“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
“My daughter is so fortunate to have joined the ABA PTP preparatory division this year. She had been recruited to board and train full time in the Vaganova method at a prestigious ballet school; however, we were concerned about potential injuries, burnout and her emotional readiness to leave home at age eleven. ABA offered her the perfect alternative opportunity to train in the Vaganova method with a world-class instructor in a balanced, nurturing and professional environment. She enjoys semi-private training, multiple performance and competition opportunities, and support from fellow dancers who have committed to seeking a professional career in ballet. Mme. Akhmedova is a cherished, hands-on instructor who makes time to inspire and mentor her students in a very personal manner. Training at ABA is so much more than technical ballet training, it is about immersion into ballet as a way of life. Despite the rigorous training, my daughter comments “walking through the ABA doors is always the best part of my day.” Surrounded by the support of instructors and like-minded peers, at ABA she feels her dream of dancing professionally is possible.”
– Caroline Schaefer – Preparatory 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
“My daughter has been training intensively since she was 10, and since that time has attended summer intensives that have included The Rock School for Dance Education, The Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C., the University of North Carolina School for the Arts, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, and the Gelsey Kirkland Academy in New York. These are all excellent training programs, with access to some of the best ballet instructors on the East Coast. Nevertheless, a relatively new program in Silver Spring has emerged which rivals all of these. The summer intensive program directed by Madame Akhmedova pushes students to achieve their personal best, all within a warm, supportive, inspiring atmosphere that nurtures the young professional dancer. She isunparalleled in terms of her technique, her emphasis on strengthening the body and mind of the dancer, and her mission to take those who desire a professional career in ballet to the thresholds of the companies. In terms of the latter, her success rate is near 100% – one could not do better than to train here!”
– Pamela Voulalas – PTP 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
“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 parent
“The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s (ABA) Professional Training Program (PTP) has been an incredible addition to our lives. Mme. Akhmedova has the perfect balance of creating a serious, professional environment while also creating a loving, caring relationship with the dancers.
Mme. Akhmedova’s expertise in teaching the Vaganova method helps her students grow in strength and technique at a noticeable rate. The dancers all talk about how they grew faster after one lesson with Mme. Akhmedova than they had over a long period of time in bigger, less focused environments. The small, semi-private class structure allows Mme. to focus on individual needs. She runs a tight ship and things are organized. Rehearsals begin and end on time. Students are trained to act in a professional manner and have an expectation of working very hard for the roles that they earn. This work ethic also includes a high level of expectation for how students interact with Mme. as well as each other. She is a wonderful role model- funny, thoughtful, fun and creates many opportunities to hang out socially with the students and parents. The dancers thrive on this positive energy and it is apparent in their treatment toward each other. They act with kindness and respect while also challenging each other to work hard and grow as dancers. As a result of creating this integrated environment of hard work, kindness, fun and seriousness, her current students do not feel “burned out” from the rigors of ballet training and her graduates have had successful transitions into professional companies. The graduates come back to the school to visit their beloved teacher and to share their teachings in the studio as well as stories of what it is like to be in a company. The current students are able to learn and grow from these interactions.
I think ABA creates as close of an environment as to what it feels like to be part of a professional company. The dancers are living the “dancer’s life” for many years before they are professional dancers. They walk out of the ABA doors as ready as they can be for the challenging life of a professional ballet dancer. I don’t think a week goes by that my dancer doesn’t proclaim, “I am so grateful for Mme. Akhmedova.”
– Julianne Hamilton – PTP parent