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. At age fifteen she received a full scholarship to attend The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet,  under the direction of Bo and Stephanie Spassoff and studied with master instructors such as Olga Kostritzky, Gloria Govrin, Suki Schorer, and Jacques D’Amboise. At age seventeen she received a full scholarship with Richmond Ballet under the direction of Stoner Winslett.  Melissa has performed lead rolls including Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker, Juliet in Romeo in Juliet, Swanilda in Copellia, and Cinderella.   After serving on the faculty for more than 20 years, 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.  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. 

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 a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Pittsburgh and has been an elementary special education teacher for Frederick County Public Schools since moving to the Winchester area in 2002. 

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 dance teams, cheer squads, clubs, and performers of all ages and levels. Jennifer instructed yoga as adjunct faculty Shenandoah University from 2004 to 2020. 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.                                                                            

Taylor Tyser, Ballet and Pointe
Taylor began dancing at age 3 years and immediately fell in love with ballet. Her formal training was gained at a variety of ballet schools in Maryland and West Virginia. In addition, she attended summer programs at the Toledo Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, and Point Park University. Taylor earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from George Mason University in May 2017 and joined Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet faculty in January 2018. Taylor intends to make her classes a positive and encouraging environment for every student.

Faith’s dance training began at Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet and performing with the Virginia Youth Ballet. She attended the highly acclaimed Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) summer programs. At age seventeen, she moved to Alice Springs, Australia, where she studied and taught at the Alice Springs Ballet Academy and performed with the Duprada Dance Company. She continued to teach dance upon returning to the United States and earning a Bachelor of the Arts in Philosophy and Theology. Since moving back to the Northern Virginia area she has been delighted to return to Vostrikov’s and be a part of the studio where she grew up learning to love the art of dance.

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 programs with the Virginia School of the Arts 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