Marcela Figueroa born in Santiago, Chile, Marcela moved to Caracas Venezuela when she was very young where she began her ballet studies at the The Gustavo Franklin School of Ballet. Upon graduating with honors in 1986, she began her career with the National Ballet of Caracas, under the direction of Vicente Nebrada. During this period Marcela became a principal dancer working with ballet masters Vladimir Issaev, Zane Wilson, Madame Nina Novak, and others, and performing leading roles in Swan Lake, Coppelia, Firebird, Romeo and Juliet, Paquita, Apollo, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, and many others. Recognized internationally as a very strong and expressive dancer, Marcela received a national award for “Best Interpretation of the Year” in the title role of the ballet George Sand, choreographed by Vicente Nebrada. Marcela also danced as principal with the Ballet Nacional de Venezuela, working with Irina Ivanova and Maestro Roumen Rachev.
After receiving her diploma as ballet teacher, choreographer and coach at the Ballet Ruso Irina Ivanova, Marcela moved to the United States in 1992, where she furthered her ballet studies with Wilhelm Burmann and danced with several companies including Connecticut Ballet (Brett Rafael,) Dance Galaxy (Judy Fugate and Medhi Bahiri,) Columbia City Ballet (William Starrett,) Pennsylvania Ballet Theater (Trinette Singleton), Omaha Theater Company Ballet (Robin Welch,) Montgomery Ballet (Priscilla Cromblin,) Western Ballet Theater of Puerto Rico (Nana Badrena,) Ballet Concierto of Puerto RIco (Lolita San Miguel,) and Dance Alive (Kim Tuttle.)
She has worked with ballet luminaries such as Cynthia Gregory in Paquita, Jose Manuel Carreno as her partner in Giselle, and was in the original cast of Stanton Welch’s Orange. She also worked side by side with Judy Fugate and Medhi Bahiri as Directors of Dance Galaxy. Mrs. Figueroa is happy to be a member of the Russell School of Ballet faculty and part of the Fairfax Ballet’s artistic team.
Marcela teaches ballet.
Elizabeth teaches ballet.
Jessica Magarelli was born and raised in Northern Virginia and has been a dedicated dancer since the age of three. Jessica received a majority of her training at The Russell School of Ballet, where she studied ballet, jazz, tap, modern, hip hop, and musical theatre. She performed with the junior and senior companies in The Fairfax Ballet for many years and participated in countless performances. Jessica graduated from Virginia Tech University in 2013 with a Bachelors in English and a concentration in Education. There she was a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble and held the position of Technical Director for three years as well as becoming a choreographer for the company. While obtaining her Bachelors she began teaching at The Center of Dance in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she was able to grow and learn as a dance instructor under Carol Crawford Smith, and at The Performing Arts Institute of Virginia with Margo Easter. She has taught ballet, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz to all age levels. Currently Jessica is earning her Masters in Special Education at George Mason University and working as a teacher at The Primrose School of South Riding. She is delighted to return to The Russell School of Ballet as an instructor and continue to share her passion for dance with her students.
Jessica teaches modern, ballet.
Laura McElhaney began her dance training at the age of three at the Russell School of ballet and began her tap training at the age of five. Laura danced with The Fairfax Ballet Junior and Senior companies all through Middle and High School and has enjoyed many roles during those years. During college Laura continued to dance at Russell School when home on breaks and for the summer and has worked as a member of the stage crew for both Nutcracker and the Spring shows since her graduation. Laura most recently performed in the 2013 Nutcracker as the Mouse King. Laura graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Computer Science and when not dancing or teaching at the Russell School works as a Software Engineer.
Laura teaches tap.
