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Meet Our Faculty

Yukari Thiesen

Director, is a former soloist of the Matsuyama Ballet, Tokyo, Japan: Director Valley Performing Arts Council: Artistic Director Fresno Ballet Theatre. Ms. Thiesen has been the Producer of “the Nutcracker” with the Sacramento Ballet and also with Russian Festival Ballet, “Snow White & Seven Dwarfs” “Cinderella” “The Jungle Book” and “The Secret Garden” with State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara and director/choreographer for outreach productions of “The Little Match Girl”, “Snow Queen”, “Cinderella”, “From the Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake Act III” and other ballets for over 132,000 grade school students from 25 school districts. Her choreographic works for other companies include a section for the Sacramento Ballet in “The Nutcracker”, “Merry Widow” for Fresno Grand Opera and Producer of the ballet scene in “Carmen” for FGO. She was the recipient of the 2013 Artists in Residence Grant from Fresno County Office of Education. She has directed and taught ballet programs for over 600 grade school students at seven elementary school districts.

Anton Romanov

Trained and graduated from the world renowned Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow: Formerly with: the Kremlin Ballet Theater, Moscow; Ballet Municipal of Lima, Peru; Ballet Municipal of Rio De Janeiro; National Ballet of Paraguay; Bayerische Staatsballet in Munich, Germany. He’s also a recipient of the Bronze Medal at the professional ballet dancers’ competition in Bento de Danza, Brazil and the Gold Medal at Interdanza as well as participated in the Paris International Ballet Competition in Paris, France.

Joy Thiesen

Alumni Northwest Studio for Ballet: Formerly with Ballet Arizona under the direction of Ib Andersen (former principal dancer with New York City Ballet through personal invitation of George Balanchine). Her ballet teachers include Marat Daukayev – Former Artistic Director of the Kirov Academy of Ballet, Meelis Pakri – former Ballet Master of Colorado Ballet and current faculty member of the Royal Ballet School in London, and Kee Juan Han- former Director of the School of Ballet Arizona, currently the Director of School of Washington Ballet. She has performed in “Merry Widow” and choreographed and performed in “Carmen” with Fresno Grand Opera. She is an Honor Graduate from UC Davis and currently working on her MFA. She is a lecturer with CFU Fresno.

Linnea Hess

Children’s Program: Principal dancer with Fresno Ballet Theatre as well as a recipient of a full scholarship from Academy of Colorado Ballet, the official school of Colorado Ballet. She has her BA Degree in Child Development from Fresno State University.

Yulia Gamboni

She is a native Ukrainian from Odessa, Ukraine. She was trained in the classical Russian Vaganova Ballet method at the Grand Opera and Ballet House in Odessa Ukraine. She also holds a BA Degree in Liberal Arts and Dance. In 1993 she received a bronze medal and Title of Laureate at the Moscow International Ballet Competition of “Ballet Russe”. She owned and directed her own ballet school in the Ukraine prior to moving to the United States.

Shelby Archible

Moved to Fresno in 2016 from Boston. She was formerly with the Boston Ballet under the direction of Artistic Director Nikko Nissinen.

Guest Faculty

Kenneth Balint

California State University Fresno Theater Dance Department Assistant Professor: Professional ballet dancing career before joining the faculty of CSU.

Maria Fliagina

Graduated with distinction from the Perm State College of Choreography in Russia, the official school of Perm Ballet: formerly with the Moscow State Theatre Kremlin Ballet. Presently, she is the State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara Ballet Master.

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