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. Brevard Ballet Academy comprises complete Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Contemporary, and Adult programs.
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 a 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
Elena graduated from the world renowned Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. Upon graduating she earned the position of principal dancer for the St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theatre, and later the St. Petersburg Ballet (Russia) which is comprised of mostly Vaganova graduates. She spent eight years performing all over the world at different prestigious theatres before moving to the United States and earning the title of principal dancer with Nevada Ballet Theatre. Elena is known for her loyalty, incredible discipline, and for her vast repertoire including lead roles in Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadere, Paquita, and many others. During her tenure as a principal dancer, Elena had the honor of working with esteemed choreographers Val Caniparoli, Bruce Steivel, Peter Anastos, Mark Diamond, and others. Upon retirement as a professional dancer, she discovered her passion for teaching classical ballet. Elena is now in her 12th year as a teacher and opened Brevard Ballet Academy in 2014. Elena has former students currently enrolled in renowned ballet schools, universities, and professional ballet companies.
In 2015, Elena was interviewed by Florida Today where she laid out her vision to grow her faculty, her facilities, and her student base in order support a youth company. In 2018 her hard work paid off when she founded the Brevard Ballet Youth Company. Elena had the vision and experience to produce several magnificent full-length ballet productions, to include My Christmas Dream (which she wrote and choreographed), Cinderella, and the Nutcracker Ballet.
Jeff Heiden – Ballet Master
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 11 years and has been with Brevard Ballet Academy since the spring of 2015.
Elaine Eccleston – Head of Contemporary TrainingMiss Elaine’s dance career has spanned over 25 years and includes performing, choreographing, and teaching. As a professional dancer, she performed works by many of modern dances’ most influential choreographers, including: Septime Webre, Twyla Tharp, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Bob Fosse and many more. Elaine began her dance studies in Cincinnati and trained under the direction of Anneliese von Oettingen. In 1992, Elaine was accepted into the pre-professional training program with the Washington Ballet Company in DC, where she spent three years training in both ballet and contemporary dance. She then returned to Cincinnati and graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts and was accepted shortly after as a scholarship student at Wright State University where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance performance. Upon graduation, Miss Elaine danced with Dayton Ballet Company where she toured throughout the United States and furthered her new-found love for contemporary dance in New York and Chicago. Elaine finished her dance career at Dance Alive National Ballet. She then transitioned to teaching as a means in which to give the gift of dance to future generations.
Michele “Mimi” MacDonald – Ballet Instructor & Strength and Conditioning Coordinator
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 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.
Hayley Keir – Ballet Instructor
Hayley received her training from the North Carolina School of the Arts and later the renowned Nutmeg Conservatory of the Arts in Torrington, CT. Upon graduation Hayley danced with Atlanta Festival Ballet and Georgia Dance Theatre where she had leading roles in Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Giselle, Jane Eyre and Swan Lake. Upon her retirement as a principal dancer, Miss Keir assumed the role of Ballet Mistress for Georgia Dance Theatre and later joined their Board of Directors. Miss Hayley was the company's Associate Director, Ballet Mistress and Dance Educator before moving to Florida in 2018. As Associate Director and Ballet Mistress, Hayley was directly involved with the full length ballet productions of La Bayadere, Romeo & Juliet and Nutcracker. She taught for the company's school, Georgia Dance Theatre & Performing Arts for 8 years.
Rebecca Hudnall – 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 and Administration
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.
Noelle Nehmer – Academy Administrator
Noelle has been with Brevard Ballet Academy for 6 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.
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.
Brevard Ballet Youth Company
Brevard Ballet Academy students perform with their associate company, Brevard Ballet Youth Company. BBYC has a full production company showcasing ballets such as My Christmas Dream (written and choreographed by Elena Shokhina) , Cinderella, and The Nutcracker Ballet. Auditions are held at Brevard Ballet Academy in August for The Nutcracker Ballet and in January for our spring ballet. We perform these spectacular ballets at the state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center on the campus of Eau Gallie High School. This 750 seat performing arts center is perfect for our students and their families. Less than a mile from Brevard Ballet Academy, this venue has all the amenities of a large city theatre with ideal seating for ballet viewing and with spacious and clean dressing rooms. The venue is located in the heart of Melbourne.
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 Harlequin 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.