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Elena Manakhova Owner and Artistic Director, Teacher of advanced Ballet. Mrs Elena was born in Chelyabensk, Russia. She began her ballet training at the age of six in Chelyabensk. She studied first with Balentina Khabereu at the Art School. After 3 years of dancing with this Khobereva, Balentina urged Elena's parents to apply to the world famous Kirov Ballet Academy and Vaganova Academy. Thousands of dancers apply yearly but only about 100 are accepted each year. After 3 extensive tests which include even bone structure at 10 years old, Elena was one of the chosen dancers to eventually be in the 249th graduating class of the Academy. Elena had several years of extensive classical ballet Vaganova style instruction and while there she studied under: Konstantin Sergev and Natalia Dudinskaya, artistic directors for the Academy, Alla Chernova - Professor of Classical Ballet, Irina Trophimova - Professor of Classical Ballet, Robert Gerberk - Professor of Acting, Irina Gensler - Professor of Character (Folk), and Konstantin Desniski - for Pas De Deux (Partnering) Professor.

Each year while at the Academy, she danced with the Kirov Ballet Theater and many other local Ballet Companies. After graduating from Academy with excellence in Ballet, she became principal dancer for the Donestsk Ballet Theater. In 1987 she received the Medal of Honor at the Ukranian International Ballet competition. While at Donetski Ballet Theater, Elena danced with premier dancer Vadim Pisarev. In the nineties, she became prima ballerina with National Ballet of the Republic of Komi. Her career has brought her many performances as prima ballerina in the following ballets: "Swan Lake" - Odette, Odile, "Nutcracker" - Clara, Sugar Plum, Arabian, Snow and Spanish, "Giselle" - Giselle, Myrta, "Chopiniana" - 7th Waltz, Mazurkas, Prelude, "La Silphide" - Silphida, "Bolero", "Carmen Suite" - Carmen, "Le Corsaire" - Pas d'esclave, "Don-Quixote" - Kitre, Mercides, "Melody G. Blucr, "Dying Swan" - Swan, "Coppelia" - Swanilda, "Spartak", "Paquita", "Sleeping Beauty" - Fairys, "Esmeralda" - Esmeralda, "Notre Dame de Paris", "1001 Arabian Nights" - Mardjana, and many others.

She danced as principal dancer in many ballet companies around Russia. In 1993, Elena came to America and danced with the International Ballet company in New Jersey. She worked and trained under Alla Osipenko (Russian Prima Ballerina - Kirov Ballet) and Irina Kolpakova (Russian Prima Ballerina - Kirov Ballet). Elena also worked and trained under Elena Chernishova, famous Choreographer and Ballet Mistress of the ABT (American Ballet Theatre) who taught and worked with Mikhail Baryshnikov. In the mid-nineties, Elena became a member of the Russian Ballet Theatre of Delaware. While there she worked with Lev Assoulak - Famous Russian teacher & Art Director, Robert La Fosse - Famous Choreographer and principal dancer at ABT and NY City Ballet (he choreographed "Nutcracker" and Rags" for the Russian Ballet Theater), Daniel Baudendistel - from Joffrey Ballet, choreographer & Principle ballet dancer (he choreographed "Frank Sinatra", "Pointer Sisters", "Alcome", "Gershwin", "Romeo & Juliet", and Vive La France" for Russian Ballet Theatre) and Leslie Browne (famous ballerina).

Elena was Guest Artist with Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, she danced the roles of "Sugar Plum" in their annual production of "The Nutcracker" and also danced in the "Dying Swan" one of their Spring Galas. Elena became Artistic Director for ESBT in 2001. From that time on she has choreographed many ballet and ballet pieces for ESBT such as: "Nutcracker", "Coppelia", "Shopeniana", "Swan Lake" Acts II and III, "Snow White", "Paquita", trio from "Le Carsaire", "Bolero", "Pas de Quatre" restaged, "Peter & the "Wolf" restaged, and "Red, White & Blue" restaged. Elena has taught for Salisbury Studio of Dance for the past 10 years. Her passion of ballet helps her raise serious professional dancers. Elena is currently the owner of Salisbury Dance Academy, Ballet Mistress for the upper levels of the Academy and Artistic Director for the Eastern Shore Ballet Theatre, Inc. Just this past year Elena received her Master's Degreein Teacher of Classical Ballet, Vaganova Style and Choreography from Cheyabinsk State Pedagogical University in Russia.

