Faculty and Staff

Tish Cordova
Artistic Director, Virginia Ballet Company & School

Ms. Cordova began her training with Tatiana and Oleg Tupine in 1976 and performed many featured roles with Virginia Ballet Company. In 1986 she accepted a contract to dance with the Tulsa Ballet Theatre. As a soloist for Tulsa, Ms. Cordova performed principal roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Lev Ivanov’s Nutcracker, the Rancher’s Daughter in Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, and the High Priestess in Arthur Mitchell’s Rhythmetron. While with Tulsa, her repertoire expanded to include George Balanchine’s Mozart Violin Concerto, Lew Christensen’s Filling Station, Ruth Page’s Carmen and The Merry Widow, and Frederic Franklin’s Tribute. She has worked with many distinguished choreographers including Frederic Franklin, Peter Anastos, Larry Long and Esmerelda Agogliev. In 2004, Ms. Cordova assumed the title of Artistic Director of the Virginia Ballet Company and School and continues to teach the same standards and techniques that she was taught as a student by Tatiana Rousseau and Oleg Tupine. With her own professional experience, she continues to stage the full-length classical ballets of the Virginia Ballet Company repertoire. As Artistic Director, she has choreographed many well received full-length ballets, such as Snow White, and one-act ballets including Firebird, Concerto in G and Grand Tarantelle. She has recently choreographed Cinderella, which will be performed in full in Spring 2020 as part of our 70th Anniversary Celebratory Season. Ms. Cordova is the former President and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Dance Coalition, bringing together the Virginia dance community for advocacy and collaboration, promoting dance awareness through performance and education.

 

Ann Saretzky McGinnis
Contemporary Program Lead

Ms. McGinnis began her training in Berlin, Germany and joined Virginia Ballet Company (VBC) in 1976.  At 11 years old she danced at the Kennedy Center with New York City Ballet and Mikhail Baryshnikov in Harlequinade directed by George Balanchine.  Ann is grateful to Oleg Tupine and Tania Rousseau for instilling their love of dance and encouraging her to teach; she has been a VBC instructor and rehearsal assistant since 1983.  Ann received a BS in Dance from Radford University and a full scholarship to be a Graduate Teaching Assistant at James Madison University (JMU) in 1990.  Along with teaching semester ballet, modern, and jazz for 4 years, she also taught Russian folk dance for the Russian Studies Academy at JMU in the summers.  Ann has also served on faculties at Park College Conservatory, Shenandoah University and George Mason University while earning an MFA in Dance.  She danced in works by David Dorfman, Doug Elkins, Mark Taylor, and Doug Varone and performed in various professional ballet and modern companies: Battery Dance Company, Virginia Repertory Company, Dance Alloy, Loudoun Ballet, Jane Franklin Dance, & most recently Nomadic Artist.  Ann’s eclectic work has been commissioned by VBC, Lexington School of Dance/Rockbridge Ballet, Loudoun Ballet and GroundShare Arts Alliance.  She has won awards for both choreography and costume design and has also danced and presented work in Klagenfurt & Vienna, Austria.

 

Shelley Siller

Ms. Siller grew up in Cape Coral, FL, where she studied multiple disciplines at Pine Island Dance. During this time, she also studied under New York City Ballet principals Jock Soto and Melinda Roy at Gulfshore Ballet, and, after moving to the D.C. area, she became a member of the first generation of IMPACT Dance under Candra Preshong and Kellie Payne. After graduating, Shelley danced for choreographers Emery LeCrone and Florian Rouiller in MOVEiUS Contemporary Ballet and was recently honored to guest with Company E at the Kennedy Center. Ms. Siller has been honored to dance and present her choreography internationally in Scotland, Guatemala, and France, along with cities in New York and the DC/Metro area.

 

Rachel Snow

Ms. Snow began her dance training at the age of 3. She studied at Ballet Conservatory in San Diego, Virginia Governor’s School for Dance, Ballet West’s Summer Intensive, and eventually graduated from Virginia Ballet Company in 2012, where she performed some of her favorite roles: the Firebird, the Arabian Pas, and the Voodoo Queen. She studied dance at Point Park University, where she experienced different choreography methods and styles. She also studied abroad in Spain in 2015, continuing to be inspired by the passionate art of Flamenco. In 2016 Rachel graduated from BYU-Hawaii, where she learned and performed Polynesian dance. She has directed VBC’s summer concert – Precedence – several times, as well as choreographing pieces: Senso di Colpa, Zodiac, Quiet is Violent, Everybody, The Clique, and Beneath Contempt. She began teaching at VBC in February 2017 and joined Nomadic Artist in September 2017.

