About Conservatory Ballet

About the Faculty

Meet Dr. Ovchinnikova

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Elena Ovchinnikova is the most educated Vaganova ballet scholar and teacher we know and now she is Upper school director and acting Artistic Director of Curriculum and Company! Elena will let us all know how to prepare for a first performance, what it is like to dance lead roles in Swan Lake and Giselle, how she medaled at three International Ballet Competitions and more! Let us know what you want to know about Russian ballet, Vaganova method, how to become a principal ballerina, and more.

Elena’s favorite roles include the starring role of Gamzatti in La Bayadere; Odile in Swan Lake, choreography by Petipa and staging by Grigorovich, and the Sylph in La Sylphides (known as “Chopianna” in Russia) with choreography by Mikhail Fokine.   She has won 3 International Ballet Competition Awards…one from Zagreb in 2012, from Rome in 2007, and Vienna in 2007. She is the author of the “Breath in Choreography” program and book which has the honor of being approved by the Academic Council of the Moscow State Academy of Choreography (Bolshoi Ballet Academy). The innovative method has been used in educational ballet lessons since 2002.

Elena has a Ph.D. in Theory and Methods of Dance from the Moscow State Academy of Choreography (also known as the Bolshoi Ballet Academy); in 2009 she graduated as Ballet Pedagogue, with honors, from Moscow State Academy of Choreography (Bolshoi Ballet Academy); she also graduated as Joint M.Sc./M.D., Medical Cybernetics, in 2004, (that is Medical Doctor studies combined with scientific training) form the Russian State Medical University, Moscow; and she is a professional ballerina graduating from the Moscow Academy of Dance, Russia in 1999. Quite a talented woman, don’t you agree?

Meet Signorina Palladino

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Originally from Italy, Ms. Valentina Palladino began her dance training in 2003 in Sardinia at the School of ballet under master Roberto Magnabosco. 


Among her many accomplishments, Sna. Palladino performed Juliette as soloist in 2016.

most recently she performed Sheherazade.


As lower school director Sna. Palladino is integral to the the development of the school's most impressionable students. She is a kind, quiet, and patient teacher who considers the whole child in teaching methods while keeping a high standard.

Meet Mrs. Bartlett

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Alexia Redick Bartlett is from three generations of ballet teachers. 


Her grandmother Alicia Kish was a prima ballerina assoluta with the Hungarian National Ballet. Her mother Julia Cziller Redick taught for 55 years, creating more professional ballet dancers than any other teacher of her kind. Revered by many as the best ballet teacher in the area, Mrs. Redick brought Alexia everywhere she went. Alexia was in every class she taught her whole life. Conservatory Ballet foundation is created in her honor.


Alexia has studied under some of the greats herself, including Rudolph Kharatian, Mr. Zimmelerov, Madame Vinogradova, Madame Kolpakova, and she was fortunate enough to be the little sister of two extraordinary male dancers who themselves studied under great ballet masters. She has performed at Kennedy Center and with Ballet Paradiso.


Alexia is full of energy and thrives in a room full of children.

About the Faculty

Meet Mrs. Redick

Meet Morgann Rose

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The Conservatory Ballet Foundation, a Principal Ballet Company, is the oldest and most reputable dance academy in the Washington, DC, area, offering early childhood, pre-professional, and adult programs. Whether age 1 or 100, there is a place for you here in a challenging yet nurturing environment where students learn to embody the three e’s – excellence, experience and leadership by example.


For more than 47 years, the Conservatory Ballet has helped thousands of students excel in dance and in life, by fostering an environment where they are celebrated and challenged to exceed their personal expectations. Now partnered with Principal Ballet with new vibrant classes and internationally renowned teachers, both Conservatory Ballet and Principal Dance provide our community and students with a rich history, and a bright future.


Dance is revered as both an art as well as a science. All age groups from 18 months to 18 years through adult are exposed to the intellectual, emotional, physical and visual aspects of dance and the mind/body connection. The Conservatory Ballet's classical curriculum is based in the Vaganova method. Students benefit from complete and correct technique, which differentiates them in this crowded industry, along with the passion to pursue their dreams.

