Our Instructors

Learn the Vaganova Method from professionals who experienced it at the highest quality.


Galina Alexandrova

Artistic Director

Galina Alexandrova was born in Moscow, Russia to parents who were principal dancers with various companies. Galina's father, Mikhail, was a soloist with the Moiseyev Dance Company, and her mother, Svetlana (pictured above), was a principal with the Stanislavsky Ballet in Moscow for over 20 years.
At the age of ten, Galina was accepted to the legendary Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. After graduating, Galina was personally selected by Artistic Director Yuri Grigorovich to become a member of the Bolshoi Ballet. Galina danced there for seven years, performing many soloist roles in all of the Bolshoi's repertoire.
After meeting her American husband Ken, Galina immigrated to the U.S. (San Francisco), where she joined the San Francisco Ballet. While with the company, she performed many soloist roles in works by George Balanchine, Lew Christensen, Helgi Tomasson and many more. She also worked directly with world-class choreographers such as James Kudelka, David Bintley, and Glen Tetley.
Galina continued to dance even after the birth of her two elder children, Sasha and Katia. After the birth of her third child, Nastia, Galina retired from professional dancing.
In 2003, the opportunity to become Artistic Director of City Ballet presented itself. Already equipped with vast knowledge from her own training and career in both Russia and America, Galina was further mentored by her mother Svetlana Afanasieva, a master teacher at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in the art of teaching the Vaganova syllabus. Over her tenure as Artistic Director, Galina has built an international reputation for the school as being one of the finest Vaganova training facilities in North America. Since becoming Artistic Director, many of Galina's students have gone on to dance professionally on companies such as ABT, Dutch National Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Semper - Oper Ballet Dresden, Germany, Austin Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Colorado Ballet as well as many more around the world.
We are very proud to work in partnership with Galina’s own ballet school , The Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia where Galina’s top students have travelled numerous times to study at the illustrious school. In fact, Galina’s students were the first ever American women to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.
Ms. Alexandrova has been featured in Dance Teacher Magazine, Pointe Magazine, and Dance Magazine. She has been named outstanding teacher 6 times by the Youth America Grand Prix.


Nikolai Kabaniaev

Boys'/Men's Director

Nikolai Kabaniaev has been in the field of classical ballet for over 40 years. He is a graduate of the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, and before immigrating to America in 1989,  danced for seven years with the world renowned Kirov Ballet (Mariinsky). There, he performed various soloist and principal roles in such ballets like Giselle, Les Sylphides, Cinderella, Paquita, Nutcracker, Napoli and Fountain of Bahchisarai.
Mr. Kabaniaev served as Associate Artistic Director, Choreographer and Men's Technique and Partnering instructor for the Kirov Academy Ballet of Washington DC for three years  He represented Kirov Academy as a judge at the 2011 Youth America Grand Prix New York Finals and 2012 Japan Grand Prix in Tokyo. 
Mr. Kabaniaev has choreographed over 30 original ballets for numerous companies around the United States and abroad including: Miami City Ballet and Maximum Dance Company in Miami, Florida, Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC, New Orleans Ballet Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana , Faruk Rusimatov Touring Company in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nevada Festival Ballet in Reno, Nevada, Maui Ballet in Maui, Hawaii, Ballet Fantastique in Monterey, California and many more.  
Mr. Kabaniaev has staged classical repertoire such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, La Bayadere, Paquita, Nutcracker, Chopeniana, La Silphide, Le Spectre de la Rose and La Vivandiere to name a few. 
Mr. Kabaniaev has taught ballet classes for San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Ballet School, Boston Ballet, Maui Ballet, Mazatlan Ballet (Mexico), Reiko Ivache Ballet (Japan), Diablo Ballet, Contra Costa Ballet and Company C Contemporary Ballet in Walnut Creek, California.


Marianna Lobanova

Ballet Technique, Variations & Character

Marianna Lobanova is classically trained in the technique and aesthetic of the Russian-based Vaganova method of classical ballet. After graduating from Russia's Saratov Ballet Academy in 1976 she danced as a soloist at Lvov Theater of Opera and Ballet. In 1980 Ms. Lobanova began her pedagogical career at Saratov Ballet Academy where she worked as lead pedagogue and methodist until 2005. Madame Lobanova holds a Master's Degree in Theater Arts from  GITIS, a prestigious State Institute of Theater Arts in Moscow, Russia as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Pedagogy of Classical Ballet from Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. Between 2005 and 2017 Madame Lobanova taught at the Academy of Dance in Mexico City and at Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington DC.

