Nancy Malmed (Director) - Ballet
Elena Tiuriakulova - Ballet, Pointe, Yoga, Variations
Yosbel Delgado-Hernandez - Ballet, Partnering
Cara King - Pre Ballet, Ballet
Christina Castro-Tauser - Ballet
Michele Olivia Francois - Ballet
Corinne Karon - Tap
Karina Banks - Jazz. Hip Hop
Whitney Weinstein - Modern
Quyne Rider - Character
Nancy Malmed, Director, performed professionally as soloist with Contemporary Dance Theater, LaSalle Music Theater and Pro Musica and has been teaching the Vaganova Method since 1979. She trained with Lilia Vladimirova and Tamara Lysenko of the Donetsk Ballet, Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, Harkness Ballet, and Maywood Academy, and served as faculty member of Temple University's Dance Department, where she received her Master's Degree in Dance. In 2007 she served as judge for the International Ballet Competition "Artek Fouette" in Crimea, Ukraine. In 1999, she was honored by the School District of Philadelphia for her work with public school children, and has also been selected to serve on local grant panels. Her choreography credits include Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sleeping Beauty, La Boutique Fantasque, Carmen, The Four Seasons and Porgy and Bess. Each year she stages a full-length ballet for WDA's annual recital. She has also choreographed for the Delaware Valley Opera Company.
Elena Tiuriakulova graduated with excellence in 1975 from the world famous Vaganova Choreography School (Kirov School) in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received her practical training at the Mariinski Theater of Opera and Ballet. She became Principal Dancer at the Kygyz State Theater of Opera and Ballet, dancing the lead roles in all of the major ballets for twenty years, including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, Aurora inSleeping Beauty, Nikia in La Bayadere and many more. She received many honors including “Honored Artist of Ballet of the Kyrgyz Republic” in 1982 and “Laureate of the Prize of Youth Union of Kyrgyzstan for Excellence in performance” in 1980. Elena joined the WDA faculty in 2003.
Yosbel Delgado-Hernandez -A native of Pinar del Rio - Cuba, began his training at age 9 at the E.V.A. (vocational school of arts).His first professional ballet position was at the Camaguey Ballet in Cuba where he remained for two years performing their repertoire including several works by Osvaldo Rivero.In 1998 he was hired by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba under direction of Alicia Alonso where he performed featured roles including: Von Rothbart and pas de six in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, toreros and sword dance in Don Quixote. In 2003 he joined the Pennsylvania Ballet and has performed numerous featured roles including the jester in Cinderella, chocolate and sugarplum cavalier in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Spanish dance and other roles in Swan Lake, as well as featured roles in Taming of the Shrew,Dracula, Firebird,Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Concert, Kazimir’s colours, Carmina Burana,Five Tangos, Nine Sinatra Songs, Western Symphony, Messiah, Fearful Symmetries, The Four Temperaments, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Carnival of the Animal
Corinne Karon graduated from The University of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Modern dance. Since graduation her biggest accomplishment has been that she has tap danced on all the continents in the world, yes including Antarctica! Corinne performs regularly throughout the country with Tap Team II for Young Audiences and has begun performing with Germaine Ingram. Corinne performed in the NY City Tap Extravaganza to honor legendary LaVaughn Robinson when he received his lifetime achievement award in 2005. Corinne teaches on a regular basis at The University of The Arts, Rowan University, Bryn Mawr College, Wissahickon Dance Academy, Chester Valley Dance Academy, Calabrese Center For Dance and for Men on Tap.
Cara King specializes in teaching ballet and creative movement to young children. Ms. King completed the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus in the United States and England, participated in summer intensives at the Pennsylvania Central Youth Ballet, and earned a degree in dance from Hope College. After teaching ballet for the Settlement Music School (Germantown) school partnership program, she began teaching residency programs for International Ballet Exhchange. She loves children, loves the art of dance, which is why she also loves teaching and has loads of fun doing it!
Christina Castro-Tauser earned her MFA at Temple University and was the recipient of the Rose Vernick MFA Choreographic Achievement Award. Excerpts of her Thesis ¿Que Pasa Ahora? were showcased at the ACDA 2018 Mid-Atlantic North Conference, and as part of the Artist Bash at the Barnes Foundations. Recently her essay “Embodiment in the Public Art of Jody Pinto” was published in Dancer-Citizen. Christina is also the founding director of Expansions Contemporary Dance Ensemble, adjunct faculty at Temple University and Teaching Artist for Taller Puertorriqueno. Prior to her years in Philadelphia, she was the Director of the Gainesville Ballet Junior Company and an Instructor for the Gainesville School of Ballet for eight years. Christina received her BA in Dance from Point Park University. She was an apprentice at the Colorado Ballet where she choreographed Cafe con Leche for the Colorado ballet studio Company. She has trained with Laura Alonzo at Centro Pro Danza Havana Cuba, Minnesota Dance theater and Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive.
Karina E. Banks was raised in Harrisburg, PA. She started her dance career at the age of three years old at Sharon's School of Dance where she competed nationally until the age of eighteen. Her dance background includes Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Hip-Hop, and gymnastics. She later went on to study at Temple University where she acquired her BFA in dance. Ms. Banks has also had the opportunity to study modern jazz in Rome, Italy. She is currently a choreographer and artist developer in Philadelphia for many hip-hop and gospel artists.
Whitney H. Weinstein Upon completion of her BFA in modern dance at Temple University with a concentration in Vaganova ballet technique, Whitney began teaching at Orlandi Dance Center, the Lionville Community YMCA, and Barclay Early Childhood Education Center. Her primary focus in Philadelphia has been teaching creative movement and ballet to children ages 2-12. Currently she dances with CoEXIST Dance and mentors the junior company, writes as a dance critic for thINKingDANCE, and is studying to become a Dance/Movement Therapist at Drexel University. Whitney has grooved with artists such as LEVYdance, Tiffany Mills, and Janis Brenner, and frolicked with Youtheatre, Dangerous and Movin’ Dance Company, Hyphen-Nation Arts, Dance Max Moving Company, Grant Street Dance Company, CoJoMotion, and Temple University concerts.
Quyne Rider, a classically trained alumna of the Wissahickon Dance Academy, former member of the Janosik Polish Dance Ensemble and Monique Legaré Interna#onal Dance Company, has been dancing professionally for 20 years. Specializing in dances from all over the world, Ms. Rider is also the reigning Polka dance champion of Pennsylvania 6 years in a row.