The Brookline Ballet School

The Brookline Ballet School
1431 Beacon Street
Brookline MA, 02446

Phone: 617.879.9988

Youth Ballet Program Faculty



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Trinidad Vives is a native of Madrid, Spain. Ms. Vives began her training in Spain with Carmina Ocaña, Luis Fuente, and Victor Ullate. She spent summers studying in Paris. Ms. Vives was a first prize medal and scholarship winner at the Prix de Lausanne Competition. She completed her ballet training at the Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes Rosella Hightower. Upon graduation she joined the Hamburg Ballet at the age of seventeen where she was a Soloist for six years and was awarded the Oberdorfer Prize for Best Young Artist. Later as a Principal dancer with the Basel Ballet, Düsseldorf Ballet, and English National Ballet in London she performed the leading roles of the classical ballet repertoire as well as contemporary works by some of the greatest twentieth-century choreographers such as George Balanchine, John Neumeier, Sir Kenneth McMillan, John Cranko, Glen Tetley, Ben Stevenson, Heinz Spoerli, and Ronald Hynd. Read more about Trinidad...



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Parren Ballard, a 1986 Graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, was trained exclusively by Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski. He began his professional career, at the age of seventeen, with the Cincinnati Ballet. From there he went on to enjoy an internationally successful career for over twenty years as a Soloist Dancer working closely with Artistic Directors such as Ivan Nagy, Heinz Spoerli, and Ben Stevenson. He performed leading roles for the Basel Ballet in Switzerland, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf Germany, the English National Ballet in London, and the Houston Ballet, before retiring from the stage to focus on teaching classical ballet. Aside from his early training, his teaching method has been influenced by such great teachers as Woytek Lowski, Jurgen Schneider, and Ben Stevenson with all of whom he studied. Read more about Parren...


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Claire began her training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. From a young age she had the opportunity to perform the work of George Balanchine and Alan Hineline. She spent summers at CPYB and Boston Ballet’s Summer Dance Program. After graduating from high school, Claire continued her training at Indiana University studying with Violette Verdy, Jacques Cesbron, Guo Ping Wang and Glenda Lucena. She was featured as the Lead Flower in The Nutcracker, the Autumn Fairy in Cinderella, and in the Diamond Variation in Sleeping Beauty. Claire choreographed ballets for the Student Choreographic Workshop in 2003, 2004 and 2005. While at IU, she taught both college-age elective students and pre-college young dancers. Claire graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Ballet and Comparative Literature with a minor in Spanish. From 2005 through 2009, Claire danced professionally in Southern California, predominantly with the City Ballet of San Diego, but also with San Diego Ballet and Los Angeles Ballet Theatre. Again she was able to perform ballets by George Balanchine, as well as newly-choreographed works by Betsey Wistrich and Javier Velasco. In 2008 her ballet, Push, was featured in San Diego Ballet’s Choreographer’s Showcase. In 2012, Claire attended the CPYB Teacher's Workshop.


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Desirée began her formal dance training in Salem, Virginia on a full scholarship with the Southwest Virginia Ballet where she was privately coached by School Director Terri Post. Throughout this time she also attended summer programs at the Boston Ballet, Ballet Magnificat, and Pennsylvania Academy Ballet under the tutelage of John White and Margarita DeSaa. Desirée’s professional career began at the age of 17 at the Virginia Ballet Theatre where she consistently performed leading roles in such ballets as George Balanchine’s “Valse Fantasie” and Agnes de Mille’s “Three Virgins and a Devil.” In 2000 she began dancing with Ballet Magnificat and toured across North and Central America, Europe and Southeast Asia. In 2004, Desirée joined José Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, MA and soon became a principal dancer. During her 6 years with Ballet Theatre she had the privilege of having original roles and choreography created specifically for her by the company director, José Mateo. Additionally, Desirée has guest performed the leading roles in “Coppélia”, “Firebird”, “Cinderella” “Graduation Ball” and “The Nutcracker”. She has received recognition for her work throughout the Metro Area, both online and in print within such publications as the Patriot Ledger, The Boston Phoenix and The Boston Globe. Desirée enjoys teaching and sharing her passion for dance with others. She has taught ballet for over 12 years to students of all ages and is excited to bring her love of dance to the Youth Ballet Program at TBBS.


VIKTOR PLOTNIKOV  Contemporary Dance

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Originally from the Ukraine, Viktor Plotnikov is known for the bold and contemporary flair of his choreography as well as for his very focused use of movement to tell a story and to relate strong, passionate emotions. Mr. Plotnikov began his dance studies at the Kiev Ballet Academy in the Ukraine before traveling to Russia to enter the Vaganova Ballet Academy. As a performer, he has danced as a soloist with the Ukraine’s Donetsk Ballet Theater as well as a principal dancer of Mississippi Ballet Company, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, and Boston Ballet. Mr. Plotnikov is a rising choreographer on the international scene, having created work for Bolshoi Ballet work shop, Richmond Ballet, and Festival Ballet Providence, RI. After winning the Choreography Prize at the 2005 Helsinki International Ballet Competition, Mr. Plotnikov went on to win the Best Choreography Award at the World Ballet Competition and a prize at the International Choreographic Competition in 2007.

