Gennadi Vostrikov, Director Emeritus
Gennadi Vostrikov was born in Siberia, Russia, USSR, and received his early training in Perm. The young Mr. Vostrikov studied with the renowned ballet masters Plaht and Asaular. Mr. Vostrikov’s talents were recognized when he was awarded the first degree diploma in the Leningrad Ballet Competition. Upon graduation he was asked to join the world-renowned Moiseyev Classical Ballet Company. While with the Moiseyev Company he was coached by the legendary ballet masters Moiseyev, Assaf Messerer, and Sulamif Messerer. The Moiseyev Company frequently traveled worldwide, and it was during one of those many tours that Mr. Vostrikov saw the possibility for freedom and defected while in Mexico. After gaining asylum the Mexico Ballet Company prompted him to join their company as a principal dancer and teacher. The Pittsburg Ballet Theatre (PBT) heard of his defection and requested that he join PBT. While with the PBT he performed numerous principal roles in ballets including The Nutcracker, Prince Igor, Rite of Spring, Spectra de la Rose, Carmena Burana, Coppelia, Cinderella, Giselle, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Corsaire Pas de Deux, La Bayadere, and Don Quixote. He has also performed with the Pittsburgh Opera, was a principal with the Chicago Ballet and the Milwaukee Ballet, was an associate professor of dance with the University of Alabama in Birmingham and with Shenandoah University, and was Director of Ballet Zuilia in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Additionally, he is a guest teacher and choreographer with the following companies and schools: Cumberland Ballet, New Castle Ballet, Williamsburg Chamber Ballet, Louisiana Dance Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, Pittsburgh Youth Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. He is also a master teacher with several national and regional ballet festivals.
Susan Vostrikov, Director Emeritus
Mrs. Vostrikov received a scholarship to attend the National Academy of Ballet and Theatre Arts High School in New York City at age 14. Upon graduation she began her professional career as a dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. After dancing with Pittsburgh Ballet, Susan joined the University of Alabama Ballet in Birmingham as principal dancer and teacher at the UAB school. Further engagements with ballet companies included Chicago Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Zulia in Venezuela, as well as numerous guest appearances throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo and South America. Her most noted roles as a performer include “Juliet,” “Spectre De La Rose,” “Red Poppy Pas De Deux,” and “Clara,” “Snow Queen,” and the “Sugar Plum Fairy” in The Nutcracker. In addition to artistic director of the Virginia Youth Ballet and Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet, she serves as guest faculty with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Louisiana Dance in Shreveport and New Castle Ballet.
Melissa Kauffmann, Director, Ballet and Pointe
Melissa began classical ballet training at the Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Her continued dancing at The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet having received full scholarship at age fifteen, under the direction of Bo and Stephanie Spassoff and master instructors such as Olga Kostritzky, Gloria Govrin, Suki Schorer, and Jacques D’Amboise, and then at The Richmond Ballet with full scholarship at age seventeen. Melissa has performed lead rolls including Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo in Juliet, Swanilda in Copellia, and Cinderella. Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Education and Administration from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York; Teacher Training Certification with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet; Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University; Montessori Certification through the American Montessori Society; and level one Orff-Schulwerk music pedagogy certification from the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. In addition to her work with Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet and Virginia Youth Ballet, Melissa is a Speech-Language Pathologist with Winchester Rehabilitation Center. In 2017 Melissa became the Director of Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet and Virginia Youth Ballet and is proud to continue the legacy of Mr. and Mrs. Vostrikov.
Elizabeth Sager- Modern, Jazz, and Tap
Beth graduated with a BA in Dance from James Madison University in 1995. Following graduation she moved to Pittsburgh, PA, to dance with the Mary Miller Dance Company and work with Pittsburgh Dance Alloy. In 1996 she co-founded a non-profit modern dance company, Labco Dance. Elizabeth co-directed and danced with Labco Dance for the next 5 years, as well as taught ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, tumbling, and yoga at local dance and fitness schools. In 2000, she received her Masters in Special Education for the University of Pittsburgh. She moved to Winchester in 2002 and has been teaching elementary special education for Frederick County Public Schools ever since.
Jennifer Turman Bayliss- Pre-Ballet/Pre-Tap, Ballet, Tap
Jennifer holds a BA in Arts Studies (99) and a BS in Psychology (01) from Shenandoah University. She is the owner/ director of the Sunshine Studio, has been sharing her love of dance, movement, and performance with all age ages and populations for 25 years. She has coached, directed, choreographed and conditioned for dance teams, cheer squads, clubs, and performers of all ages and levels. Jennifer has been adjunct faculty teaching yoga at Shenandoah University since 2004. Jennifer is a recognized RYT 200, RCYT (children), RPYT (prenatal) and has presented for yoga teacher trainings, yoga festivals, and health and wellness fairs. As a busy mama of three, Jennifer, is grateful to the Vostrikov’s community for supporting the arts, children, and making the studio always feel like a second home to all of our faculty, dancers, and families.
Claire Bloom- Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, Jazz, Hip-hop
Since beginning to dance at the age of two, Claire has studied at numerous dance schools in the
Loudoun County area, as well as attended summer camps at Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg
Virginia and Virginia Governor’s School. Her passion for dance did not lead her to the stage, but rather
to the classroom where she began as an assistant instructor at thirteen years old. Having spent the
majority of her career teaching at competitive dance schools, including Dance Academy of Loudoun in Leesburg, Virginia and Studio Bleu in Ashburn, Virginia, her work has achieved top awards in
choreography as well as 1st place titles both regionally and nationally. In her over twenty years as a
dance instructor and mentor, many of her students have become professional dancers and have
been featured on television shows such as Dance Moms, So You Think You Can Dance, and World of
Dance. Claire’s singular goal is to empower students to accomplish whatever they set out to do. Claire
currently resides in Winchester with her husband, Joe, and their two children, Kasper and Winnie.
Faith Lees Biddulph – Ballet and Pointe