Professional Training Program Faculty
Edward Ellison | Artistic Director
Edward Ellison is the founder and artistic director of Ellison Ballet, based in New York City. As a dancer, teacher, ballet master and coach, Mr. Ellison has traveled the world. He has served as ballet master for Boston Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Alberta Ballet, and has taught for such companies as American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Mr. Ellison has also taught for the schools of San Francisco Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet, the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, STEPS on Broadway and several universities and colleges throughout the U.S. He is frequently invited to be a jury member with numerous international ballet competitions. Through his detailed technical and artistic influence, Mr. Ellison's students have been awarded numerous top prizes in international ballet competitions: Moscow IBC; USA (Jackson) IBC; Youth America Grand Prix; World Ballet Competition; and Tanzolymp-Berlin. Graduates of Ellison Ballet can be seen dancing for some of the most prestigious companies across the globe, and his school has received the YAGP Outstanding School and Outstanding Teacher Awards. Mr. Ellison has been featured in articles in Dance Magazine, Pointe, and Dance Spirit.
Jolanta Valeikaite | Classical Technique, Pointe, Variations
Born and raised in Vilnius, Lithuania, Ms. Valeikaite graduated with honors from the National Ballet Academy Vilnius (Vaganova-based). As a student, she received her first major break at the age of 18, debuting in the title role of “Giselle,” whereupon she was promoted to soloist in the Lithuanian National Ballet Company. In 1981, she received a full scholarship to study at the Bolshoi Theater with teachers M. Semionova, T. Vetrova, and B. Akimov. A principal dancer for 10 years with the company, her roles include “Giselle,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake,” “Raymonda,” “Nutcracker,” La Sylphide,” and “Coppelia”. Additionally, she appeared as a guest artist with V. Vasiliev—E. Maximova Company in the U.S.A., France, and at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary Gala of V. Vasiliev at the Bolshoi Theater and R. Page’s “The Nutcracker” in Chicago. In 1988, Ms. Valeikaite received prizes in the International Ballet Competitions in Moscow, Varna, and Paris. Upon moving to Germany in 1992, she became a principal dancer with Bonn Ballet and Essen Ballet. Her roles include: “Romeo and Juliet,” “Three Sisters,” “Cinderella,” “Hamlet”, choreographed by V. Panov & “Before Night Falls”, choreographed by Nils Christy, “Adagio Hammerklavier” by Hans van Manen, “The Four Last Songs” by Rudi van Dantzig, “7 Symphony” by Toer van Schayk. In 2000 and 2001, Ms. Valeikaite worked as an assistant choreographer in the new production of S. Prokofiev’s “Classical Symphony” and “The Rite of Spring”, choreographed by X.Peng-Wang at the National Ballet Company Vilnius, Lithuania and Central Ballet Company in Beijing, China. In 2001, Ms. Valeikaite moved to the U.S.A. In 2003-2014, she taught at Ballet Arts in Worcester, MA and from 2007-2014, she was a ballet mistress and faculty member at the Festival Ballet Providence in Rhode Island. Since 2014, Ms. Valeikaite has been a faculty member at the Ellison Ballet.
Evgenia Singur | Classical Technique, Pointe, Variations, Character
Evgenia Singur graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. After the graduation, she joined the Russian State Ballet in Moscow. Ms Singur was a Soloist with Russian State Ballet where she performed Principal and Soloist roles in the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Q, Spartacus, Scheherazade, Les Sylphides, and many others. With the Russian Ballet she toured internationally to 30 countries. She has performed for the Queen of England, Kings of Oman and Dubai, and for many presidents. She has appeared several times in European and Russian dance magazines representing Grishko in ad campaigns. Her specialties are teaching ballet and character dance. She has taught at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC.
Eva Janiszewski | Classical Technique, Pointe, Variations, Character
Eva Janiszewski has had the honor to study with great classical artists throughout her career including Gelsey Kirkland, Elena Sherstneva, Vera Solovyeva, Nikolai Levitsky, Yekaterina Mikhailovtseva, Irina Kolpakova, and Lyubov Fominich. After graduating from the Gelsey Kirkland Academy, Ms. Janiszewski became Gelsey Kirkland’s first Principal Character Artist in her company, and performed leading roles in various ballets. In the following years, Ms. Janiszewski studied intensively in St. Petersburg Russia with Yekaterina Mikhailovtseva, while taking class with the Yacobson Ballet. She then went on to freelance and perform with several companies, including a guest performance with Open World Dance Foundation, where she danced the Character Mazurka in Misty Copeland’s premiere of Cinderella. Eva Janiszewski has taught at numerous schools in the United States as full time faculty as well as summer faculty, including Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, The Hartt School, Joffrey Ballet Character Program, and Forrest Academy of Ballet New York. In 2016, Ms. Janiszewski started Eva Janiszewski Ballet, a school in NYC for young gifted artists. Her students have since won the gold medal and Jury distinction awards in the solo and ensemble categories at several competitions in the United States. In 2023, Ms. Janiszewski received the Outstanding Teacher award from both Youth America Grand Prix and National Ballet Competition, in addition to the Outstanding School award from NBC. Ms. Janiszewski is thrilled to be a part of the Ellison Ballet Faculty.
Olga Bazilevskaya | Music Director, Music Faculty
A graduate of Moscow Conservatory College (Russia), Ms. Bazilevskaya brings with her 30 years of experience in music. Between 1974 and 1990, she taught piano at The Music School in Moscow and the Moscow Military Music College. Ms. Bazilevskaya moved to New York in 1990 where she was the musical director of Ballet Hispanico for seven years as well as Gelsey Kirkland Ballet for six years. For over twenty years she has worked with professional dance companies and schools as an accompanist, such as Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, School of American Ballet, Juilliard School, Ballet Trockadero, Ellison Ballet, Steps on Broadway and Ballet Academy East. Olga, also, is an accomplished piano teacher and has developed a unique music workshop for dancers.
