RAD (Royal Academy of Dance), her Advanced level modern exam in AIDT (Association of International Dance Teachers) and her Gold Higher Tap exam in AIDT. Over the years she has been involved with local dance festivals and numerous conventions. Ms.Stephanie performed with Ballet Etoile and still participates of productions whenever her teaching schedule allows. The love she holds for dance drives her to share that passion with her students. Stephanie has achieved teaching certifications in AIDT modern/jazz, and is a RAD Registered Teacher . She is a Bolshoi Ballet Academy TCP Teacher Levels 1 to 3, coached under the tutelage of Yevgeniya Kazeeva (BBA Faculty, former soloist at the Russian State Ballet Theatre of Moscow). She is also an Affiliate member of the Society of Russian Ballet (SRB). Her creative and inspiring choreographic works are praised by students and local artists.

 

 

IVANA MATOVINA, BFA, TTP Dip. (NBS), LCSC-CICB (Cecchetti), A.I.S.T.D. (National)
Youth Program and Character Instructor

Raised in Toronto but now proud to be on the West Coast, Ms. Matovina aims to positively engage her students by sharing her passion for dance through the artistry and physicality of dance. Ms. Matovina graduated from the joint degree/diploma program between York University and Canada’s National Ballet School. Her dance training and experience spans many years in a variety of disciplines including, Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), Cecchetti, Russian ballet styles, National (folk) dance, and Modern (Graham and Limon) / Contemporary dance.

She has performed and toured with the Sashar Zarif Dance Theatre to Dusseldorf, Germany, and with many other groups throughout Canada.  Ms. Matovina has also taught ballet, tap, jazz and creative dance at various International schools in Tokyo, Japan.

Ms. Matovina is the current B.C. representative for the Cecchetti Society of Canada, which oversees the organization of ballet workshops, competitions, and exams for local students and teachers.

 

 
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CLARE GILLESE, Society of Russian Ballet  Student-Teacher-in-Training, OWDF Certificate
Adult Ballet Program Instructor

Clare teaches primarily classical Russian ballet as well as stretching and conditioning. She has taught children to adults in a variety of styles and levels. She holds her teaching certificates through the Open World Dance Foundation and her Student-Teacher-In-Training through the Society of Russian Ballet. Clare started her dancing career at Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet in 2014 under the guidance of David Beales. Since then, she has had the opportunity to dance in Riga (Latvia), Prague (Czech Republic) and New York City (US), studying under world renowned teachers such as: Irina Kolpakova (ABT, Mariinsky), Irina Trofimova (pupil of Agrippina Vaganova), Evgenia Obratzova (Bolshoi, Mariinski) and Daria Klimentova (English National Ballet). Clare enjoys fostering each student's potential and above all believes that dance should be fun and accessible to everyone. 

 

 

"Ballet is a complex and technically challenging art form. Sending a child to a qualified ballet teacher is important to their health and safety.  Our members are provided with opportunities for professional development that incorporates up to date information and scientific practices in kinesiology and dance pedagogy. Our syllabus has been carefully developed to ensure a steady, careful technical and artistic progression from one level to the next." - SRB

At the core of the Vaganova method is the conviction by Madame Vaganova that all theory must be enriched by the experience of teaching and new developments in artistic practice.  Characteristics of the Vaganova method are precision, strength and flexibility, and breadth of movement, particularly in allegro work. The Society of Russian Ballet (SRB) was founded in Canada in 1975 to preserve and promote Russian styled training in classical ballet.  Teachers must have certification from the Society of Russian Ballet in order to submit students for examinations.  

The Society of Russian Ballet syllabus is comprised of five introductory levels for young children (Primary Level through Level Four), four levels for more experienced students (Levels Five through Eight) and five major levels for the serious student dancer (Pre-Elementary Level through Pre-Professional Level). Pointe work is included in the female syllabus from Pre-Elementary onwards. Specific work for male students is included throughout the syllabus.

