MEET THE FACULTY

Our esteemed directors and international faculty make us unique in the world of Ballet schools. Each ARB instructor is passionate and professional, and brings their own unique style and passion for teaching. Our faculty strives to be role models and to provide each student with a positive experience.

 

Artistic Directors

 
Yuri Nikitenko
Ballet, Character, Pas de Deux

Born in Ust-Kamenogorsk, U.S.S.R (now Kazakhstan), Yuri Nikitenko graduated from the A. V. Seleznev Choreographic Institute, Alma-Ata, with honors in 1985. After graduation, he performed as a principal dancer with the Alma-Ata Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the Dnepropetrovsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the Chelyabinsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and the Yekaterinburg “Pirouette” Ballet Theatre. He was also a founding member of Ballet Plus, the renowned ballet company of Yekaterinburg, Russia, where he expanded his classical repertoire to include works by contemporary choreographers like Roland Petit, Jerry Bevington, Luca Veggetti, and Alla Sigalova.

In 1992, Yuri was a finalist at the Arabesque International Ballet Competition held in Perm, Russia. He was also nominated for one of Russia’s highest awards for performing artists, Honored Artist of Russia. Yuri taught ballet at the Sverdlovsk University of Dramatic Arts prior to coming to the U.S. He has performed principal roles in much of the classical repertoire, staged ballets for professional companies and students alike, and prepared students for major ballet competitions such as Youth America Grand Prix (Hope Award, First Place, Second Place, Third Place, Top-12 regionally in 2003, 2004, 2008-2021).

In demand for his expertise as a teacher, he has guest taught at professional ballet schools throughout Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. As a choreographer, he has created ballets such as Strauss Spectacular, Peter and the Wolf, and Counterpointe in addition to smaller works. He has also staged classical works like La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Giselle, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Paquita, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. Yuri was featured in Northern Virginia Magazine's December 2007 issue. ("A Dream Long Pas Deux: Russian Ballet Dancers Find Their Ideal Stage in America", p. 99). Most recently, Yuri was awarded "Outstanding Teacher" at the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Youth America Grand Prix.

 
Jasmine Nikitenko
Ballet, Character, Conditioning

A Manassas native, Jasmine Nikitenko she received her early ballet training from Ricardo Moreira, Vycheslav Mesropov, and Leslee Gearhart. She was accepted to the summer intensives of the Joffrey Ballet School, Richmond Ballet School, and the Washington Ballet School in 1994 and chose to attend the latter. In 1996, she was offered a coveted place at the Virginia Governor's School of Visual and Performing Arts.

As a professional dancer around the D.C. Metropolitan area, Jasmine studied with ballet masters D. Tuboltsev, I. Stabrova, I. Sapotko, A. Saburov, V. Mesropov and her husband, Yuri while performing classical and character soloist roles in ballets like Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, and The Nutcracker, among others. She has also staged excerpts from classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Coppelia, and The Sleeping Beauty.

Jasmine has taught at professional schools throughout Virginia and Maryland and was also on the faculty of Loudoun County Public School's Summer in the Arts Program. She received her BA in History from George Mason University in 2006 where her thesis on Agrippina Vaganova's impact on the revolution of Russian ballet (Krasnaya Terpsikhora) was submitted by Professor Rex Wade to the Southern Conference of Slavic Studies for its Undergraduate Award. She has been accepted to GMU's Masters' Program and will pursue an MA in History. While at GMU, she received an invitation to study in Cambridge University, England's History Department.

Jasmine's students have won awards at Youth America Grand Prix 2006-2021 (Hope Award, 1st-3rd place, Top 12) as well as other regional dance competitions. Additionally, she has been accepted into the Bolshoi Academy's Teacher Training Program as well as provisionally accepted into the Pedagogical Department of the Almaty University of Dramatic Arts in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She was awarded "Outstanding Teacher" at the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Youth America Grand Prix.




 

Faculty

 
Igor Sapotko
Ballet, Character

Bio coming soon.

 
Olivia Herritt
Ballet, Tap

Growing up in Winchester, Virginia, Olivia Herritt studied ballet, tap, and jazz at Inwood Performing Arts and at The Academy of Russian Ballet where she was a founding member of Northern Virginia Ballet. She holds ten years of experience teaching children with ages ranging from toddlers learning to take their first steps, to middle school aged students earning their first pair of pointe shoes.

Olivia teaches ballet and tap to lower school students and successfully prepares young dancers for transition into the pre-professional program. Her students have been accepted to the American Ballet Theatre Summer Program, Bolshoi Ballet Summer Program, and Royal Ballet School Summer Intensive. Ms. Cintron’s classes stress proper technique and placement in a structured, encouraging, and fun atmosphere. Students also learn social skills such as patience, cooperation, respect, teamwork and self-control. Students learn the importance of dedication, hard work, collaboration amongst peers, and achieving personal best. She also has experience working in academic settings with preschool, elementary and middle-school students as well as with infants and toddlers in day-care settings.

Olivia graduated from George Mason University in 2020 with BA in Sociology concentrating in Childhood Education with and a Minor in Arts Management. She is currently pursuing her MA at George Mason University in Arts Administration.

 
Sara Petrosian
Ballet, Character

Bio coming soon.

 
Julie DeGregario Ohrnberger
Modern, Jazz

Originally from Northern Virginia, Julie DeGregario Ohrnberger graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance and the Excellence in Performance Award. She has lived in New York City and performed with Australian modern dance company, CoreDance Contemporary. She spent two seasons in Houston, TX dancing with Houston METdance, where she performed works by Camille Brown, Kate Skarpetowska, Larry Keigwin, and Joshua Peugh, to name a few.

Julie is excited to be back in the D.C. area teaching dance full-time in Herndon, VA , dancing with Dakshina Dance Company, and teaching dance to elementary students in Fairfax County Public Schools. Julie is an MA candidate with University of North Carolina focusing on Dance and Pedagogy.

 
Courtney Washington
Modern, Jazz, Ballet

Bio coming soon.

 
Rachel Mills
Ballet

Bio coming soon.

 
Faith Housley
Ballet

Bio coming soon.

 
Jenelle Myrkalo
Ballet

Bio coming soon.




 

Staff

 

Kimberly Henderson - Office Manager
Russ Keating - Technical Director
Koff Chiropractic - Official Chiropractors



 

Guest Faculty and Master Classes

 

ARB holds Master Classes with renowned teachers and dancers periodically throughout the year and during the summer. Past Master Instructors have included Igor Sapotko, Alisher Saburov, Ninel Cherevko, Vadim Bogomolov, Nickolai Balatsenko, Regina Bogomolova, Ivan Korneev, Bat Erdene Udval, Evgenia Singur, Dmitri Malikov, Anastasia Babayeva, and more! Master Classes are scheduled outside of regularly scheduled class time and are highly recommended for our Intermediate and Advanced level students.