Juan Rodriguez | Contemporary
Juan Rodriguez began his training as a scholarship student at The Ailey School where he was the recipient of The Donna Wood Award. He furthered his training at The Juilliard School earning a BFA under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy. Upon graduating, Juan danced professionally with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and has freelanced with others. He has performed works by Hans Van Manen, William Forsythe, Alonzo King, Nicolo Fonte, Jodie Gates, Edwaard Liang and Dwight Rhoden. He has choreographed for The Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Steps Conservatory, Broadway Dance Center and Buglisi Dance Theater. He has taught at The Ailey School, BDC, Steps on Broadway, Ballet Academy East, Dance Theater of Harlem, Peridance, French Academie of Ballet, Vassliev Academy of Classical Ballet, Princeton University and Adelphi University.
Ashley Carter | Contemporary
Ashley has performed and choreographed at venues such as Jacob's Pillow, Teatro Madrid, The Barrow Street Theater, SummerStage, Battery Dance Festival, The Highline Ballroom, Webster Hall, BB Kings and Carnival Choreographer's Ball. She has taught at Ballet Academy East, various schools in Mexico and Spain, Joffrey Ballet, Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, Ballet Arts, Lines Dance Center, University of Hawaii, Tony Williams Dance Center, and Green St Studios. She has worked alongside artists such as Ricky Martin, NeYo, Lady Sovereign, and Nicki Minaj, for companies like Pilobolus, Balasole, Derek Mitchell, Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions, Ruddur Dance, Momentum Dance Theater, Daniel Gwirtzman, the Little Opera Theatre of NY, Rachel Thorne Germond and Balasole, and for brands such as Nike, Athleta, Nokia, Pixar, Microsoft, Heineken, Yahoo, Ameriprise, the Rachel Ray Show and Lush Cosmetics. She has been seen off-Broadway in West Side Story and 3 to 1. Ashley performed in a music video for Sia, for a Boost Mobile commercial, a feature film with Justin Timberlake, and is credited with choreographing independent feature film "The Ride of Tom and Valkyrie" and the musicals "Dragula" and "Parallel Lines." Ashley was featured in the original dance film "Here We Go Again," in "Barber of Seville" with the Amore Opera, and worked on a production of "Peter Pan" for Broadway Asia. Ashley has choreographed several full-length shows for the her company DoubleTake Dance (www.DoubleTakeDanceCo.com) (co-director Vanessa Martínez de Baños). Choreographic commissions include the world-renowned Dancing Wheels Company, HT Chen's NewSteps, JPAC's Next Stage Residency, and the Montclair Performing Arts program, as well as a choreography grant from Eryc Taylor Dance. Ashley's choreography has been featured in the YAGP Finals two years in a row, has won many awards at regional and national competitions, and is in high demand in New York, throughout the US, and abroad.
Ursula Verduzco | Contemporary
Ms. Verduzco is a freelance ballet and contemporary dancer and choreographer born in Mexico and residing in NYC since 1997. She danced featured roles with companies including Ballet Austin (as a student), New York City Opera, Benjamin Briones Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Connecticut Ballet, Some Dance Company, Veracity Dance Theatre, New York Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre in Westchester, Ad Hoc Ballet, Ballet Neo, and Designated Movement Company among others, performing in classical and contemporary repertoire. She was honored to appear in Dance Magazine as one of the dancers highlighted in their July 2010 issue, “Race & The Next Generation.” As a choreographer she has created several commissioned works throughout the years for Ellison Ballet, Youth America Grand Prix, Benjamin Briones Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Nomad Contemporary Ballet, Periapsis Music and Dance, Neville Dance Theatre, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, CounterPointe as well as for the Cuban dance company Danza Libre. She created original work for the UK film company "More than a Londoner's" short film project. In 2018, she was commissioned to create a piece for the 28th Anniversary of Cuban company Danza Libre and was invited to participate at the Grand Prix Vladimir Malakhov in Holguin Cuba with it. She was commissioned a second time to create an original work for Danza Libre in 2020 to be premiered at their 30th Anniversary Gala. She is the Founder and Director of The Latin Choreographers Festival, an initiative that was born to support the work, vision, and background of Latin choreographers that reside anywhere in the world and had a successful run from 2008 to 2012, celebrating its 5th Anniversary.
Elizabeth Sullivan (Wellness)
Elizabeth A. Sullivan was a professional ballerina with the Cleveland/San Jose and Boston Ballet companies. After earning a BA at Dartmouth College and an MA at Columbia University, Elizabeth returned to dance in her current capacity as a wellness coach, consultant, and teacher. Since 2011, she has taught workshops and seminars in the School of American Ballet, The Juilliard School, Ellison Ballet, the Boston Ballet School, Cary Ballet, Greenwich Ballet Academy, and the Kansas City Ballet School, among others. Elizabeth coaches young dancers and their parents in her private practice, helping them navigate the ins and outs of the dance world. Her dancers have trained at elite schools like the Royal Ballet and the English National Ballet Schools in London, San Francisco Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and the JKO School at American Ballet Theatre; they have won medals at Youth America Grand Prix, Prix de Lausanne, been invited to compete at IBC Jackson and Varna, and received job offers from major world companies like American Ballet Theatre, the English National Ballet, and Dutch National Ballet. She is a certified Wellness Coach through the American College of Sports Medicine and Wellcoaches School of Coaching, as well as the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. For consultations or to enroll in her group or private coaching programs, please visit easullivan.com/discovery-session/
Past Guest Faculty have included:
Past Repetiteurs/Choreographers have included:
Carlos Dos Santos