Levels Primary through Four are comprised of a series of set exercises. This format changes quickly in the subsequent years of training. From Level Five onward, teachers are required to choreograph all exercises and combinations from the list of technical elements and their requirements for each syllabus level. Teachers are responsible for providing and selecting the appropriate music for their examination material. These unique features, among examining societies, ensure that teachers are not only creatively involved in their students’ growth, but their own development as well. In all levels teachers are given numerous options and choices in the presentation of syllabus elements.

We believe that all students should have a positive examination experience, giving them enthusiasm to continue their dance studies and a sense of accomplishment.

To know more about the Society and its syllabus please visit their website www.societyofrussianballet.org

 

Source: www.societyofrussianballet.org 

 

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The School

The mission of Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet is to remain true to classical ballet by teaching the clean technique of the Vaganova Method and the Bolshoi Curriculum while exploring various choreography through modern and contemporary dance forms.

The developmental techniques and ideals outlined by Agrippina Vaganova almost a century ago continue to be widely used today and have produced the world’s most renowned dancers best recognized for their flawless technique and artistry – Ulanova, Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Zakharova.   In the words of our Artistic Director, Mr. David C. Beales, “the Vaganova method has a long tradition and is absolutely flawless and perfect in the development of technique and purity of line…”  Mr. Beales’ passion for the Russian methods translates into his teaching and his vision for Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet. 

Classical ballet, clean technique and contemporary choreography, and the overall development and well-being of the dancer are our primary focuses since opening the school in September, 2012.

Under the direction of Mr. Beales, who is the only instructor in Canada with certifications from both the Vaganova Ballet Academy Faculty and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, we offer a rare opportunity for students outside of Russia to study the ballet methods taught at the Bolshoi Academy and Vaganova Academy.  We are proud of the exceptional calibre of training we provide to our dancers. 

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Distinctions

Our professional students have achieved great distinction in the short time that our school has been in operation. Through hard work and determination from both students and instructors, our students have found placement in some of the top international programs.

  • 2018 Trainee position at the Central Illinois Ballet
  • 2018 Gold Medal winner of the California Dance Classics Competition in the National Character Ensemble category
  • 2018 Bronze Medal winner of the California Dance Classics Competition in the Classical Repertoire Ensemble, Age 13 – 15, category
  • 2018 Ballet Heritage Summer Intensive (St. Petersburg, Russia)
  • 2018 Arts Umbrella Summer Intensive (Contemporary)
  • 2018 Ballet Jorgen Junior Company Summer Training
  • 2017 Formation Superieure du Danseur in Geneva, Switzerland, with scholarship
  • 2017 Budapest Dance Theatre International Elite Program in Hungary
  • 2017 International Ballet Masterclasses in Prague , at the Czech National Ballet in Prague, where Bolshoi Ballet’s prima ballerina, Evgenia Obraztsova, was one of the instructors.
  • 2017 The Summer Open World Intensive in Riga, Latvia, where luminary instructors and dancers from the Vaganova Ballet Academy and the Bolshoi                 were coaching.
  • 2017 Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in NYC.
  • 2017 Randolph Academy of Performing Arts , Diploma Program (Toronto)
  • 2017 Winter Open World Intensive in NYC where the legendary Irina Kolpakova was one of the instructors.
  • 2017 Gelsey Kirkland Academy Summer Ballet Intensive in NYC.
  • 2016 Our professional students were guest dancers in the Richter Academy of Classical Dance’s premiere production of The Nutcracker in Los Angeles, California,
  • 2015 Summer Open World Intensive in NYC
  • 2015 Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in NYC

 

Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet offers three distinct programs:

1) Professional Program is geared for students 11 years and older wishing to pursue a possible professional career in dance.  The purpose of this program is to provide the comprehensive development, technical training and dance knowledge necessary to be a professional dancer.  This program uses the Bolshoi Academy Curriculum and follows the Vaganova method.   The classical ballet classes are taught by our Artistic Director, Mr. David C. Beales.

