Nazgul Ryskulova Shinn has been teaching ballet for the past ten years. Having experience teaching all age levels from toddlers to advanced, her students have gained great growth and success, as shown by them placing in various ballet competitions such as the YAGP, WBAC Grand Prix, Prix de Lausanne, Spotlight, and many more.
Nazgul received her training from the Almaty Ballet Academy in Kazakhstan. Upon graduation, she was invited to work at the Kyrgyz National Ballet Theater as a coryphée. She was then awarded a scholarship to study at the Kirov Ballet Academy in Washington D.C.; whereuponshe was recruited to work at the Universal Ballet Company, under the artistic direction of Oleg Vinogradov in Seoul, Korea.
As a dancer she has toured throughout Asia, Europe, and North America, including performances in Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, France, England, Austria, Canada, and the US. Her professional repertoire includes classical ballets such as La Sylphide, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, The Nutcracker, Chopiniana and Sleeping Beauty, as well as contemporary.
Marina Ten is currently one of the top teachers in Seoul, Korea from the Seoul Arts High School. Her past students have been successful in many ballet competitions, and several are dancing professionally. She has had numerous students qualify for the Prix de Lausanne every year for the past 7 years in addition to having success in other major competitions such as Tanzolymp in Berlin, Germany.
Marina graduated from the Novosibirsk Ballet Academy in Russia in 1997, where she began her training in the Vaganova method of ballet. Upon graduation, she was invited to dance at the Omsk Ballet Theater as a soloist. In 2004, she joined the Korea National Ballet Company in Seoul, Korea where she danced for 7 years as a soloist. Marina’s professional teaching career began in 2011 at the Korean National Ballet Academy. She furthered her teaching education by earning teaching certifications from the Moscow Ballet Academy (Bolshoi Ballet Academy) in 2012 and the A. Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg in 2015 under the tutelage of the top ballet masters in Russia. Marina was able to leverage her extensive experience and training under the Vaganova method of ballet, into her career as a top ballet instructor in Seoul. We are excited for Marina to bring that expertise to the Premier Ballet School of Orange County.
Gunta Liepina is a Fulbright scholar and dance artist from Latvia. She is a recent graduate from University of California, Irvine Dance MFA graduate, currently residing in Southern California. She got her BFA in dance in Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music and did an exchange in Rotterdam Dance Academy CODARTS. As a freelance dancer Gunta has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and United States. Significant performance experience includes Secret Arch, a contemporary solo performed in Beijing Dance Academy, performing in the Brazilian Embassy in Rome, tour in Italy with the Underwater Bubble Show, any many more. Gunta’s choreography has been showcased in University of California, Irvine Claire Trevor and xMPL theaters, SOKA University, Tor Vergata University in Rome, and in different venues in Latvia. She is currently performing with Kairos dance company (Artistic director Hazel Clarke), collaborating with independent choreographers and musicians and teaching all over Southern California.
Brandi Freas-Cusick, born and raised in Southern California, started dancing at the age of seven. In her younger years she trained at many studios all over Orange and Los Angles County. She started working professionally at the age of 16, and has been fortunate enough to travel the world dancing professionally. Her works include dancing for the Chinese New Year in Macau, China, five contracts at Tokyo Disney for "One Man's Dream 2", Holland America Cruise Line, Glory of Christmas, and Knotts Scary Farm. She has also performed for artists such as Heather Smalls, Zoey Badwi, and Ellenie Galestian. Film includes High School Musical 2 dancer, dancer for Panic at the Disco music video and various commercials for Tokyo Disney Resort. She has also performed for magicians such as Ed Alonzo, Chris Mitchell and Leo Ward, and has performed in multiple shows around Japan and here on the west coast. Her passion for dance is why she continues to expand her knowledge and expertise in the field, and is eager to share and teach others.
Miss Suzie has been under the tutelage of Ms. Naz for the past 4 years. Through the years, she has shown an excellent grasp of understanding the proper ballet technique and being able to convey this to her fellow students. Miss Suzie has also shown a strong passion for teaching as she has served as a teacher’s assistant the past 2 years, consistently helping to communicate to our younger students in class so that they are better able to apply the teacher’s corrections. Based on Miss Suzie’s natural ability in being able to connect with our younger students, she continues to serve as a teacher’s assistant to our Level 2 and 3 classes and teaches our Level 1 classes.
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