Founder, Artistic Director
Elizabeth Shipiatsky trained at the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Upon graduation, she was invited to dance with the Kirov Ballet of the Mariinsky Theater. She then completed a Master’s Degree in Choreography with the Leningrad State Conservatory (Russia) in 1989. Ms. Shipiatsky has choreographed for major ballet companies in Europe and North America, including the Kirov Ballet and the Vaganova Academy. Several of her original ballets have been adopted by the Vaganova Academy as part of its curriculum and are being performed by Vaganova Academy dancers all over the world.
Maestro Pyotr Gusev launched Ms. Shipiatsky’s career as a ballet mistress by inviting her to assist him in staging Le Corsair for the Kirov Ballet. Since then, Ms. Shipiatsky has staged classical ballet repertoire for a number of major ballet theaters and companies including the Kirov Ballet, Vaganova Ballet Academy, Academy of the Russian Ballet, Kuibyshev Opera and Ballet Theater, Brighton Ballet Theater, Minnesota Classical Ballet, and Colorado Ballet. Ms. Shipiatsky served as a Principal Choreographer and Associate Director of Colorado Ballet II, and as a faculty member of DanceAspen and Colorado Ballet. She was the co-founder and artistic director of Classical Ballet of Colorado.
The quality of Ms. Shipiatsky’s instruction is reflected in the success of her students, many of whom have been accepted to prestigious dance schools in the U.S. and abroad, such as the Vaganova Ballet Academy (Saint Petersburg, Russia), Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kirov Academy of Ballet (Washington D.C.), School of American Ballet, Houston Ballet, Arizona Ballet, Bolshoi Summer Intensive (New York), Bolshoi Academy (Moscow, Russia), American Ballet Theater, and Juilliard. Several of her former students are professional dancers with companies including Colorado Ballet and Sacramento Ballet. Ms. Shipiatsky was the well-deserved recipient of the Outstanding Teacher award at the Denver Regional Youth America Grand Prix in 2012 and, under her direction, CBC was deemed the YAGP Outstanding School in 2013.
Ms. Olga Zaretskaya is a graduate of the Kiev State Ballet Academy, Kiev (Ukraine) and holds a Master’s Degree in Rehearsal Direction from the Kiev State University of Theatrical Arts under Valery Kovtun. Olga has considerable experience teaching and staging ballets. She was a Principal Teacher with the Academy of Russian Ballet and Assistant Artistic Director of the Russian Ballet company based in Denver, CO. Ms. Zaretskaya has staged full-length 19th century classics as well as numerous contemporary pieces. Her academy students continue to be accepted at leading ballet schools in the United States on full scholarships. Ms. Zaretskaya has been a guest teacher in studios on both coasts, in the mid-west, and Europe. She has taught summer intensives at Danceology Performing Arts Campus in San Diego as well as at V&T Classical Ballet & Dance Academy in Laguna Hills, California.
Currently, Ms. Zaretskaya is a first soloist in National Opera House in Ukraine, and her repertoire includes Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Giselle, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Flower Festival, Esmeralda, Le Corsair, Carmen-Suite, Spartacus, Romeo and Juliet, Legend of Love, Bolero, and many others. Ms. Zaretskaya will share her talents with Classical Ballet Academy as her performing schedule allows.
Pas de Deux Instructor
Yosvani Ramos, a native of Camagűey, Cuba, trained at Cuba’s National Ballet School. He began dancing with the English National Ballet as soloist in 1999 and was promoted to principal dancer in 2003. He subsequently earned positions as principal dancer at the Australian Ballet and Cincinnati Ballet. He currently dances as a principal dancer with Colorado Ballet, having joined them in 2015. His repertoire includes the leading roles in all the major classical ballets, including Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Cinderella, and La Sylphide, among others. He has danced to the choreography of Balanchine, Ratmansky, and Duato, and has guested with ballet companies all over Europe and the United States.
