“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
I was with ABA for four years and just recently graduated as a part of the Class of 2021. I cannot express how valuable an experience it was for me to grow as a dancer under Madame Akhmedova’s tutelage. I had previously danced at several other studios during my dance education, but it was when I arrived at ABA that I finally felt like I had found my home. From the very beginning, Madame Akhmedova saw the potential in me and did everything she could to foster my growth. She helped me correct mistakes and poor habits that I had formed in the past and provided me with numerous opportunities that challenged me as an artist and helped me improve. Madame’s experience as a professional dancer and the vast amount of knowledge she has garnered from her many years of teaching make the corrections and insight she gives invaluable. She knows exactly what needs to be done in order to be successful in the dance industry and devotes her life to helping each and every one of her students achieve their personal goals. Not only this, but Madame Akhmedova has created a learning environment that feels like family, rather than a collection of dancers. I made many close friends during my time at ABA and was able to learn something from each of them. We motivated each other to work hard and supported each other during long rehearsals and stressful times. I looked forward to going to dance every day because I knew I was getting the best training and developing as a dancer, and because I was excited to laugh with all of my best friends.
-Isabelle Wu – ABA graduate
“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
” 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
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy and Mme. Akhmedova have truly changed my life. Regardless of my lack of a true dance education, Mme. Akhmedova gave me a chance and offered me the opportunity to retrain everything despite me coming to her at an older age.
She passes her incredible knowledge of ballet as well as for music and the culture of the arts, to each of her students so that they can sincerely develop themselves as true artists. She guided me through every difficult time that I had as a student and even still as a professional. With her as my coach I was able to graduate and join a ballet company. Despite being in a ballet company she always made the time to help with roles I was preparing for and giving wise advice for whenever I needed it. I can trust her to always be honest and guide her students with pure love and devotion.
She is my mentor, coach and role model who I aspire to become like one day. Developing dancers out of students, who dream to become artists.
I am so unbelievable grateful for her always pushing me to become the best version of myself, both as a dancer and as a person, and for all the incredible things that she does for each and every single student at ABA. There is truly no other teacher or Artistic Director that goes to the lengths that she does to personally see that her students accomplish their dreams. Being a student, graduate and a new teacher under her guidance has made dreams I never thought possible to become a reality.
– Jessica Novakovich – PTP 1/2 Ballet Teacher/Pilates
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
I am a parent of the youngest girl in the studio. Ever since my daughter was very young, she loved to move and dance, and I was looking for a dance studio for her that wasn’t just dress up in pink and be cute. I heard about Akhmedova Ballet Academy from a friend and started following Mme. Akhmedova on Facebook and attend all the performances. Finally, my daughter was old enough to join the Academy’s Preparatory Division. We do love everything about it, but most of all – the sense of a family. It is a family of people who love what they do and who work exceptionally hard to be the best in what they do. Mme. Akhmedova is an outstanding person, not only is she a great teacher (which my daughter is still too young to experience), but she is caring, attentive, and very organized. Mme. has a great sense of humor and exceptional artistic taste. We are very grateful and happy to be a part of the amazing Akhmedova Ballet Academy family.
– Valeria Paskhal – Preparatory Division parent
This past summer I was given an amazing opportunity to train at the Ahkmedova Ballet Academy. There, I was taught by amazing teachers in the art of Ballet as well as character and contemporary dance. Despite the uncommon circumstances in regards to COVID-19, my teachers brought forth rigorous training, allowing me to progress and improve as a student. All the while, various precautions were put in place to ensure the safety of all students and staff during these unprecedented times. Throughout the entire intensive, I was surrounded by an amazing community of girls whom I quickly began to consider my friends. Everybody was supportive, encouraging, and kind both inside and outside of the studio. All in all, I absolutely loved my time spent at the Ahkmedova Ballet Academy and hope to be back soon.
-Nandi Chase – summer student 2020
I have had the wonderful opportunity to be a part of ABA’s summer intensive this summer! I felt very lucky to have found a place that not only was in person, but also had top quality training. Every morning I would come in and have my temperature checked, along with always wearing my mask, cleaning my hands and cleaning equipment. I felt safe dancing, knowing that everyone took extra precaution. As I took my first few classes, I already knew I had so much new knowledge to gain. I was constantly receiving helpful corrections, which gave me a better understanding of where I am with my technique and artistry. Starting off with a ballet class each morning, I felt I got the attention I needed to grow and improve quickly. Other classes such as character, mime, musical theater, and repertoire allowed me to focus on expressing myself through movement. I also loved that I could end the day with a Pilates or cardio class, as it is so important to keep your strength and stamina up as a dancer. As a result, I could already feel myself getting stronger, and dancing with more ease in my other classes. Reflecting upon the great deal of improvement and fun I have experienced this summer, I can say that ABA is the perfect place to train!