 

Cathy Bernero

Mrs. Bernero began her ballet training at the age of 5, with Muriel Shelley Evans at the Academy of Ballet and Hampton Roads Civic Ballet, in Hampton, Virginia. As a teenager, she studied under Mary Marshall at the Academy of the Peninsula Ballet and later Esperance Dance Theatre, where she was privileged to perform in many of Ms. Marshall’s original works of choreography, in locations around the Tidewater area and Williamsburg. She continued her training at Virginia Tech under Sandra Owens. For three years, she performed with Live Entertainment at Busch Gardens, The Old Country, in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a German Festhaus dancer, the last year as dance captain for the company. She has attended numerous Masters’ classes with teachers such as Robert Joffrey, Donald Sutherland, Robert March, Heidi Robitshek, and Gene Hammett, among others. She began teaching at Virginia Ballet Company & School in 2013.

 

Stacey Claytor

Ms. Claytor has studied and dedicated the majority of her life to the art of dance. She chose James Madison University where she continued to enrich her technique and range, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and Dance with a concentration in dance. In addition, Ms. Claytor has studied with several dance studios in Virginia and New York City, including the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. With a passionate love for dance and the performing arts, Ms. Claytor constantly seeks opportunities to perform, instruct, and give back to the community the joy she has experienced through dance.

 

Dina Fadeyeva

Ms. Fadeyeva was born in Almaty, Kazahkstan and received her training at the acclaimed Almaty State Ballet Academy. Ms. Fadeyeva danced with the Almaty State Theatre of Ballet and Opera from 1985-1989. In 1989, she went to Moscow, Russia to study at the State University of Arts and Theater (GITIS), where she studied under Marina Semynova; she graduated in 1994. From 1993-1996, Ms. Fadeyeva taught at the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Dance as well as being a guest artist with many companies in Moscow. In 1996, Ms. Fadeyeva returned to Almaty State Ballet Academy to continue her career in teaching and taught at the Almaty Institute of Contemporary Dance. In 2000, Ms. Fadeyeva participated in the International Festival of Traditional Dance in Almaty and won the Grand Prix. In addition, many of Ms. Fadeyeva’s students have won prizes in International Ballet Competitions in Moscow, Budapest, Lausanne, and elsewhere. Between the years of 2000-2005, she worked with the National synchronized swim team in Kazakhstan. The programs she choreographed were performed in World Cup in Barcelona, Spain, in Rome, Italy, in South Korea, and at the 2004 Olympic Games, which was held in Athens, Greece. In 2005, she choreographed her own production, “Triumph of Athena” with music by Mahler, for the Almaty State Theatre of Ballet and Opera. That same year, Ms. Fadeyeva accepted a teaching position with the Ballet Royale in Maryland and came to the United States.

 

Alex Miegel

Mr. Miegel is originally from Fairfax, VA and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance & Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2008. After graduating he has had the pleasure of performing with Theatre West Virginia and West Virginia Dance Company located in Beckley, West Virginia. Since returning to Fairfax he has worked with Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company primarily in their educational outreach program. He began teaching at Virginia Ballet Company in January 2013.

 

Barbara Mirabello

Mrs. Mirabello has incorporated her experience as an RN in Neurosurgery and Orthopedics and her interest in Natural Health, yoga, reflexology, fitonics and healing touch therapy to provide a gentle stretch program designed to safely stretch, strengthen and relax the entire body. She keeps up to date on current trends with monthly updates from the Weill Medical College at Cornell University and the Tufts University fitness newsletter. Mrs. Mirabello holds a Yoga Fitness Certification from the AFPA (American Fitness Professionals & Associates).

 

Alisha Reay

Ms. Reay has taught ballet for over 16 years, while continuing to choreograph and perform. Ms Reay began her dance training at Chicago City Ballet, followed by the Ballet Russe School in Skokie, Illinois, where she studied and performed for seven years, achieving the rank of soloist and principal dancer. Ms Reay holds a certification in teaching the Vaganova method of ballet and also teaches character, modern, jazz and hip-hop. She was a founding member of the Union Street Dance Company in Valparaiso, Indiana and was the owner and manager of the Valparaiso Dance Connection before moving to the Washington DC area in 2001.

 

Mark P. Rubin

Mr. Rubin has been teaching for more than 30 years. He began his training with such world renowned teachers as David Howard, Dolores Brown, Robert Christopher and George Chafee for ballet; Luigi, Fred Benjamin, and Ron Forella for jazz and Joyce Tristler, Bertram Ross and Milton Myers for modern. He also studied with master teacher Zena Rommett, the originator of the Floor-Barre® Technique. He has performed with Ailey II, the Joffrey Ballet, Bertram Ross Dance Co., the Batsheva Dance Co. and the Fred Benjamin Dance Company. Mark is Lifetime Certified in the Floor-Barre® Technique. He has taught company class for CityDance, has been Ballet Master for Manassas Dance Company and the Dance Director at the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia.