“Every day, I realize more and more just how lucky I am to be able to call myself a graduate of the Akhmedova Ballet Academy. ABA is not only unique because of its semi-private class structure that provides each student with personal technical and artistic development, but also because of its warm and nurturing environment, neither of which would be possible without Madame Akhmedova ‘s constant hard work and dedication to each of her students. Madame Akhmedova‘s tutelage goes above and beyond producing strong and successful dancers; producing artists that are empowered with the knowledge that by being hard-working and respectful, as well as a good person, it is possible to achieve all of your goals. Mme. Akhmedova has been and continues to be the most wonderful and supportive mentor and teacher I could have ever asked for, and I am forever thankful. Everything Madame Akhmedova and my time at ABA taught me allowed me to embark on my professional career and I know I could not be where I am today without her.”

– Deanna Pearson – Sibiu Ballet, Rumania

Thank you for inviting Logan to teach class while he was up in Silver Spring on his break between performance seasons. He definitely does not forget his roots. He’s very grateful for the excellent training and mentoring he received from you, and he has said to me on many occasions that he knows he wouldn’t have such a perfect job right now with Richmond Ballet if you hadn’t taken him under your wing. I’ve always been so impressed that you gave, and continue to give, such individualized attention to every student and really seem to care deeply about the success of each one, professionally and personally. So we’re all very grateful to you and want to continue supporting you in any way we are able.

– Abby Hillman – PTP graduate parent




“A few months ago our daughter Soojin Luna joined Mme Akmhedova’s Ballet Academy and, since then, she has been so positively lifted by her new adventure at ABA. Soojin Luna came straight from her previous ballet school where she trained for eight years. It was time for her to have a new experience; she was craving for a smaller studio where she would have more attention, could be challenged, and could further develop her technique as she dreams of joining one day the rank of professional dancers.

Mme Akmedova warmly welcomed Soojin Luna in her school and helped her with the transition to the Vaganova style. Her strong character and determined spirit, allied with great kindness and sense of humor got Soojin Luna hooked. And thus she quickly adapted and felt integrated into the school. Ms. Marina Timofeeva, teaching the preparatory PTP level, helped her as well with her very focused and warm teaching to go over a successful transition.

Many students and former students of the school have said so in this column, but for Soojin Luna, and for us as parents, we experienced the same thing. Beyond the amazing ballet teaching, joining ABA is also joining a wonderful family. The school is small and the students feel very close and extremely supportive of each other, sharing the same great spirit based on the dedication of their efforts. 

Mme Akmhedova is a hard worker and a perfectionist. She is very committed to her students and provides enormous individual attention to each and one of them. And thus the ballet teaching at ABA is very rigorous and demanding. It comes with a strong technique but also with a quest of artistic excellence and musicality in the performances. 

Based on this experience, ABA brought to Soojin Luna what she needed at this stage in her dance education. As parents, we are delighted because she is definitively in good hands. As a dancer, our daughter is happy because she feels challenged, but in a warm and friendly environment.”

-Eric Robert – PTP parent



” I am proud to be able to say that I am a graduate of the Akhmedova Ballet Academy. ABA is a school that not only offers superior ballet training, but also provides its students with the knowledge and mentoring they need to achieve a professional career. Mme. Akhmedova helped me to fully understand ballet technique and provided me with a tremendous amount of opportunities. She is a mentor, a supporter, and a gifted teacher. Under her guidance, I learned that hard work and respect are two important qualities in a dancer and that it’s important to be a good person as well as a good dancer. The semi-private class structure provided me with the chance to work thoroughly and to have individual attention. As an ABA student, I became fully aware of the love and passion that I have for ballet. I now use the tools and knowledge that I learned at ABA in my professional career.”

– Abigail Kasten – First State Ballet, DE


One of the toughest decisions that a dancer and his or her family face is how and where to advance the training for their child. We faced that situation earlier this year, and we feel as though having our daughter attend Akhmedova Ballet Academy has been one of the best decisions we’ve made in the twelve years our daughter has been dancing. Katherine, our daughter, started with ABA at their summer intensive in Orleans, Cape Cod. The dancers had an incredible amount of individual instruction, they experienced a variety of types of dance and learned how to work together to create an amazing experience for the audience at the show that concluded the intensive. They had just the right amount of independence, and they all pushed themselves and helped each other live up to the standards held by Madame Akhmedova. They grew substantially as dancers and as people. Katherine began her first full season with ABA 3 weeks ago, and it’s clear to us that the same environment and characteristics she experienced at the intensive continue during the full year. Katherine’s dance abilities have advanced substantially over the summer and in to the fall season. She’s thrilled and we all feel grateful to ABA for their extraordinary program.

– Noelle and Dean Newcomb – PTP parents

“Out of all other intensives that I have ever been to the Akhmedova Ballet Academy Cape Cod summer intensive was by far my favorite! Every morning we got to take class with an amazing teacher (Jacqueline Akhmedova) and by the end of the three weeks gathered a lot of corrections and insight that helped to improve our training. In addition to technique, Pointe and repertoire we had jazz, modern, character and Pilates classes that were alternated throughout the week. Teachers chosen by Mme. Akhmedova came to teach these classes and at the end of the intensive they choreographed pieces for us to show what we had learned and worked on throughout the intensive. Also each day we had time to work with Mme. Akhmedova on a variation that we performed at the end of the program that was taped for local TV stations. In addition to all the valuable training that we were receiving each weekend everyone was able to sight see, shop and explore all the fun attractions around Cape Cod. Towards the end of the program all of the dancers were given the opportunity to have a photo shoot with Vihao Pham on the beach, which was so much fun and a great experience. After the show Mme. Akhmedova gives us the chance to meet with her and have a one on one talk about what she believes would help us in the future giving us insight and help on our path to following our dreams of becoming professional ballet dancers.”

– Jessica Novakovich – Manassas Ballet Theatre, VA

The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s (ABA) Professional Training Program (PTP) is outstanding! In his first year at ABA, our son has grown as a ballet dancer and artist and gained a wealth of knowledge. Madame Akhmedova is an incredible and caring teacher. She creates a warm, supportive atmosphere that nurtures the young professional dancer. A lifetime of achievement as a professional ballet dancer and teacher give Madame Akhmedova the insight to bring out the best in her students and inspire them to achieve their full potential. Utilizing a “semi-private” training model with the classical Vaganova method, she helps her students grow in strength and technique quickly. She provides valuable feedback to each student to understand their weaknesses and strengths and apply them. Not only does she have exceptional technique, she has a kind heart and cares deeply about the success of each student, professionally and personally. The fact that she does this year after year, season after season, is so amazing! We are grateful to have found Madame Akhmedova and to be a part of the ABA family.

– Jennifer Vyskocil – PTP parent

As a ballet teacher by profession I have been able to give my daughter Emmakate her foundation in ballet. When she was about 11 years old I realized she was very focused on becoming a professionalballerina and it was time for her to move on. We sent her to a bigger school in the D.C. metro area. They had a wonderful experienced staff of teachers but after 3 years we just felt that something was missing in her training. It was a big decision but we felt we needed to move on for the next step in her training.
We heard about ABA through friends whose daughter attended for many years and now is a trainee in a professional company. At first we were apprehensive. Making the jump into a smaller competitive environment with one main teacher giving instruction was very different than the environment she was accustomed to.
Within the first week my daughter felt at home at ABA. Mme. Akhmedova is wonderful. She demands discipline and respect but clearly has a love for her craft and her students. The girls welcomed my daughter with open arms and she feels as if she is part of a family. The girls are ALL so talented and dedicated and my daughter loves being with students who are like-minded and take ballet seriously. She loves being part of a Professional Training Program and feels she is on a path to having a professional career in ballet.
I am thankful for Mme. Akhmedova’s trained eye, to fix and correct and fill in the areas that were missing previously in our daughters training. The small semi-private classes and the environment is conducive to growth and in the short time we have been at ABA we have seen such improvement in her dancing. The girls have an opportunity to work one on one with Mme. A. each week as they work on their variations for competitions. The Vaganova style is very specific and Emmakate is flourishing learning the details.I also love the cutting edge,talented choreographers and teachers that Mme. A. brings in to work with the girls on their solo and group contemporary pieces.
We commute 1/1/2 hours each way, every day,six days a week and the program is worth it!! The training is excellent, the environment like a family and Mme. is an expert in her field. She was a professional dancer for many years and it shows. I would highly recommend this elite training program to anyone who has a child who aspires to be a professional dancer.

