Artistic Faculty

Jacqueline Akhmedova
Artistic Director & Ballet Teacher - 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 - technique, pointe, repertoire, character

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 since 2017 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.

Jessica Novakovich
Ballet teacher, contemporary choreographer & Pilates instructor - technique, pointe, repertoire, character

Jessica Novakovich teaches the PTP 1/2 level, Pre-PTP 1 level and the Stretch/Strengthening/Pilates classes at ABA for 2 years. 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.

Jessica is part of ABA’s newly formed Studio Company. She started choreographing classical and contemporary pieces (solos and ensembles) for PTP students. She is also coaching and preparing students for competition and is the assistant editor for ABA’s digital magazine. Recently she completed her certification as a Pilates mat teacher.

Mimmo Miccolis
Contemporary Teacher & Choreographer

Mimmo Miccolis, born in Italy, is a contemporary teacher and choreographer at ABA since 2018. 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. Many of his choreographies created for ABA students won at national and international competitions. 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.

His classes blend elements of different styles of contemporary dance and utilizes ballet techniques. He challenges dancers through a series of high energy exercises that allow participants the pleasure of moving the body through space while exploring their physical limits.

Arturo Garcia
Contemporary Teacher

Arturo Garcia is a highly accomplished and versatile performing artist from Monterrey, Mexico. With a diverse range of skills as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and producer, Arturo has captivated audiences in numerous national and international festivals across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. As a valued member of Tania Perez-Salas Compañia de Danza, he has performed at renowned festivals such as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon, France. In 2009, Arturo founded Company Danzante, a collaborative performance group that showcased his innovative choreographic vision. His creations have been presented at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Arturo’s dedication and contributions have been recognized through grants and awards, including the Kennedy Center’s Local Dance Commissioning Project and the Strauss Artist Grant from the Arts Council of Fairfax County.

Carlos Gutierrez
Ballroom teacher

Carlos Gutierrez has been teaching and performing ballroom, Latin dances, and Argentine tango
for over 35 years in the DC metro area and internationally. He has appeared in several local
newspapers about his dancing. He is a life coach and the author of three self-help books.

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.

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. Ashley is creating beautiful solos and ensemble choreographies for ABA since 2013.


Choreographers and guest teachers who worked with ABA PTP students:

Hee Seo, Edwaard Liang, Alicia Canterna, Rainer Krenstetter, Misha Tchoupakov, David McCarty, Kathy Whitelaw,
Meaghan McHale, Alice Wylie, Valeria Ivleva,Courtney Washington, Carlos Gutierrez, Kathryn Abdul-Baki