MasterClass Series:
The 2017 Review


IBT Academy Faculty chose exceptional teachers for this season’s MasterClasses. Each teacher’s unique approach to explanations and corrections deepened students’ understanding of technique: 

  • Larissa Ponomarenko, a master of dissecting repertoire to give each step absolutely precision, helped young dancers build up their artistic skill and confidence during repertoire and technique classes;
  • Anna Liceica made difficult classical technique accessible to even the youngest dancers with her enthusiasm, patience, and clear explanations;
  • The Savelievs, in addition to many years of ballet expertise, brought a unique competition outlook to share with students;
  • James “J-Floats” Fable led a hip-hop class which was stylistically diverse from the students’ usual regimen of classical ballet, folk dance, and contemporary. This gave them the opportunity to loosen up using muscles opposite to those employed by the Vaganova method;
  • Humberto Teixeira engaged his class with the challenge of solo and group improvisation. Later, Humberto explained the significance of proper breathing while dancing to conserve energy, leaving the students shocked at their improved stamina;
  • David Fernandes, a student favorite from prior years, taught a fun, fast paced, energetic contemporary class that gave students a workout before choreographing an ensemble for the advanced participants in less than an hour.

Gennadi Saveliev

Founder, President, and Executive Director
of Youth America Grand Prix


Gennadi Saveliev demonstrates sur le coup de pied for Michelle Yu, Alexia Dobrin, and Alexa Yang



Students check their balance in attitude (left), while Abbey Wu (right) leans in to hear corrections with fellow students



“Gennadi Saveliev helped me greatly with my turns, jumps, and artistry in my dancing,” explains  15 y.o. Gunar Daniels, IBT Academy Level 5 student. “I was looking forward to his MasterClass, and every minute of it was interesting and helpful.” 



The class is reminded to be aware of their épaulement (left). Lia Issakov’s face lights up as Larissa Saveliev helps her reach à la seconde potential (right)


“Larissa Saveliev shared with us some helpful tools to pick the right variation for a competition. I also appreciated her great advice on how how to deal with our strengths and weaknesses on stage or at competitions,” says Madeline Glinski, 15 y.o. IBT Academy Level 5 student and the Russian Pointe Brand Ambassador. 



Students take in all the details



Rory Myers, Mckenna Sing, Alexia Dobrin, and Gunar Daniels in grand plié during center adagio



Gennadi Saveliev watches as students apply corrections (left). Stella Lei concentrates as she receives a correction from Mr. Saveliev (right)



Advanced participants learning a challenging pirouette exercise



Gennadi Saveliev works with Madeline Glinski


Larissa Ponomarenko

Ballet Master of Boston Ballet,
Company’s Principal Dancer for full 18 years


Larissa Ponomarenko enthusiastically shows a barre combination


“I had a wonderful opportunity to work with Larissa in a repertoire class where we learned John Neumeier’s Romeo and Juliet, my favorite ballet of all time. Larissa explained the artistic and technical aspects along with the backstory, so that we could better embody the characters,” says 15 y.o. Rory Myers, IBT Academy Level 5 student and a Gaynor Girl.


Larissa adjusts young dancers’ arms placement, with aplomb. Jane Stalnaker (left) and Lia Issakov (right)



Demonstrating arabesque for Jane Stalnaker (left) and Raica Tarr (right)



Larissa Ponomarenko checks Lia Issakov’s cambré back



Larissa helps Raica Tarr perfect her arabesque



Reaching for better lines: students learn the importance of artistry in a repertoire class



Larissa gives Madeline Glinski insight into Aurora’s Wedding Variation

“Larissa's artistic talent to express emotion through dance is awe-inspiring. Her devotion to Art is astounding and her ability to show us the importance of all the intricate details that comprise a role is very powerful,” says 15 y.o. Madeline Glinski, 5 Level student and the Russian Pointe Brand Ambassador. 


Anna Liceica 

Retired Soloist, American Ballet Theater,

YAGP Judge 


Anna Liceica leading an animated class (left); giving corrections to Maddie Glinski (right)



“During the IBT Academy 2017 MasterClass Series I discovered artistry being just as important in class as it is on stage. Every class was hard, but for me the enjoyment lies where the difficulty is,” explains Rory Myers. 



Anna Liceica works on dramatic epaulement with Rory Myers (right)


James "J-Floats" Fable

Hip Hop teacher and choreographer,
Brooklyn Ballet


Iris Zhang and “J-Floats” Fable start the class with a hip-hop attitude



James Fable demonstrates choreography to the advanced Level 5 students



J-Floats bonds with IBT Academy students: high fives all around after Hip Hop



Group picture time! J-Floats with students of Level 5


Humberto Teixeira

Award-winning Brazilian choreographer,
New Jersey Ballet Company


The younger Level 4A students follow Humberto Teixeira’s lead in a contemporary workshop


A stretch and conditioning class for Level 4A students


David Fernandez

Award-winning NYC-based
choreographer from Mexico


David Fernandez with Level 5 students, creating new choreography


Teaching a contemporary class to Level 4A students


“The opportunity to be learning from and be influenced by professional dancers really gave us a great experience to expand our understanding of ballet as an art form,” concluded 13 y.o. Michelle Yu, a Level 5 student.