– Christina Franz- PTP parent

“My daughter, Lucy Qian is 11 years old. She attended one of the ABA audition/tryout class in 2017. She was deeply attracted by ABA’s teaching and learning environment. Since then she kept to ask me to take her to see ABA’s performance, and more, she asked me to schedule more tryout classes to dance at ABA. She became very talkative and excited each time after the ABA class. I would like to say Mme. Akhmedova and her ballet school have endless charm – it is a quality too precious to measure.
I registered Lucy to 2018 ABA summer intensive. She danced 3 weeks at ABA. The summer intensive had an end-of-camp performance at the last day. I was so touched by my daughter’s graceful dancing, although this is her first solo wearing pointe shoes. She also did a contemporary, and a character dance which she never learned before. I had seen my daughter’s amazing improvement in these three weeks. My daughter has been inspired by the ABA teachers and students. I believe enthusiasm is more important than talent. We decided to join ABA without a doubt!

Mme. Akhmedova is a very professional ballet teacher.She teaches her students in the semi-private lesson with a classic Vaganova method. She knows each of her students’ strengths and weaknesses. She gave my daughter corrections consistently. Mme. is a caring and an affinity person. She has good connection with her students. She also built a healthy learning environment. The students at ABA help each other and they learned how to work together to perform the group pieces.

Mme. Akhmedova is a very organized person. She plans everything ahead of time. My daughter could attend 3 major ballet competitions in the early school year and achieved unexpected good results. This is inseparable from Mme’s careful teaching plan.

Mme. is a hard worker. One thing I will never forget is that the night we came back from YAGP New York, it was very late at night. After 3 days travel, competition, as a parent I only needed take care of my daughter’s daily life. I was exhausted. With all the work she had done at New York, she drove directly to the studio and cleaned all the costumes. Mme. takes care of her student and related things in every possible way. She has been working tirelessly. She is a perfectionist.

Mme. is a great leader. Her school has a group of quality teachers. My daughter is in PTP1 class. Mrs. Marina is a very patient teacher. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to learn techniques and variations with Mrs. Marina too. She is a detail oriented teacher, and has a great teaching ethic.

I am not surprised at all that Mme. received 3 Best Teacher awards from WBAC and YAGP this year. Because I followed ABA to all the competitions, I saw that Madame consistently watched all her dancer’s performances. She gave them advice and encourages them all the time. I believe ABA is the best ballet school in the Maryland/DC area!”

– Xiufen Sui- PTP parent

“The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s (ABA) Professional Training Program (PTP) is by far the best PTP program in the Metropolitan area. A lot of research was done before deciding on our daughter attending the ABA year round program. There were a couple of things that really stood out compared to the other PTP programs. The first, of course, is the ballet teacher. Mme. Akhmedova has an amazing resume of both a professional ballet career and teaching career. It is Mme. Akhmedova’s “semi-private” training model, utilizing the classical Vaganova method, which helps her students grow in strength and technique quickly. The fact that her class levels do not exceed eight students allows each student to get the personal corrections needed to know their weaknesses and their strengths and then apply them. Students also have one-on-one rehearsal time with Mme. Akhmedova almost daily. Students take classes in technique, pointe, repertoire, contemporary, character and Pilates. Mme. Akhmedova is not only a teacher to her students, but is also a mentor and friend, who is approachable and honest. Lastly, we have come to appreciate the sense of “family” that the students and families feel being a part of ABA. We are blessed to be part of this family and know great things are ahead for our daughter being trained here at ABA.”

– Sandra Kinnaman – PTP graduate parent

Thank you for inviting Logan to teach class while he was up in Silver Spring on his break between performance seasons. He definitely does not forget his roots. He’s very grateful for the excellent training and mentoring he received from you, and he has said to me on many occasions that he knows he wouldn’t have such a perfect job right now with Richmond Ballet if you hadn’t taken him under your wing. I’ve always been so impressed that you gave, and continue to give, such individualized attention to every student and really seem to care deeply about the success of each one, professionally and personally. So we’re all very grateful to you and want to continue supporting you in any way we are able.

– Abby Hillman – Graduate parent