Lauren Denney

Ballet West II; Ballet West, Salt Lake City, Utah 2012-

Lauren is from San Clemente, CA. She trained at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy for seven years. She then joined the Ballet West Professional Training Division from 2012-2013 (while simultaneously completing her senior year of high school), after which she was invited to join Ballet West II in 2013. Lauren was a Senior Age Division winner at Seattle Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in 2012, participant in the Spotlight Music Award Semi-Finals in 2010-2012. Danced with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and 2011. Invited to tour with YAGP and Invited to dance in The Miami Dance Festival and The Anaheim Dance Festival.



Jennifer Grace
2013 Spotlight Music Awards – 1st Place
Tulsa Ballet, (Corps de ballet) Tulsa, Oklahoma 2013-

Jennifer Grace is from Bozeman, Montana and started her early training at The Dance Center, a local studio. She moved to California to train at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy in 2009. Jennifer has attended summer intensives at The Kirov Academy of Washington D.C., The Bolshoi Ballet Academy New York and DKCBA. At the Youth America Grand Prix International Competition finals she placed in the top twelve in junior (2011) and senior division (2012-2013).
Jennifer also competed in the Moscow International Ballet Competition of 2013. Her repertoire includes pieces from Sleeping Beauty, Talisman, Paquita, La Esmerelda, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire and The Nutcracker, as well as Balanchine’s Serenade and Walpurgisnacht.


Gianna Cassidenti

University of Utah, Department of Ballet






Kaelie Mann

Boston Conservatory

Kaelie Mann is a Senior attending The Boston Conservatory, Dance Division working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance (Class of 2014). Kaelie began her training with Classical Ballet Academy’s founder, Maria Lazar, then continued her training under Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy with Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev. Throughout Kaelie’s career with DKCBA, she had been awarded many featured solos, including Titania, Sugar Plum Fairy, Rosebud, and Swanilda. Throughout her training with DKCBA, Kaelie participated in numerous ballet/contemporary competitions, both national and internationally, placing in the top 12 in the Youth American Grand Prix many times, thus being invited to compete in the YAGP New York Finals. In addition to attending and teaching classes at Dmitri Kulev ballet’s summer intensives, Kaelie has attended summer intensives across the country, including the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York, Ballet West, Washington School of Ballet, and the Kirov Academy. At Boston Conservatory, Kaelie has performed in Spring Works 2011 (Psalm) and in Trey McIntyre’s Blue Until June Suite.


Sam ZaldivarSam Zaldivar

Royal Ballet School, London 2011-2014

Boston Ballet 2014-

DKCBA Alumnus, Sam Zaldivar, studied under Dmitri and Jennifer, from the start of his serious ballet training at the age of 9. Over his years at DKCBA, Sam was recognized as a soloist by the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Scholarship Competition with Junior Division Grand Prix awards at YAGP Regional Competitions in 2009 and 2010, Junior Division Silver Medalist at the 2009 YAGP Finals in New York City and Junior Division Grand Prix at the NYC Finals in March of 2010. He was also named Honorable Mention in his Freshman Year, at the 2010 Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards for high school aged students, and followed this accomplishment by winning top prize in the 2011 edition of Spotlight Awards.

Sam has performed by invitation at International Ballet Festivals in Miami and Anaheim, California and in Irvine, California’s Protégé and Stars festival, as well as New York City’s 2009 Pestov Gala, 2010’s YAGP Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala, and in May of 2010 Sam performed as the only non-professional soloist in the Peter Pestov Gala sponsored by the Bilateral Obama-Medvedev Presidential Commission Cultural Cooperation Program, in Moscow, Russia. In the early months of 2011, Sam toured the East Coast in a YAGP-sponsored Stars of Tomorrow gala tour.

He has been awarded scholarships to study with some of the most prestigious youth ballet programs, such as Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Canadian National Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and John Crancko’s Stuttgart School of Ballet. In March of 2011, Sam was awarded a full scholarship and is continuing his studies at The Royal Ballet School in London.


Mara JacobucciMara Jacobucci

Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music

Mara Jacobucci is a 2013 graduate of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. As a part of the Indiana University Ballet Theater and Hutton Honors College, and a recipient of an IU Prestige Scholarship, she received a BS in Ballet with an Outside Field in Spanish, as well as a certificate in Arts Administration. Growing up in Laguna Niguel, California, Mara began attending ballet classes at the age of three at Classical Ballet Academy with Maria Lazar. After stopping ballet for several years, she began more serious ballet training at the age of ten and continued taking classes at the new Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy with Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev. Under the instruction and coaching of Dmitri and Jennifer, Mara participated in the Youth American Grand Prix from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, she won third place at the Los Angeles Semi-Finals, earning a spot in the New York Finals. She has attended summer intensives across the country, including the Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive with Roberto Munoz and Melinda Roy, The Washington School of Ballet, and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Since becoming a member of IUBT, Mara has performed in Joshua Bergasse’s Baker Dances, Michael Vernon’s the Nutcracker, and George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, Paul Taylor’s Company B, and was featured in Dwight Rhoden’s Dear Frédéric. Mara will be featured in the IU summer Musical Theater production of Swing.