Tess Moayedi – summer student 2020
“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
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s summer intensive is an amazing program that, first and foremost, advances the caliber of your dancing, but also teaches students hard work and diligence.
One of my favorite aspects of the ABA intensive is how personal it is. The teachers’ concern for the students and the program’s small size ensures that no dancer is left behind. The teachers spend time working with every student individually, giving personalized corrections and explanations. The teachers spend as much time as they feel is necessary explaining concepts. Furthermore, if you do not understand immediately, the teachers will find new ways to explain corrections. This technique not only guarantees that every student benefit, but also helps dancers achieve a deeper understanding of ballet. Another thing I love about ABA’s summer intensive is the atmosphere. The teachers and students are all extremely kind and welcoming. The academy has managed to create a very fun, yet focused environment. Moreover, the relationship between students is supportive and not competitive, but still drives you to be the best dancer you can be.
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s summer intensive is an incredibly unique program. One thing that sets ABA’s intensive apart from that of other schools is the teacher’s attention to detail. The teachers are attentive to every step. No movement is ignored, and no detail is too small to matter. This attention to detail creates elegant and consistent dancers. Additionally, time is set aside to discuss and answer questions related to the lifestyle of a professional dancer. The teachers and graduates describe to you the process of becoming a professional dancer and all the options. They will answer any questions you may have, helping to prepare you for the future.
The Akhmedova Ballet Academy’s intensive is a wonderful program for dancers of all levels. It not only allows all different dancers to thrive, but also manages to do so in a wonderful, supportive atmosphere.
Charlotte O’Shea – Sumer Intensive student 2021
ABA is truly a unique ballet studio. Our daughter Jessica danced at several studios, before we found Jacqueline and ABA. It was not until she began dancing at this studio, under the expert guidance and coaching with Mme. that she began to seriously consider that she might someday dance in a company. As she felt herself grow stronger in technique and artistry, she began to understand all that must go into a professional dance career and began working towards this. Mme. spends hours, weeks and years guiding her carefully chosen students in dance but also spends many hours coaching them in preparing resumes and dance portfolios, careful consideration of appropriate companies to contact, along with training and prep for the auditions themselves. Mme. has become an integral part of our daughter (dancers) life and we feel truly blessed to have found her.
– Elaine and Matt Novakovich – Graduate parents
My family always will be grateful for having found a treasure for aspiring dancers seeking to hone their skills in the Russian Vaganova method of classical ballet: The Akhmedova Ballet Academy (ABA) is where my daughter Ariel, at age 11, found her cherished ballet home. Boasting small class sizes, rigorous training and expert instruction, ABA provides an environment that both challenges and supports dancers in a way that allows each student to reach his or her full potential. The driving force behind this success is the school’s founder and artistic director, Madame Jacqueline Akhmedova: A seasoned dancer and veteran teacher, Mme. Akhmedova is a jewel and a gem – that rare individual who brings tireless determination, keen intelligence, passion, kindness, firmness and good humor in helping to forge not only dancers, but responsible and disciplined individuals, who are a credit to their communities.
Mme. Akhmedova and the whole of her teaching staff show great care and understanding for every student, both as aspiring dancers, and as individuals. Esteem for self and others, hard work, graciousness and humility are key to Mme. Akhmedova’s philosophy and approach, and it is Madame who sets the tone for the familial atmosphere of the studio, where students are expected to behave with kindness and respect toward their peers and their teachers, be humble in their attitudes and bear responsibility for their words and deeds. Life lessons, along with dance lessons, abound at ABA.
The breadth of ABA’s curriculum is another huge plus and a unique benefit that most ballet schools simply cannot match: In addition to receiving ample instruction in ballet technique and variations, my daughter and her ABA schoolmates are regularly provided lessons in ballet history and are schooled in both Character and Contemporary dance. Rounding out this instruction are cardio workouts, stretching routines and Pilates, which help the students develop strong, supple and injury-resistant bodies.
The uptick in my daughter’s passion, seriousness and commitment to dance has been notable, and it tracks with her growing skillset and confidence in her abilities; her sheer excitement surrounding her training since joining ABA has been enormous – just walking through ABA’s doors fills Ariel with exhilaration and anticipatory delight!
Performance and competitive dance opportunities abound for students of ABA: In addition to having had access to rigorous summer intensives and master classes, my daughter, after just a few months on ABA’s rolls, began training to participate in an international dance competition. This incredible opportunity that Madame has afforded Ariel is an amazing gift: The training and preparations my daughter is undergoing for the competition have sharpened her skills, her desire and her focus, and provided a bold new dimension to her view of herself as an aspiring dancer.
In every way a student of dance should, my daughter has thrived amidst ABA’s top-notch instruction and the conviviality that exists among a friendly group of students and exceptionally skilled and dedicated teachers, who together make students feel that when they step into ABA’s sparklingly beautiful, modern, spacious and window-lined dance studios, they are, indeed, home.
– Pamela Barnett – PTP 1 parent