PETER PAWLYSHYN  Character Dance

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Mr. Pawlyshyn has recently been the School Director at Kansas City Ballet. Before joining Kansas City Ballet School, Peter served for six years as associate artistic director/ballet master of Eugene Ballet, in Eugene, Oregon. 
Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, Mr. Pawlyshyn graduated from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and later joined the Company. His teachers included Julia Arkos and David Moroni. Mr. Pawlyshyn also holds a Graduate Certificate from the Pavlo Virsky Character Academy in Kiev, Ukraine. In his career he has danced with Louisville Ballet and Nevada Dance Theater, also serving as Assistant Ballet Master. He has appeared as Principal Guest Artist with Boston Ballet and was invited  to join the staff of the Boston Ballet School. He spent seven very successful years at the school  as a teacher and coach.
He has been a guest teacher at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, International Ballet Competitions in Jackson, Mississippi, Hartford Ballet, Joffrey Ballet II, Atlanta Ballet, Harvard University, University of Iowa, Southern New Hampshire Dance Theater, the Cecchetti Council of America, Cecchetti Society of Canada, Dance Masters of America and the Royal Academy of Dance. Mr. Pawlyshyn has coached and restaged numerous ballets. He has choreographed such ballets as Cinderella, La Boutique Fantasque, Natalia (an original full length) and Tango.

KATHY HARTSELL  Yoga Conditioning for Dancers

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With a history steeped in professional ballet, yoga and physical therapy, Kathy teaches custom-tailored and breath-guided movement classes designed to support dancers, athletes and people of all backgrounds. A yoga teacher since 2007, her ongoing experiences in yoga, dance, and physical therapy inform, enrich and inspire her work.
Kathy’s ballet experience includes working as a professional dancer with Boston Ballet and training as a student at the National Ballet School of Canada. Her degree in Physical Therapy Assisting brought her to Boston Sports Medicine, where she specializes in dance related injuries. Her commitment to approaching all things holistically led her to train with Soma System™, a form of intelligent self body-work. In advocacy of improving the health of dancers, she serves as the Soma System™Associate Director of Dance.



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Betsy trained under the direction of Victoria Lyras at the Indianapolis School of Ballet. She earned a double Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University, where she was instructed by Tyler Walters and Julie Janus Walters. She performed featured roles with the Duke Dance Program, including the lead soloist in Gerald Arpino’s Reflections. While in college, Betsy taught ballet at Walltown Children’s Theatre. After graduation Betsy performed prominent roles in both classical and contemporary ballets as a company member with Ballet Quad Cities. Betsy also taught ballet at the Ballet Quad Cities School of Dance and was selected to give a master class as part of the Wheaton College Artist Series. For the past two years, Betsy was on faculty at the Indianapolis School of Ballet, instructing both young children and adults. As a guest artist with ISB, Betsy performed roles such as the Second Violin in Concerto Barocco, the lead girl in Valse Fantaisie, Raymonda in Raymonda, and Dew Drop, Snow Queen and George Balanchine’s Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker. Betsy is excited to teach at the Brookline Ballet School!


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Nadya Karpova began dancing at the age of five in Baltimore. After moving to Boston, she spent ten years in Boston Ballet's intensive division. She performed in the company's productions of “The Nutcracker” and “Romeo and Juliet”. During that time, Nadya attended summer dance programs at The Kirov Academy of Ballet, Orlando Ballet School and Walnut Hill, where she trained in ballet, modern, jazz, character, and flamenco. Nadya has taught creative dance at Peanut Butter and Jelly Dance Company, and gymnastics at the New England Sports Academy to young children. As a member of the Dance Organization of Boston College, she performs in and choreographs for its annual shows and Boston College’s “Arts Festival”. Additionally, she teaches ballet to BC students. Nadya is excited to spread her love of dance to the young children at TBBS!


RAHT KETUSINGHA  Piano accompanist

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Raht has an A. Mus. T.C.L. from Trinity College in London, England and Diploma in Music Performance and Pedagogy from Yamaha Music Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. A devoted and firm believer of “rounded education,” he also earned a bachelor degree in Economics (B.Ec.) from Sydney University (Australia) where he was a Colombo Plan Scholar. He has an M.A. in Economics and an A.B.D in Economics from Northeastern University (Boston, U.S.A.), and has also completed graduate course work in higher education administration at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he also earned a Certificate of Mediation.
He is an Award Winner at the 11th International Electone Concour held in Japan receiving The Outstanding Performance Award for his award winning original composition “Australia” which was later copyrighted by Yamaha and now can be heard on U-tube. “Australia” was composed specifically to feature the GX-I Yamaha Synthesizer. At the time, he represented Australia to the Electone Concour.
Raht has been working with and composing original music for dancers, dance teachers, and choreographers in the Massachusetts since the early 1980’s. He also worked with The Kirov Ballet of Russia, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet of Canada, and Dance North of Australia when they performed in Bangkok and, at times, The Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Mark Morris Dance Company in Boston.
Raht has performed at the Sydney Opera House as well as in concert halls of other major cities of Australia, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. In 2004, he was inducted into the Thailand Music Hall of Fame established by the Siamkolakarn Music Foundation (Yamaha Thailand.) He trains competitors and concert artists for various music competitions and concerts. He also sits on the panels of judges in music competitions and auditions. In fact, Raht very much enjoys the opportunity to teach everyone interested in learning to play the piano, and in both direct and indirect ways, to bring music into all lives and art forms.

IRINA RAMIEL  Piano accompanist

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Dr. Irina Ramiel has been playing piano professionally for over 35 years. She earned her PhD in Piano Performance in Zurich, Switzerland where she first began playing piano in the world of ballet.  She has performed worldwide as a piano soloist, spending several years with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She was both a ballet accompanist and a piano teacher at the Boston Conservatory and Harvard University. She played piano for Jacqueline Cronsberg’s Massachusetts Youth Ballet for 9 years. Following recent work playing for the American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Ballet Academy East in New York City, Irina has returned to Newton, MA where she has enjoyed more than 2 decades as a piano accompanist for the Boston Ballet School and Boston Ballet Company, and has resumed providing one-on-one private piano instruction there. Irina has had her own piano school since 1994. She teaches students piano in order to enhance their knowledge and performance capabilities.