Maureen Breeze began her professional career in the apprenticeship program with Alwin Nikolais Dance Theatre and the Murray Louis Dance Company. She performed as a member and/or guest artist with many modern dance companies including: Sara Pearson & CO and Stephen Kaplowitz & Dancers in New York, The Pat Graney Company and Co-Motion Dance in Seattle, and the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Jan Justis Dance, and the Hannah Kahn Dance Company in Denver. She was the founder and artistic director of JUMPSTART/Dance Works where her choreography was funded by the Colorado Council on the Arts (in partnership with the National Endowment of the Arts), the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, the Denver Foundation, The McCormick Tribune Foundation, and other granting agencies. Prior to running her own company, Ms. Breeze owned and directed Dance Centre Seattle, a studio for professional contemporary dancers. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College in California where she studied International Economics and Mathematics. She was on the faculty at Classical Ballet of Colorado prior to teaching here at Classical Ballet Academy. Ms. Breeze teaches and choreographs at the Denver School of the Arts.
Jazz and Tap Instructor
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Kimberly Chmielewski graduated magna cum laude from The University of Iowa, receiving her BFA and Honors in Dance and Sociology. While at The University of Iowa, Ms. Chmielewski was a member of Iowa’s elite touring company, Dancers in Company, for three consecutive years, and had the privilege of working with choreographers such as: Jaime Camarena, Harrison McEldowney, Gina Patterson, Julie Bour, Nina Watt, Karen Burns, and all faculty members at Iowa. Other outstanding performance achievements at Iowa include: featured dancer in the resetting of José Limón’s “Psalm,” soloist in a new work created by Joanna Rosenthal-Read, soloist in Michael Medcalf’s “Hearthside,” and a cast member in former Trisha Brown dancer, Melinda Myers’, “Green Rooms.” Ms. Chmielewski was also one of twelve students sent to represent The University of Iowa in a cultural exchange and performance with Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico.
Currently dancing for Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Apex Dance, Moraporvida Contemporary Dance, and multiple free-lance projects, Ms. Chmielewski previously danced for Kim Robards Dance and Dance Co. Collective. She spent time in New York City under the artistic advisory of The Joffrey Ballet School’s Artistic Director, George de la Peña. She began her training under Judith Svalander, Greg Begley, and Altin Naska, director of S.P.A.C.E. Dance Company in Chicago and the Dance Chicago Festival. During past summers, Kimberly has attended Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet School, and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre’s summer intensives on scholarships. As well as dancing professionally, Ms. Chmielewski also teaches dance and loves the creative intuition and positivity her students constantly supply to her passion of the art form.
A native of Fairfield, Alabama, Bria began her dance training at The Ebony Arrington Dance and Performance School in Birmingham, where she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and modern under the direction of Ebony Arrington and Bronze McGhee. Bria later studied at The Pointe Dance Arts under Angela Walker. She received her BFA in Dance from the University of Alabama while under the instruction of Cornelius Carter. Bria choreographed many student works while at the University of Alabama. She currently dances with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble
Substitute Ballet Instructor
Katherine Grace-Shamburek trained under Elizabeth Shipiatsky from 2007 to 2013, then studied at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia, under Ludmila Kovaleva and Tatiana Udalenkova, graduating in 2015. Katherine is the recipient of a number of honors and awards. She studied on partial scholarship at the summer intensive of the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC, and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive in New York. She was the recipient of a prestigious scholarship sponsored by the US Department of State to study ballet and Russian language and culture at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia, during the summer of 2011. She won first place in 2012 at both the Youth America Grand Prix Denver semi-final and the Denver Ballet Guild Young Dancer’s Competition. In 2014, Katherine was named as an Outstanding Female Dancer at the conclusion of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive. Katherine is presently working with Maureen Breeze on a modern dance project.
Brigid Innerst began dancing at the age of 4 at the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. She studied at Classical Ballet of Colorado from 2011-2014 under the direction of Elizabeth Shipiatsky. Her repertoire at CBC included Sugar Plum Fairy (Masha) in The Nutcracker, Medora and Gulnara in Le Corsaire, Black Swan Pas de Deux in Swan Lake, and Aurora and the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty. Brigid participated in and achieved Top 12 placement at Youth American Grand Prix several years in row and was awarded 3rd place at Denver Ballet Guild. She attended summer intensives at Miami City Ballet and Ballet West. She worked with the Ballet Arizona trainee program in 2015. After an injury, she spent time working and traveling in Italy and then returned back to Colorado and is studying to become a Medical Assistant. She joined the faculty of CBA in August 2017.