Artistic Faculty

Jacqueline Akhmedova
Ballet Teacher for Senior and Junior PTP 5/6 & 3/4 - technique, pointe, repertoire, character

Mme. Akhmedova teaches the Senior and Junior PTP level at ABA.

Mme. Jacqueline Akhmedova graduated with honors from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and the Ukrainian Academy of Dance in Kiev, with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Ballet Performance, Pedagogy and Choreography, she quickly moved into the world of European classical dance performance.

She is the Founder and Artistic Director of her own school, the Akhmedova Ballet Academy, in Silver Spring, MD. Her vision for ABA is to provide the finest quality ballet training utilizing the Vaganova Method. Her Professional Training Program offers a well-rounded training with personal and artistic mentoring to prepare young dancers to become strong and fully developed artists ready to take their places in major dance companies around the world.

Marina Timofeeva
Ballet Teacher for Junior PTP 3/4 - technique, pointe, repertoire

Miss Marina teaches the Junior PTP 3/4 at ABA. Miss Marina is a graduate of the famous Perm State Academy of Ballet in Russia. She performed the Classical repertoire in Russia, Europe, Asia and America. Marina danced with the Russian State Ballet and Moscow Ballet in Russia.

Miss Marina has taught at ABA for 2 years in technique, pointe, character, preparing students for national and international competitions, coaching and mentoring them for various performances and is an experienced Vaganova instructor who has a special talent with our younger dancers.

Alice Wylie
Pilates & Yoga Teacher

In her work with the highly skilled dancers of Akhmedova Ballet Academy, Alice structures her classes with a foundation in the dynamic tradition of core strengthening Pilates, while integrating yoga principles and postures.

She believes that one of the keys to longevity and health in a dance career (and in life!) is finding the proper balance of strength and flexibility in body and in mind. Born in Washington DC, Alice began her dance training with Jane Bittner and trained extensively with several other renown teachers including Dawei Zhang, Suzanne Farrell, Patricia McBride, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, and Violette Verdy. She attended Indiana University’s prestigious School of Music where she received her Bachelor of Science in Ballet and French.

Alice danced with Ballet Austin, Kim Robards Dance in Denver, and then joined Washington DC’s CityDance Ensemble with whom she toured internationally. Currently, Alice is an Adjunct Professor of Ballet at American University. She is also an E-RYT500 through Yoga Alliance and teaches yoga and pilates mat throughout the DC area.

Mimmo Miccolis
Contemporary Teacher & Choreographer

Mimmo Miccolis, born in Italy, is a contemporary teacher and choreographer at The Washington Ballet. He was the winner of the “Outstanding Choreographer Award” at the Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP) Finals 2015 in New York City and at the Indianapolis International Ballet Competition 2017. In 2011, he was also a recipient of the BBC Performing Arts Fund in London, UK. Most of Mimmo’s choreographic work focuses on social issues and have been performed in venues such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Forum and the House of the European Union in Austria, and the European Commission Joint Research Center in Italy. Mimmo’s work incorporates elements from his background in dance, opera, TV, cinema and dance illusion.

Class Description: The workshop blends elements of different styles of contemporary dance and utilizes ballet techniques. It will challenge dancers through a series of high energy exercises that allow participants the pleasure of moving the body through space while exploring their physical limits. The class is fun, dynamic and energetic and encourages dancers to use movement as a means of exploration and expression by emphasizing timing, musicality, physicality and emotion.

Ashley Canterna-Hardy
Contemporary Choreographer for solos and ensemble pieces

Ashley is creating choreographies for the PTP students at ABA. Ashley received her ballet training at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. on full scholarship. At 14, she was the winner of the junior Division of the Youth America Grand Prix Ballet Competition. That same year, she represented the United States in Varna at the 2000 International Ballet Competition. She won the silver medal (the highest awarded) and the City of Varna Award for being the youngest competitor to pass to the third round. In 2002, she won the Jury award and performed in the televised Medalists Gala and the Encore Gala of the 2002 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.