Audition for the Conservatory

Join the new studio with a 95-year family history. At the excellence-driven Conservatory Ballet program, students are rewarded daily by their peers and faculty, and recognized semi-annually by the community for their hard work and dedication at the winter Nutcracker and Spring Festival performances and Principal Dance programs throughout the year.

Our Curriculum

The Conservatory Ballet Foundation, a Principal Ballet Company, is the oldest and most reputable dance academy in the Washington, DC, area, offering early childhood, pre-professional, and adult programs. Whether age 1 or 100, there is a place for you here in a challenging yet nurturing environment where students learn to embody the three e’s – excellence, experience, and leadership by example.

For more than 47 years, the Conservatory Ballet has helped thousands of students excel in dance and in life, by fostering an environment where they are celebrated and challenged to exceed their personal expectations. Now partnered with Principal Ballet with new vibrant classes and internationally renowned teachers, both Conservatory Ballet and Principal Dance provide our community and students with a rich history, and a bright future.

Dance is revered as both an art as well as a science. All age groups from 18 months to 18 years through adult are exposed to the intellectual, emotional, physical and visual aspects of dance and the mind/body connection. The Conservatory Ballet's classical curriculum is based in the Vaganova method. Students benefit from complete and correct technique, which differentiates them in this crowded industry, along with the passion to pursue their dreams.

The Conservatory Ballet curriculum is based on the Vaganova method, the world's premiere classical ballet training methodology. The Vaganova technique provides foundational education in classical technique, focusing on injury-free development of skill and discipline. A Vaganova-trained ballet dancer is a uniquely expressive dancer, with stellar technique, artistry and power behind every movement on stage.

Our School

After auditioning, students are placed in one of the following programs based on their experience and age. 

  • Future Etoiles, Ages 6 and under: These students attend Conservatory classes once a week for 3-4 year olds, and twice a week including Saturday for 5-6 year olds. Future Etoiles are introduced to the curriculum through basic ballet steps, barre work, and lots of fun, creative movement and expression.
  • Jeune Danseurs, Ages 7-11: Jeune Danseurs attend 2-4 classes per week, including Saturday. These students are introduced to the full breadth of ballet training, including character and repertory work, and with a focus on stamina, strength and flexibility. 
  • Demi Etoiles, Ages 10-13: These students attend the Conservatory 4-6 times per week, including Saturday. Demi Etoiles continue to  refine their mastery of movement, with the introduction of more complex combinations, advance barre work, pre-pointe work, and emphasis on physical and mental coordination.
  • Repertoire, Ages 14-18: Repertoire students attend the Conservatory every day of the week. Classical repertory, variations and character work are expanded. Pas de Deux study includes pirouettes, promenades and strength conditioning in preparation for aerial work such as lifts and throws. Students en pointe study complex combinations, jumps, and strive to attain technical proficiency, elegance of form and beauty of artistry that Vaganova-based students embody.
  • Boys Dance, All Ages: This program emphasizes physical agility, flexibility and strength in a non-competitive environment full of expression, movement and music. Boys are provided with an outlet for their boundless energy and guided towards focus on power and the unique elements of men's ballet: leaps and turns. This class is free for admitted Conservatory boys who participate in one of the previously listed programs.

Our Students

The Conservatory Ballet Foundation produces more professional ballerinas than any other pre-professional dance academy in the greater Washington area. Conservatory Ballet students have preformed with premiere dance companies around the world including the American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, English National Ballet, Fort Worth Ballet, Miami City Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Moiseyev Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet.


For more than 47 years, Conservatory Ballet students have appeared alongside professional ballet companies at regional venues including The Kennedy Center, Wolftrap and The New York City Ballet in productions including Union Jack and Firebird. Also, Conservatory Ballet's preparatory academy students develop real-world experience in competitions among the best dancers in the world at Lausanne, New York International and National Arts Recognition.



Students of Conservatory Ballet are distinguished by their elegance, experience and earnestness and consistently selected first in open auditions at summer programs of major global companies including Bolshoi Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, the Kirov Academy, Pennsylvania Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts and the Kirov's Vaganova institute in St. Petersburg Russia.

Employment Opportunities

The Conservatory Ballet Foundation is always looking for talented instructors to join our dynamic and world-renowned staff.