2)  Youth Dance Program is for students who would like to explore their love of dance through classical ballet training as well as through other styles of dance.  Classes are for students ages 3 and up.  We are the only dance school on Vancouver Island certified by the Society of Russian Ballet (SRB) to teach the Vaganova method syllabus and conduct examinations using the Vaganova technique.  We also offer the Vocational Grades of the Royal Academy of Dance.

3) Adult Ballet Program is for students 19 years of age and up.  Our Adult program is based on the Vaganova method but has been adapted for adults by our Artistic Director.  We offer classes for beginners to more experienced dancers.

 

Our Studios

Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet’s studios are located in the old Parish Hall at the back of St. Saviour’s Historic Church.  Built in 1888, this hall started out as the community's school house, but in 1891, it became the parish hall for The Church of the Holy Saviour.  This heritage property offers wonderful examples of Gothic Revival architecture throughout the building's interior and has served many purposes throughout its history and today, is home to our wonderful ballet school.

The School has renovated the hall by painstakingly restoring the old wood interior and upgrading the lighting, adding 10′ mirrors, bringing in en-pointe portabarres™, and laying down genuine red Harlequin Cascade flooring to create an environment and ambience of tradition and history.

The School's second studio is inside St. Saviour's Church in what was once the choir room and part of the addition made by the Royal Army Engineers in 1896. The studio is 20'x25' with 10' mirrors, en-pointe portabarres™, original hardwood flooring and is surrounded by stained glass windows and high vaulted ceilings.

A new 150 seats stage studio with En-pointe dance subflooring and Rosco dance floor also gives us the opportunity for intimate performances and on stage rehearsals. 

Location

Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet is located at 310 Henry Street at the corner of Henry Street and Catherine Street in Victoria, B.C. The School is a short 5 minute drive from downtown Victoria, over the Johnson Street or Bay Street bridges.  The School is also a 5 minute walk along Catherine St. from the section of the Songhees Walkway by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, which looks directly across the waters to Fisherman's Wharf.

 

 

Parking

The School is located in a residential neighbourhood and we kindly ask that students and parents be considerate of our neighbours by not blocking driveways when parking around the school.

Bus routes

The School is located on, or very close to the following bus routes:

  • 6 Esquimalt
  • 10 Royal Jubilee/Dockyard
  • 14 UVIC
  • 24 Admirals Walk
  • 25 Admirals Walk/Western Exchange

For more information on Bus routes, or to plan your trip to get to our School, we recommend “Google Transit”, or visit BC Transit Trip Planner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agrippina Vaganova
& The Vaganova Method

Look at life all around; everything is growing, everything is moving forward. Therefore I recommend…keeping in touch with life and with art.
— Agrippina Vaganova
Vaganova at the Imperial Ballet School

Prior to her death in 1951, Russian ballet instructor, Agrippina Vaganova, made seminal contributions to the theory and practice of contemporary ballet training. By blending the best elements of the old imperial Russian style with more athletic movements, she developed what is now known as the Vaganova system or method. Her method did not isolate the body into separate parts, but viewed it as an integrated system. As a result, students receive precise corrections based upon anatomical knowledge.

Hallmarks of the Vaganova method are the expressive fluidity of the whole body.  As described by the legendary Irina Kolpakova, all movements of the Vaganova method begin with equal participation of arms, hands, fingers, head, and eyes, and every part of the body is connected so that all parts of a movement is fluid rather than coming from only the appendages.  All Vaganova movements and accents are logical and harmonious, and the precision and breadth of movement are all characteristics of the Vaganova trained dancer.  

Many of her pupils such as Galina Ulanova, Natalia Dudinskaya and Irina Kolpakova became important figures in Soviet ballet. Her published work, "The Principles of Classical Dance," is an important text for ballet teachers to this day. The creative evolution of her ideas and principles continue to this day and are widely used by training institutions and professional ballet companies throughout the world.

 

Sources:  1) Vaganova, A Dance Journey From Petersburg to Leningrad by Vera Krasovskaya;  2) The Society of Russian Ballet