She has performed throughout the United States and abroad. She performed with Bad Boys of Ballet in “Rock the Ballet” at the Joyce Theater in New York and on their European tour.

Ashley is proud to have received choreography awards from the USAIBC and the Youth America Grand Prix Ballet Competition. She is honored to teach and choreograph for the Akhmedova Ballet Academy annually under the direction of world renowned ballerina and teacher Jacqueline Akhmedova.

Jessica Novakovich
Ballet teacher for PTP 1 - technique, pointe, repertoire

Jessica Novakovich teaches the PTP 1 level and the Adult technique classes at ABA. Jessica is a graduate of the Akhmedova Ballet Academy Professional Training Program where she trained for 4 years with Mme. Akhmedova. She danced professionally with the Manassas Ballet Theatre for three seasons where she performed classical and contemporary roles. Some of the roles she has performed are Nikiya in La Bayadere, the Lilac Fairy In Sleeping Beauty, Pas de Trois and big swans in Swan Lake and Military Doll and lead Mirlitons in Nutcracker.

In 2018 Jessica won third place in the classical category at the World Ballet Arts Grand Prix Regionals and fourth place in Contemporary at the finals. In 2020 she won first place in Classical and second place in Contemporary at the Playa Del Carmen Ballet and Contemporary Competition in Mexico.

Sasha Gutman
Intro to Ballet, Adult Ballet, Character Dance

Alexandra “Sasha” Gutman is a graduate of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. She started her pre-professional training at 13 by moving away from her home in Austin, Texas to study at the Indiana Ballet Conservatory under Tatiana Pali. After Indiana, Sashamoved to train in Connecticut at the Nutmeg Ballet where she had the opportunity to learn from many choreographers and teachers including Kirk Peterson, Tim Melady, Victoria Mazzorelli, Eleanor Dantuano, and Alexei Tchernichov. Soon after,Sasha was invited to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. Upon completing her first year, she was hand-selected by the jury to skip two years of training to immediately join the graduating class of 2019. There she studied under Anna Leonova, Marina Leonova, Ludmilla Ermakova, Anna Antropova and many others. After graduating top of her class for classical and character dance, she came back to the states to train with Mme. Akhmedova.

Alexandra has performed in roles including First shade soloist in La Bayadere and Giselle in the Act 2 pas de deux. Alexandra was also awarded with 2nd place at Playa del Carmen Ballet and Contemporary Competition in Mexico (2020).

Courtney Washington
Contemporary Teacher & Choreographer

Courtney Washington teaches Contemporary Dance and Composition for all PTP levels. Courtney has a well-rounded dance education in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theater, and Contemporary/Lyrical, and competed in regional and national dance competitions.

Upon graduating from The Kirov Academy in 2010, she continued her training with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet’s trainee program. There she had the opportunity to perform works by Maurya Kerr, Nathan Trice, Kara Davis, LeeWei Chao, Sidra Bell, Yannis Adoniou, Michael Velez and Keelan Whitmore. In the Summer 2012, Courtney joined Ballet Teatro Internacional, as a featured soloist on their South American tour.

Courtney is still dancing and travels from DC to New York often to perform in dance projects and industrial shows. Courtney teaches master classes at various studios, Jazz at the Kirov Academy and her choreographies have been commissioned by many pre professional dance school/studios and have earned her choreography awards at dance competition like NYCDA, YAGP, and World Ballet Competition. Her students have gone on to attend University of the Arts, Washington Ballet, Radio City Rockettes, Nederlands Dans Theater 2 and Dominican University, just to name a few.


Choreographers and guest teachers who worked with ABA PTP students:

Hee Seo, Edwaard Liang, Alicia Canterna, Lauren Christie, Misha Tchoupakov, David McCarty, Kathy Whitelaw, Meaghan McHale