Welcome to Brevard Ballet Academy. We are a highly successful, prestigious school offering world-class ballet instruction to the greater Melbourne area. We provide students with the opportunity to aspire in the world of ballet by offering consistent training, private lessons, performances, summer camps, dance competitions, and master classes.
Our mission: Creating an environment for students to be introduced to dance, grow in their love for ballet, as well as continue development of current ballet skills. Whether to enhance a healthy lifestyle, further discipline, or to become a professional dancer, we provide the most consistent atmosphere, training, and scholarship opportunities to attain these goals.
Brevard Ballet Academy is a proud corporate sponsor of the Eau Gallie Art District.
Elena Shokhina – Owner and Academy Director
Miss Elena graduated from the famed Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, considered by most to be the world’s premier ballet academy. For 16 years she traveled the world as a principal dancer with both St. Petersburg Ballet (Russia) and Nevada Ballet Theatre (USA). Elena was known for her commitment, loyalty, incredible discipline and for her vast repertoire including principal roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadere, Paquita and many others. After 16 years as a principal dancer, she found her passion for teaching classical ballet and has now taught full-time for 11 years. For Elena, being a teacher is not just about training, it is about nurturing. Her best asset is the love she shows to all of her students.
As an artistic director, Elena has produced 8 shows in Brevard County, bringing in international guest dancers to perform with her students. Her Nutcracker Ballet was met with critical acclaim in 2017, receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from the public. Starting with nothing, Elena designed the costumes, all the props, and tailored choreography specifically for each student. Her overwhelming success as a teacher and artistic director lead to a 3,000 square foot expansion of Brevard Ballet Academy in the summer of 2018.
Noelle Nehmer – Academy Administrator, Contemporary and Yoga/Pilates Instructor
Noelle has been with Brevard Ballet Academy for 5 years. She’s a graduate from Florida State University and holds a Masters’ degree in Finance, along with a Bachelor of Science in Business. While in college, Noelle danced in the FSU College of Dance, and the Montgomery School of Dance. She received her 15-years of ballet training from legendary Brevard County resident, Marta Phillips. Noelle is certified in both yoga and Pilates instruction, which she teaches at Brevard Ballet Academy.
Jeff Heiden – Ballet Instructor
Jeff studied with some of the most respected ballet teachers at the prestigious Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC. This allowed him the opportunity to perform with ballet companies such as Orlando Ballet, Dance Alive National Ballet, and Cleveland San Jose Ballet. After retiring from his ballet career, Heiden sailed the high seas traveling the world performing and directing on cruise lines as an acrobat and dancer – and later performed in Las Vegas with Cirque du Soleil. Mr. Jeff has been teaching in Brevard County for over 10 years and has been with Brevard Ballet Academy since the spring of 2015.
Michele “Mimi” McDonald – Director of Training and Development
Mimi studied classical Vaganova ballet from teachers who worked with Russian ballet masters in Cuba. She has a Masters’ Degree in dance education and has established herself as an expert on teacher preparation, having served on the faculty of private studios and universities in several major cities. When she is not teaching pre-ballet and ballet here at Brevard Ballet Academy, Mimi travels the country training studio owners and their faculty on teacher preparation and execution as the founder of Dance Education Consulting, LLC. She utilized her extensive dance teacher-training background, in conjunction with Miss Elena’s extensive knowledge and experience with the Vaganova method, to develop the in-depth and detailed curriculum that our faculty uses at Brevard Ballet Academy to develop ballet dancers.
Rebecca Hudnall – Ballet and Pre-Ballet Instructor
Miss Rebecca trained in the Vaganova Method of classical ballet for 8 years under the instruction of Boris Chepelev and Janna Kirova. During her development, she danced roles of Little Clara, Kissy Doll, Pa De Trois, Spanish, and Snow Queen in an annual production of the Nutcracker. She also performed in Spartacus and Sleeping Beauty with world renowned guest dancers. Miss Rebecca has also trained in modern and character dance. She completed her teacher-training at Brevard Ballet Academy under the guidance of our Director of Training and Development, Mimi McDonald and Academy Director, Elena Shokhina.
Dasha Bondar – Marketing Director and Contemporary Instructor
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Dasha is the daughter of two Vaganova Ballet Academy graduates and grew up in the world of professional ballet. After moving to the United States at age 5, she trained at the Nevada Ballet Academy on scholarship for 8 years. Outside of her ballet background, Dasha trained in contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop – and has created choreography for local dance group competitions. She is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University.
Duncan Cooper – Master Class Guest Instructor
Duncan is an in-demand master teacher and choreographer. He received a majority of his training in the San Francisco Ballet and later spent 5 years dancing with the company. He then joined The Dance Theater of Harlem as a principal dancer from 1995 through 2004. He has danced notable leading roles. His list of guest artist appearances includes lead roles in New York City Ballet, Washington Ballet, Royal Birmingham Ballet and more. Duncan spent five years as a faculty member at New York City Dance Alliance and is currently a faculty member at Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco, Teacher/Choreographer for CLI Studios, and Co-Founder and director of Modas Dance.
We are always seeking accomplished instructors to compliment our exceptional faculty. Your inquiry is sincerely welcome. Please contact us to discuss opportunities or send your resume to resume@BrevardBallet.com.
Because of our overwhelming success developing dancers BBA was forced to do a 3,000 square foot expansion in 2018 to accommodate student enrollment.
Now, our facility is nearly 5,000 square foot boasting two large dance studios. Studio A is 1,500 square foot with floating floors and Harliquin dance flooring. It is accompanied by a large lobby, waiting area, warm-up area for dancers, two spacious dressing rooms and restrooms. Studio B boasts a 1,100 square ft floating dance floor with a Rosco Marley dance surface. The waiting area is fully furnished, complete with changing areas, restroom, kitchen and dancer warm-up areas. We have front and back entrances to our school with plenty of parking for easy access.
We are in the center of the acclaimed Eau Gallie Art District; walking distance to the Foosaner Art Museum, Eau Gallie Library, a public park with playground, coffee shop, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and more.