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Ruzana Iremashvili

Ballet Technique, Variations & Character

Ruzana Iremashvili is originally from Tbilisi, Georgia. She started her ballet studies at the V. Chabukiani’s Tbilisi State Choreographic School, graduating as a Ballet Artist. Without delay, she joined the State Ballet of Georgia, whose Artistic Director is Nina Ananiashvili - a famous Prima-Ballerina of the Bolshoi Theatre and contemporary of Galina's. With the State Ballet of Georgia, Ms. Iremashvili danced solo roles in Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Laurencia, Don Quixote, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, touring with the company to Israel, China, Armenia and other countries. While dancing in the company, she worked with renowned choreographers such as Giorgi Aleksidze, Michael Lavrovsky, Yuri Grigorovich and many others. 
Ruzana also attended the Tbilisi State University of Culture where she majored as a Ballet and Character Dance teacher/choreographer and earned her Bachelor Degrees in Dance. From 2010-2017, she lived to Miami, Florida and joined the Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet as a Ballet and Character Dance Teacher-Choreographer. She choreographed numerous pieces for students of Vladimir Issaev’s School of Classical Ballet, and worked at its Summer Intensive Program with renowned guest teachers such as Elena Zabalkanskaya, Andrey Bossov, Larissa Ponomarenko. From 2016-2017, she doubled as a Ballet teacher/choreographer and judge for student choreography at the Miami Arts Charter School. Before joining City Ballet, Ruzana guested as a Ballet and Character teacher at numerous Summer Intensives and was a full-time teacher/choreographer at Soo Dance Company and Academy.

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Marina Alexandrova

Guest Master Teacher

Ms. Alexandrova was born in Moscow, Russia and graduated from the world renowned Moscow Academy of Choreography (Bolshoi Academy), where she graduated with honors. Upon her graduation, Marina was selected from the school to become a member of the Bolshoi Ballet. While there she danced in virtually all of the Bolshoi's repertoire, highlighted by rich classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Spartacus and many others. Marina danced solo roles in both operas and ballets such as Ivan Susanin, Prince Igor and Mazeppa. 
In 1991 she became a principal ballerina in the Moscow Festival Ballet, where she traveled the world dancing many of the lead roles. In 2003, she was awarded as an "Honored Artist of the Russian Federation." In 2006 Ms. Alexandrova graduated with honors from the Russian Academy of Theatrical Art with a degree in ballet pedagogy.

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Svetlana Scherba

Stretch & Strengthening

Svetlana received her training in Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics at the world renowned Zaporozhye Gymnastics School in Ukraine. The school produced many Ukraine and Soviet National Champions, World Champions and Olympic medalists. Her ballet training was an organic part of the gymnastics school program. Later, Svetlana continued her rhythmic gymnastics training in Minsk, Belarus under the tutoring of the Belarus National Team coaches. She is a recipient of the Master of Sports of the U.S.S.R. in Rhythmic Gymnastics Achievement Award and has won numerous national and international competitions. She is also a graduate of the Belarus Institute of Physical Education and Sports, with a Bachelor of Science in Gymnastics Training and Exercise Therapy, given with distinction.
Stretching and strengthening are a huge part of all levels at City Ballet, and with exercises specifically designed to enhance ballet technique we feel nobody does it better than Svetlana Scherba.

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Brett Conway


A native of Fort Wayne, IN, Brett Conway began his professional career in 2002 where he joined Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet in San Francisco. For eight years he collaborated with Alonzo on numerous original works and toured extensively thought the U.S. and Europe. Brett received an Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2009 for his performance in King’s Rasa. In 2010, Brett moved to the Netherlands to join Nederlands Dans Theater 1. While at NDT, Brett had the great privilege to work with choreographers Jiri Kylian, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, Mats Ek, Crystal Pite and Ohad Naharin amongst others, and perform their work throughout the Netherlands and in some of the most prestigious opera houses around the world. Brett relocated back to San Francisco where he returned to LINES Ballet for the 2015/2016 Season and is now currently a freelance artist and on faculty with the LINES Ballet Educational Programs.

Featured Guest Faculty & Past Choreographers

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Yuri Zhukov

World Renowned Choreographer & Ballet Master

Amy Seiwert

Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet

Yuri Possokhov

World Renowned Choreographer & Ballet Master

Muriel Maffre

Ballet/Dancing Legend & Master Teacher

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Suki Schorer

Balanchine Ballet Master

Nicholas Korkos

Contemporary Dancer & Master Teacher

Lupe Calzadilla

Ballet Legend & Master Teacher

Christopher Stowell

Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada

Behind the Scenes

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Ken Patsel

Executive Director

Kathy Brown

Administrative Director
Head Costumer

Katia Patsel

Operations Manager