Betty WebsterFounder. Mrs. Webster, a former dancer with the National Ballet in Washington, D.C., founded the Salisbury Studio of Dance. She currently serves as President of the Eastern Shore Ballet Theater, Inc., which she formed in 1991.

Britni Drehmer Ilczuk Teacher of Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. Mrs. Britni found her passion for dance at the age of three, beginning classes with Salisbury Studio of Dance at the age of five and loving every moment of it. Since 2004, Britni has been a teacher and is honored for the opportunity to take part in making Salisbury Dance Academy a success. A native of Salisbury, Britni has always loved every aspect of performing, from dance to theatre, behind the scenes or out on stage, it's all a joy. She has received training in dance, theatre, music, and voice, and recently graduated from Worwic Community College with an Associates in Early Childhood Education. Britni wants to inspire her students to fall in love with the wonderful art of dance and performing, just as she has. In class, she not only focuses on learning proper technique, but also teaches how to feel the music, get in character, and most importantly, have fun. Aside from her life in the performing world, Britni is the pianist for Delmar Christian Center, and she and her husband enjoy working as youth leaders there.

Christy Ennis Teacher of Intermediate-Advanced Jazz and Tap. Mrs. Cristy, a native of Salisbury, began dancing at the Salisbury Studio of Dance when she was three years old. Over the years she was a member of the Eastern Shore Ballet Theater as well as Broadway Etc., a studio affiliated troupe that had the privilege of performing in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. At the age of fifteen, she began teaching ballet and tap to younger students, and eventually went on to instruct both tap and jazz to the advance levels before she graduated Salisbury University in 2004. After graduating, Ms. Eckert moved to Rockville, MD where she had the opportunity to teach tap and assist the musical theater director at the Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center in Frederick, MD. In 2008, Ms. Eckert returned to Salisbury and to the Salisbury Studio of Dance teaching staff. Currently, Ms. Eckert teaches both jazz and tap.

Drew Yowell is a graduate of East Carolina University. Dancing was a constant in Drew's childhood, and the only activity that truly resonated with him. Drew started tap dancing at the age of eight and slowly immersed himself in other styles. Throughout his dance journey, Drew has trained under several brilliant choreographers including David Parsons, Sarah Slipper, Zaliman Grinberg, and Richard Smith. Drew has been a company member of Patti Week's Collectively Speaking as well as a member of The Lost Colony. While at The Lost Colony, Drew was the artistic director and choreographer for A Dance Showcase and Dance Concert 2017.

Emily Lane is a junior at Salisbury University, where she studies Early and Elementary Education, as well as Dance. She found her passion for dance at an early age, and is trained in ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. Emily has previously danced with the Mid Maryland Performing Arts Company, where she was awarded her the Overall Scholarship in 2015. She was also awarded the Artist Simply Human scholarship, which is founded by Brahm Logan Crane. As a scholarship winner, Emily gained valuable training with notable dancers such as Travis Wall, Lisette Bustmente, and Kenny Warmold. Today, most of Emily’s time is spent dancing. She choreographs and performs for both the Salisbury University Dance Company, as well as the university dance club, Untouchables.



Guest Choreographers

meganMegan O’Neill has been dancing for 17 years and started at the age of 3. she have trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical theatre, Tap, and Hip hop at Ballet with Cindee Velle. Megan was a part of their competition team and also helped teach younger dancers. She was also a part of the Columbia Chamber Ballet performing the Nutcracker every winter season. In high school Megan was apart of Howard High School’s Dance Company and Dance Team. Her senior year she was captain of both. She went to East Carolina University for a year and was apart of their club dance team competing at various competitions including Worlds in Orlando, FL. Megan is currently a junior at Salisbury University and is co-captain of the Poms Dance Team.