As I reflect on the past year, and all the challenges we’ve overcome together, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the achievements we’ve accomplished through the hard work of our students and dedicated teachers.
BUILDING THE VAGANOVA CENTER OF EXCELLENCE When I founded Bayer Ballet in 2005, my goal was to build a nurturing environment, where young dancers could safely grow and thrive, as people and artists, while providing the highest quality ballet education. Inspiring future generations with an appreciation for the art form is a huge responsibility to which I have dedicated my life; for that I’m grateful. MASTER VAGANOVA INSTRUCTORS I am committed to building a faculty of the most qualified professionals and master Vaganova teachers. Behind the scenes is a complex process, which involves sponsoring these teachers and bringing them here from Russia and abroad; this requires a shared vision, mutual trust and respect. I’m grateful for the extensive network of professionals on our faculty as well as master teachers, who work with our students year round. This direct access to the authentic intricacies of this artform has produced wonderful results and opportunities.
Our award-winning faculty directly hail from the Vaganova Academy and Bolshoi, where they received their training, teaching credentials and advanced graduate degrees in pedagogy. Their accomplished professional dance careers and teaching credentials provide our students with a unique experience to learn the intricacies of the Vaganova method through a curriculum which provides the purest experience and insights into this artform.
ACHIEVEMENT HIGHLIGHTS Through the training process, which includes professionally staged performances, collaborations with working choreographers, and participation in select competitions, we have received recognition as a respected and leading academy for technical and artistic excellence.
Our program preserves the traditions of Vaganova through a systematic approach, based on the culture and curriculum of the Vaganova method. In 2020, we celebrated Bayer Ballet’s first graduating class of dancers, who trained for more than 15 years with me, since the Academy’s inception in 2005, from Pre-Ballet through Pre-Professional Divisions; these dancers received top competition awards, two professional ballet contracts and acceptance to prestigious universities. These 2020 graduates’ achievements are NOTED below with an asterisk “*”: Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) —Outstanding School (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) —Outstanding Teacher, Inna Bayer (2019) —Grand Prix (2020) | Alina Taratorin* —1st Place Classical & 1st Place Contemporary - Senior Division (2020) | Katya Panchenko* World Ballet Competition (WBC) —Gold Medalist (Alina Taratorin)* National YoungArts Foundation —Winner/Finalist Ballet (2020) | Alina Taratorin* Prix de Lausanne 2020 —(2) Bayer Ballet dancers selected (10 dancers from the United States / 48 world-wide competed) | Alina Taratorin, Katya Panchenko*
ALUMNI Achieving balance between a rigorous academic schedule and pre-professional ballet training is possible. We have worked hard to develop a program that is dedicated to achieve balance between the rigors of dance training and equally demanding academic workloads. Achieving success, in both, presents a tough decision for many of our graduates, as they move onto the next chapter. Many students have the training and capability to pursue ballet professionally, but also have the potential to achieve a successful career outside of dance. We truly feel dance teaches essential life skills, which students carry with them throughout their lives, serving as a transferable set of values to any career path they choose. We support their decisions and are grateful to be part of their journeys. Graduates of the Academy have been accepted into prestigious Universities and Summer Intensive programs. (2020 Graduates, noted with asterisk “*”)
—Harvard (Alina Taratorin)* —UC Berkeley (Katya Panchenko)* —New York University (Sasha Smelyansky in conjunction with professional ballet company contract HNK Split)* —Princess Grace Academy (Alina Taratorin, Katya Panchenko)* —Paris Opera (Alina Taratorin, Katya Panchenko) —San Francisco Ballet —American Ballet Theatre —Royal Ballet —Bolshoi —Kirov Graduates of Bayer Ballet Academy and students of mine have danced in European and American professional dance companies such as: —HNK Split Balet / Croatian National Theater Split Ballet (Sasha Smelyansky in conjunction with NYU study abroad)* —San Francisco Ballet (Alina Taratorin invited, but chose Harvard)* —Batsheva Dance Company (Israel) —Ballet Israely (Israel) —Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (Israel)
—Scottish Ballet (Scotland) —Compania Nacional de Danza (Nacho Duato Artistic Director) —State Ballet of Georgia (Georgia) —Alberta Ballet (Canada) —Inbal Pinto Dance Company (Israel) —Austin Ballet —Boston Ballet —Colorado Ballet —Hubbard Street Dance —New York City Ballet —Smuin Ballet —San Francisco Ballet —Eifman Ballet Saint Petersburg (Russia)
2021 OUR COMMITMENT & MOVING FORWARD Every student deserves a safe environment to grow and thrive. Th
is year has tested our resilience and we have come together to ensure that the safety of our community is always our top priority, both physically and mentally. We have been successfully providing virtual training, as well as safely operating in-studio. Our outdoor studios, designed with the dancers’ health and safety as our priority (raised wood flooring, marley, and overhead coverage), provide the necessary flexibility to adapt to changes in COVID tiers. Many of our students have returned back in-person, while some remain on Zoom. As we’re entering Summer, we’re looking forward to continuing to provide these opportunities for artistic exploration and self expression. We keep dancing. We supported each other. As a result, we are stronger and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Recently, we participated in YAGP and received Outstanding School for the fourth consecutive year. Congratulations, everyone. Thank you for your continued support!