Faculty and Staff


MARY CARMEN CATOYA, ( Ballet Repertoire and Variations ) Prima ballerina of Miami was born in Venezuela. She began her training at the age of six in Caracas and began her professional career at the age of 13. She danced with the Youth Ballet of Venezuela, the Contemporary Ballet of Caracas, Cleveland Ballet and as a principal with the National Ballet of Caracas, where she was coached and trained by Ballet Master Vladimir Issaev. She danced as a principal at the Miami City Ballet from 1999 to 2015. Her repertoire includes works of George Balanchine, Vicente Nebrada, Dennis Nahat, Alberto Mendez and Vladimir Issaev. Ms. Catoya has danced extensively abroad at many festivals and galas, including an international gala before the King and Queen of Spain, the inauguration of the Theater Simon Bolivar in Brazil, Dance Aspen, and the Gala of Stars at the Festival International de Santander and was the prima ballerina responsible to open the Arsht Center in Miami with her interpretation of Don Quixote.  She has also dancer at the Gala Night at the Mikhailovsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia and at the Orlando Competition Gala of the Stars. She has danced with both Taras Domitro and Daniel Sarabia in Queretaro, Mexico and with Rolando Sarabia at the Fire Island Festival in New York City.
In July 2011 she was the prima ballerina for Les etes de la Danse at the theatre du Chatelet in Paris with Miami City Ballet.
She received the award "Premio Casa del Artista" as Best Classical Dancer of the Year in 1999  and Premio Municipal de Danza 2002 as best dancer.
Mary Carmen have been coached and trained by remarkable artists such as Jose Pares, Vicente Nebrada, Vladimir Issaev, Rafael Portillo, Zane Wilson Karelia Moreno, Elena Madan Vera at the Ballet Nacional de Caracas, Dennis Nahat at Cleveland Ballet, Ileana Lopez, Violette Verdy, Jean Pierre Frohlich, Maria Cagliari, Mary Ashley and Edward Villella at Miami City Ballet.
Most recently she performed in Poland, Mexico and Indonesia next to her ballet master Vladimir Issaev
Ms. Catoya is the principal dancer of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida.

LILLIAN WINTER HILL ( Ballet ) began her training at Pro-Am Dance Studio at a very young age. She furthered her classical ballet training with Magda Aunon at Fort Lauderdale Ballet Classique. While attending Dillard Canter for the Performing Arts as a dance major, she worked as an apprentice with Jubilee Dance Theater.  Upon graduation she joined the Richmond Ballet and began working towards a BFA in dance at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Some of her greatest achievements include performing Dew Drop in the Nutcracker and for the Prince of Saudi Arabia. She joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in 2011 and has danced solo roles in Issaev's Harlequinade, Fairy Doll, The Nutcracker, El Encuentro, Le Corsaire, Chipollino, Donizetti Variations, Fragmentos by Edgar Anido, Danzon by Yanis Pikieris, Pentimento by Vicente Nebrada and Tarde en la Siesta with music of Lecuona and choreography by Alberto Mendez. She has performed Vladimir Issaev's piece Fuga con Pajarillo at the Latin Choreographers Festival in New York in 2012 and toured with the company to Peru, Germany and Indonesia. Ms. Lilly has a great approach with the young ballet student following the Vaganova method with high discipline.

LUSIAN HERNANDEZ ( Ballet, Stretch, Contemporary) was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela where she started her ballet training at 7 years of age at the Fundacion Escuela de Ballet Clasico del Edo. Lara. She has participated in many local and international dance festivals including the Festival Danza Joven in Colombia in 2009 and has been awarded several times with scholarships from programs such as the Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Minneapolis where she attended in 2008. In 2010 she was awarded Bronze medal at the International Ballet Competition in Caracas, Venezuela repeating the same accolade for 2011. After attending the Summer Intensive Program of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida in 2011, she was invited by Vladimir Issaev to join the company's apprentice program. Since then she has performed the repertoire of the company including Yanis Pikieris Danzon, and Issaev's Nutcracker, Chipollino and Suite of Waltzes among many more. She is now a professional dancer of the company and she started working in the modeling field. Her extreme flexibility has allowed to learn more about the human body’s capabilities. She has taught stretch classes during the Summer Intensive Program and she is also a coach for the young participants in ballet competitions.