 Tami Endow

UCI Dance Program 2011-



Michelle Slauson

UCI Dance Program 2011-



Kaitlyn SnyderKaitlyn Snyder

California State University, Long Beach


Kaitlyn Snyder is in her Senior year at California State University, Long Beach. She is working towards a Bachelors Degree in Dance with a minor in Journalism. Kaitlyn grew up as a Southern Orange County local, and began dancing at the age of 3 under Classical Ballet Academy  founder, Maria Lazar. Kaitlyn then continued her ballet training under Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev. She performed in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Paquita, Stars and Stripes, and many more under the direction of Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev. While dancing at DKCBA, Kaitlyn’s love of ballet grew along with her interest in modern dance. She studied modern technique under former DKCBA teacher William Lu, and current teacher L.J. Tashiro-Naffarette. Kaitlyn has attended many DKCBA summer intensives along with local modern company Backhausdance summer intensive. As a CSULB dance student, Kaitlyn recently performed a modern trio, The Pull and Prod, choreographed by a fellow dance major, along with taking ballet and modern dance classes daily. Kaitlyn currently runs a blog about arts on campus and hopes to dance professionally or work for a nonprofit organization that promotes arts awareness and education.



Erica Ty

The School of Dance at Mason

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA



Kaitlin Herndon

Texas Christian University

Kaitlin Herndon is a senior working towards a BFA in ballet at Texas Christian University’s School for Classical and Contemporary Dance (Class of 2014). A recipient of TCU’s Dean’s Scholarship, she is also working towards a minor in Movement Science. Kaitlin began studying ballet at the age of ten under Maria Lazar, and continued her training with Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy. During this time, Kaitlin performed corps and solo roles in DKCBA’s yearly production of The Nutcracker, as well as works such as A Midsummer Nights Dream, Paqita, Firebird, and Cinderella. Kaitlin has also performed in pieces by L.J. Tashiro Nafarette and world-renowned choreographer Viktor Kabanaiev, and has attended many of DKCBA’s summer intensives. Since coming to TCU, she has continued to study dance with the TCU SCCD faculty. While at TCU, Kaitlin has performed in Terrence Orr’s Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s Serenade staged by Michelle Gifford, and Armando Luna’s Four Elements, as well as works by Li-Chou Cheng, Elizabeth Gillaspy and Susan Jaffe. She has also danced in several senior choreography works, and performed with TCU SCCD at the American College Dance Festival (ACDF) the past two years. Kaitlin is currently serving on the executive board of TCU’s Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honors Society, and hopes to put her dance training to use in the professional world after graduation.



Chenoa Rangel

Dawson Wallace Dance Project, Denver

Chenoa Rangel began studying dance at Classical Ballet Academy in Aliso Viejo, CA under the direction of Maria Lazar and later Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev.  She spent a summer in Saratoga, NY studying with Melinda Roy and Roberto Munoz as well.  Chenoa then went on to attend Pacific Northwest Ballet School on scholarship, was a guest in the Apprentice Program with Dresden Semperoper Ballet and Palucca Schule Dresden, and recently graduated from the Training Program at Alonzo King LINES Ballet School.  She has performed works by Kent Stowell, Bruce Wells, Sonia Dawkins, Kara Davis, Yannis Adoniou, Maurya Kerr, and Keelan Whitmore.  She is currently in her first season with Dawson Wallace Dance Project a Denver based contemporary ballet company where she has performed works by James Wallace, Gregory Dawson, and David Taylor.


 Armando Yearwood

Armando is a singer, actor and dancer who lives in Los Angeles, CA. He studied with Dmitri Kulev Ballet Academy and appeared in Midsummer’s Night Dream, among other productions. His commercial work includes various music videos for artists including Chiddy Bang, Kelly Clarkson, Chris Brown and David Guetta. Armando was the Pink Swan in Vince Offers’ film Underground Comedy. Theater credits include: Suessical: The Musical at the Redondo Beach Civic Light Opera, Twist: An American Musical, directed by Debbie Allen and In The Heights national tour, directed by Michael Balderrama.
Armando is currently traveling around the world with West Side Story.