Coralynn Celeste Schiefelbein began studying dance when she was 9 years old. She fell in love with dance her very first class and immediately knew she wanted to make it her career. Coralynn has learned and performed many dance forms, ranging from classical ballet to musical theater to hip hop. At the age of 14, Coralynn was invited to take the advanced ballet course by Lisa Carter the dance director at Creighton University. She also took the intermediate ballet course and the tap & jazz courses. She got A’s in all courses and received 5 credit hours. At 16 she performed the lead role of Aurora for the Asheville Ballet’s production of the full length Sleeping Beauty. She competed and performed at the Carolina Dance Masters, receiving a platinum award as a finalist. She has worked with Raquelle Davis from the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Alex Wong from Miami City Ballet and So You Think You Can Dance, and Dres Reid a dancer for Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. She has studied with Kira Ivanovsky and Valerie Smith Concha who both danced with the prestigious Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo. This past year she was invited to be a trainee with the Manassas Ballet Theatre and danced with them for their 2014-2015 season. While there she was honored with a principal role of the “Duck” in MBT’s Peter & the Wolf and More. This past year she was also the beginning hip hop, intermediate and advanced jazz teacher for Manassas Ballet Academy. She also had the pleasure of dancing the lead role “Nina” in Shawn Short’s original short ballet “Vampire Suite” for Dissonance Dance Theatre. Coralynn is also currently teaching ballet, tap and lyrical at Ashburn Academy of Dance and Cuppett Performing Arts Center. Coralynn has a deep love for dance and loves sharing it with others.
Coralynn teaches ballet, lyrica
Margaret Virkus began studying ballet with Balanchine trained Judith Lee Johnson in St. Petersburg, Florida. She went on to study with notable teachers Alexandra Danilova, Leon Danielian, Valentina Pereyaslavec, Maria Yurieva Swoboda and Igor Schwezoff in New York and with Edward Caton, John White, Margarita de Saa and Barbara Weisberger in Philadelphia. For two years in Texas, Margaret had the good fortune to study daily under master teacher Victor Moreno of the legendary Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
She was awarded full scholarships at the American Ballet Theatre School, Pennsylvania Ballet School and the National Ballet School in Washington, D.C., where she attended the professional ballet and academic program and graduated high school. In her senior year Maragret performed in a production of Coppelia under the direction of the iconic Frederic Franklin, who had personally invited her to attend his school in Washington.
Margaret danced as a soloist with the Fort Worth Ballet under the direction of Fernando Schaffenberg while majoring in ballet at Texas Christian University. A few of her favorite roles include the second soloist in George Balanchine’s Concerto Barrocco, the title role in La Sylphide, Marie Taglioni in Pas de Quatre, and the Don Quixote pas de deux.
Ms. Virkus has choreographed and staged numerous ballets including the Grand Pas from Paquita, Act 2 of La Sylphide, the Nutcracker, and many original works. She has taught classical ballet for over 30 years in the Washington area at the Atrium Studio of Dance under Annetta Holser, the Washington School of Ballet under Mary Day and the Russell School of Ballet where she continues to enjoy sharing her ballet heritage with her students.
Margaret teachers ballet.
Naomi Widelski began her dance training at age 7 under Ingrid Lozano at The Dance and Fitness Academy in Lubbock, Texas. She continued under the instruction of Yvonne Racz-Key at Ballet Lubbock, Texas from 1995-1999. For two years, Naomi danced for Mr. Neil Hess with the West Texas A&M University Dance Ensemble and with the Lone Star Ballet. She danced professionally with Ballet Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee and retired in May 2005. She has attended summer programs at Ballet Magnificat, St. Louis Conservatory of Ballet, and Ballet Austin. Naomi has taught for Studio 413 in Memphis, Ballet Lubbock, Christ in the Arts, NMBC and Sandra’s School of Dance in Albuquerque. Her performing experience includes The Nutcracker, La Bayadere Act 2, Daniel Catanach’s Astansia and Mambo, Karl Condon’s The Rescue, Swan Lake Act 2, and as a soloist in Journey to the High Places. Starting in 2009, Naomi danced in The Nutcracker and the lead role of Alice in Alice in Wonderland with NMBC. She was also the Assistant Artistic Director of NMBC for the 2011-2012 season.
Naomi teaches ballet.
Marilyn York – As the artistic director and founder of Dancin’ Unlimited, a professional jazz dance company based in Northern Virginia since 1973, Marilyn York has been bringing first class jazz dance to the Washington DC Metropolitan Area for almost forty years. Her experiences as an artistic director, performer, master instructor and choreographer attest to her unwavering resolve, With her keen attention to detail and no-nonsense management style, Ms. York devotes herself to improving the quality and visibility of jazz dance. She wants her audiences to experience the power, passion , and precision of America’s indigenous dance style, Marilyn York is truly an artistic treasure of Northern Virginia.
Marilyn teaches Ballet and Jazz