Alexandru Glushacov (Artistic Director, Ballet, Character) has over 20 years of experience as a professional dancer. He trained at the Academy of Ballet of Republic of Moldova. Upon graduation, he joined the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Republic of Moldova where he quickly became a first soloist dancer. He later moved to Moscow and joined the Russian Classical Ballet and then the Russian State Ballet. With these companies he toured extensively throughout Europe and the United States. Mr. Glushacov has danced around the country as a guest artist including with Colorado Ballet. His repertoire includes soloist and principal roles in ballets like Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Don Quixote and many others, as well as contemporary performances. As an instructor, with over 10 years of experience, he has successfully staged full length ballets and coached variations for competitions. His students have been accepted to major classical Summer Intensive Programs and to professional companies around the country. Mr. Glushacov has a degree in pedagogy in dance from the Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts, Moldova.
Melissa Zoebisch (Artistic Director, Ballet) grew up in Mexico and studied at the Chamber Ballet of Jalisco. She was awarded a scholarship to attend the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Ms. Sizova’s class, returning to Mexico to graduate in 2004. In 2005, Ms. Zoebisch joined the National Dance Company, where she danced soloist roles in ballets like Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Carmen, and other performances. She was a finalist at the Korea International Ballet Competition in 2010 and the recipient of a Special Award KIBC. Ms. Zoebisch is currently a demi-soloist with Colorado Ballet, where she has performed roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker), Lilac Fairy (Sleeping Beauty), Myrtha (Giselle), pas de trois (Swan Lake), Wicked Witch (The Wizard of Oz), as well as contemporary choreographies by Jiří Kylián, Twylan Tharp, Edwaard Liang, among others. As a teacher, Ms. Zoebisch has over 10 years of experience in which she has successfully coached students that made it into the YAGP finals in NYC; 3rd place winner at the Denver Ballet Guild, and Emily's Inspiration Award recipient. She has also staged full length ballets including "Giselle", "Coppelia", "Sleeping Beauty", "Don Quixote" and "The Nutcracker". Many of her students have been accepted to trainee programs at major national and international schools, dance college programs, as well as professional companies around the country.
David Taylor (Artistic Director Emeritus, Ballet, Dance History) has been professionally involved in the Colorado dance community for the past fifty years. During the course of a twelve-year dance career, he began choreographing in 1976, and since then has created well over 100 original works. In 1979, he founded the David Taylor Dance Theatre, which, for thirty-two years, was recognized as one of the Rocky Mountain region’s most acclaimed dance organizations, and Denver’s original contemporary ballet company. Mr. Taylor has received three National Endowment for the Arts grant awards along with the City and County of Denver’s first Individual Artist Fellowship award for dance, and in March of 1997, he and his company were proud recipients of the State of Colorado’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has been commissioned to create ballets for Opera Colorado, the Colorado Symphony, the Denver Chamber Orchestra, the Museum of Outdoor Arts and the Up Close and Musical Ensemble, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Colorado Wind Ensemble, and for the Dayton Ballet in Ohio. He has also staged works for the Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet, the Lone Star Ballet of Amarillo, Texas, Western Wyoming Community College, Colorado Mesa University and the Canyon Concert Ballet and his original and innovative productions of “The Nutcracker” and “Rainforest” garnered national critical recognition and were booked extensively across the United States for twenty years. Mr. Taylor has additionally served as a Board member for the Mayor’s Commission on Cultural Affairs, as the Vice President for the Colorado Dance Alliance, as a peer panel member for the Colorado Council on the Arts, and in 2008 received the Carson-Brierly Dance Library’s prestigious “Living Legends of Dance” Award. Currently, Mr. Taylor teacher for Denver Ballet Theatre, where he previously served as Artistic Director for eight years.
Marian Faustino (Contemporary, PBT) began her career in the Philippines, training and performing with the country’s two premiere dance organizations: Ballet Manila, 2002, and Ballet Philippines, 2008. She has danced soloist & principal roles in full-length classics which include The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Giselle, Swan Lake andLe Corsaire; and has been a part of the creative process for a number of original neo-ethnic Filipino works that have been showcased across the Philippines, Southeast Asia, Russia, and the United States. As a representative of the Philippines, Marian was also awarded semi-finalist and finalist certificates respectively from the Moscow and Nagoya International Ballet Competitions. After relocating to the United States, Marian danced for Dance Theater of Tennessee, 2010, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, 2011, and was a pioneering member of the collaborative contemporary ballet company, Wonderbound, 2013. Marian is a recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and was a finalist for the Denver Art Museum Creative-in-Residence Grant (2016). Recent freelance work includes Farewell My Lovely for choreographer Kevin Jenkins and The Pearlfishersat The Lyric Opera of Chicago, choreographed by John Malashock.