JANIS LIU ( Ballet ) was born in Hong Kong and began her ballet training under Ivy Chung School of Ballet in Hong Kong. After being accepted into the pre-professional program at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School in 2012, she joined Coastal City Ballet of Vancouver, Canada in 2013 and until 2016 she was a soloist at Columbia Ballet. In the summer of 2013 she was asked to perform in Swan Lake with the Hong Kong Ballet Company at the Guangzhou Theatre and in 2014 she was a guest artist for Charleston Ballet. Ms. Liu has won numerous international and important awards competing in many significant competitions including the prestigious Varna International Ballet Competition held in Varna, Bulgaria, USA IBC in Jackson, and the Asian Grand Prix.

YASAMIN HAGHAYEGH ( Toddlers, Musical Kinder, Ballet ) began her ballet training at Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet at the age of 10. Since then, Yasamin has expanded her extensive repertoire by performing in all of the company’s productions such as The Nutcracker, Firebird, Doctor Ouch!, Petrouchka, Taiko, Suite of Waltzes, Fuga con Pajarillo, Harlequinade, Fairy Doll, Chipollino, A Celebration to Klimt, among other classical and neoclassical pieces, as well as contemporary pieces by choreographers J. Garant, Yanis Pikieris and Edgar Anido. She has also consistently demonstrated her vigorous dedication to her training, by attending all Summer Intensive Programs of Russian Technique. She has traveled around the world with the company to participate in various renowned dance festivals in Germany (2008), Denmark (2009), Mexico (2010), Poland (2012) and Germany (2014). She graduated three years ago and immediately joined Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida dancing all the repertoire of the company.

JORGE ROBLEDO ( Flamenco) Jorge Robledo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he trained in dance and theater. Later he relocates to Spain where he trains with different teachers and choreographers. He has performed on the most outstanding stages world wide and with the most prestigious artists such as Rocio Jurado, Isabel Pantoja among others. He continues to perform with the most prestigious Flamenco companies in South Florida. Jorge teaches only at selected locations in Miami, among them Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet and is also part of the faculty of the Summer Intensive Program of Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. Mr. Robledo has great charisma and passion and he achieves the students to learn quickly the art of Flamenco as long as the student is committed to his classes

VERONIKA PEREPELITSINA ( Character ) is a graduate from the Moscow State University of Culture and Arts as Dance Teacher and Choreographer. She is a highly established character dancer, with a particular expertise in Russia. She was a dancer of the honorable A. V. Alexandrov Academic Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Army and of the very famous State Academic N.S. Nadezhdina Choreographic Ensemble “Beroiska”. Her technique combines elements of Russian dance and folk culture, bringing a new and exciting dimension to every performance

MAYLEN RODRIGUEZ ( Toddlers, Musical Kinder ) A talented student of the Professional Division of Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet has recntly finished her second Summer Intensive Program of Russian Technique under the tutelage of Vladimir Issaev , Yelena Zabalkanskaya, Andrei Bossov and Valentina Biczyna. She has also worked as a teacher assistant during the Summer Camp teaching ballet and other styles of dance. She has performed with the professional company in The Nutcracker, Chipollino and the International Young Dancers Festivals. We welcome Maylen to our staff this year to work with the student division

GABRIELA RODRIGUEZ ( Baby Tap ) Gabriela started her ballet training at a very young age at Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet where she son entered the Professional Division. Since then, she has performed in evey production of the company including The Nutcracker where she has always performed solo roles as Clara, the Doll and Marzipan. She has also performed in Fairy Doll, Harlequinade, Firebird, Paquita, just to name a few. She has participated in several Summer Intensive Program of Russian Technique with the most famous teachers of the Vaganova Academy. She also took modern, Tap, Flamenco and Character classes. Gaby has worked as an assistant teacher in the Summer Camps and during the school year. Just before her graduation she will join the teaching staff providing Tap classes for the youngest of our school.

MIKA SANTO ( Hip Hop, Contemporary )  Mika Santo has been dancing for 13 years and counting with knowledge and training in almost every style including Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary. She has received numerous amounts of scholarships for her dancing and has been seen in TV/Music Videos including the hit show "La Banda." As an aspiring choreographer and dancer, Mika is currently a part of the very reputable Millennium Dance Complex Miami's crew and is foreseen to be very successful in the near future.





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