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 Largent, Director, Ballet and Pointe
Melissa Largent began classical ballet training with Gennadi and Susan Vostrikov and continued with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and The Richmond Ballet. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts Education and Administration from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York; a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University; Teacher Training with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet; 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 Public Schools.
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 and is the director of the Winchester Montessori School’s ballet and creative movement program. Jennifer is also the director of the liturgical dancers of Centenary United Church of Christ and has been with Frederick County parks and recreation since 2000. 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 at SU since 2004 sharing her love of yoga, created and directs the Young Yogis program at Winchester Montessori School, and is the office manager and a teacher at Jala Yoga. She is a recognized RYT 200, RCYT (children), RPYT (prenatal) and has practiced yoga for more than 25 years receiving numerous trainings and certifications and has presented for yoga teacher trainings, large and small festivals, health fairs and wellness days. Jennifer has facilitated and co-created wellness circles and energy camps for adults and children. As a busy mama of three, Jennifer, is grateful to the Vostrikov community for supporting the arts, children, and making the studio always feel like a second home to all of our faculty, families and dancers.
Elise Neufer- Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary
Faith Lees Biddulph – Ballet and Pointe