Andrea Blankstein (Ballet) was born in Borås, Sweden, she began her ballet training with Mary Moe Adams at Adams Ballet Academy in Tempe, Arizona. At the age of sixteen she was awarded the Bartholin Prize at the Bartholin International Ballet Seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark. Upon the invitation of world renowned ballet danseur Peter Schaufuss she joined the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Germany where she danced a wide range of ballets and roles including a pas de trois created on her by Bill T. Jones and Candide in Sleeping Beauty by Peter Schaufuss. Ms. Blankstein joined the Cleveland/San Jose Ballet upon her return to the United States, later joining Ballet Arizona and danced as a guest artist with Milwaukee Ballet. Ms. Blankstein was a principal dancer with Virginia Ballet Theatre for two seasons and performed various leading roles including the Sugar Plum Fairy, Romeo and Juliet pas de deux, Sleeping Beauty pas de deux and the White Couple from Les Patineurs with her husband Mark Otloski. She was a guest principal dancer with Albany Berkshire Ballet and Great Lakes Festival Ballet for The Nutcracker. Ms. Blankstein performed with Ohio Ballet for one season where Domey Reiter-Stoffer created the role of Miss Jessel for her in The Turn of the Screw. She was a principal with State Street Ballet, performing Michaela in Bill Soleau's Carmen. There she also performed the Rat Queen in The Nutcracker as well as the Pas de Six from Napoli. Andrea was an original member of Ballet Theater of Ohio dancing all the principal roles, including Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, the Sugar Plum and the Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and the Pink couple in Heinz Poll's Summer Night. During this time she performed the role of Cinderella with Ballet Western Reserve in Richard Dickinson's Cinderella. For the past ten years to current Andrea has been a guest principal with Hawaii Ballet Theatre, director Charlys Ing, performing the role of Clara in The Nutcracker. Andrea has performed the roles of The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker, Odette from Act II of Swan Lake, the principal ballerina in Les Sylphide and Marie Taglioni in Pas de Quatre with City Ballet of Cleveland. With her 25 years of teaching experience she brings a great knowledge and expertise in the art of ballet, pointe and repertoire.
Marcelina Lancaster (Preballet, Ballet) is originally from Miami, Florida. She began her training at the early age of four at South Florida Ballet. From there she moved on to Miami City Ballet School where she studied for a year before moving to Colorado. In Colorado, she continued her training at Colorado Ballet’s academy for about five years. Marcelina has also spent summers at Miami City Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. During her two years in Colorado Ballet’s Pre Professional Trainee Program she had the opportunity to perform in the Snowflake Corps with the company during The Nutcracker. Marcella joined Ballet Ariel immediately after graduating high school as an apprentice for the 2018-2019 season where she performed along the company in A Tale of Molly Brown, The Nutcracker, Ballerinas by Degas, Swan Lake, and Mother Goose Fairy Tales. She is excited to start with Ballet Ariel as a company dancer this upcoming season.
Amy Fong (Preballet) started dancing at the age of 3. She has studied ballet and jazz for many years. Amy was one of the original 20 dancers in the Junior Grand Rapids Civic Ballet Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She trained with the company for over ten years, performing all over Greater Michigan. Amy studied with instructors from all over the country. She has performed roles from Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Carmen and more. Amy has been teaching dance for over 10 years, she says it was one of the best things she has ever done. Her passion is to watch young dancers grow into beautiful ballerinas. She is thankful to be an intricate part of this wonderful experience.
Holly Oksendahl (Preballet) began her dance training with the Pueblo Civic Ballet at a young age before moving to the Denver area where she trained with the Denver Civic Ballet, Ballet Arts, and many other local ballet schools. She worked as a dance assistant for many years, training to teach. She has attended many dance workshops and teacher workshops throughout the country. Holly has taught at various studios throughout the Denver Metro area as well as in Nebraska and Wyoming. Many of Holly’s students have been awarded top honors at regional and national dance competitions. Her background also includes working with local schools choreographing for musicals and musical theater performances. Holly specializes in working with young dancers and has also worked extensively with students with disabilities. She loves to watch them learn, progress, and strives to make dance a magical and fun experience for all of her future ballerinas.
Pam Gleave (Tap) grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and couldn't wait to start dancing! At the age of 7, she stepped into her older sister's tap shoes, began taking lessons and fell in love with dance. She danced at her local ballet school throughout high school and started teaching tap at the age of 17. While pursuing a degree in Elementary Education at Westminster College, she continued to pursue her dance education at the University of Utah. She had the opportunity to work with some of the great tap masters; Al Gilbert, Charles Kelley, Roland Dupree, Joe Tremaine, Debbie Dee, Savion Glover and many more. After moving to Denver with her husband, she owned and operated her own dance school in Englewood, CO for nine years. Her students gave benefit performances, competed in many competitions and traveled out of state. It was at this time that Pam and her family were blessed with their only child, Hallie. Pam continued to teach all ages of dancers in the Denver metro area, and in January of 2010, she started teaching with the Academy of Colorado Ballet and is now so very happy to be teaching with Denver Ballet Theatre Academy.