IMG_0477_1.JPGBallet intensive on zoom:
Dates: June 22 to July 17
Times: 9:30 to 12:30 Monday- Friday
Price: $650 - 4 weeks or $200 per week
Class offerings: Ballet, Pointe, Variations, Character, Jazz, Modern, Yoga

Due to the Corona Virus this program will take place online and Irina Komarenko will not be travelling to the USA. 

The Summer Ballet Intensive is for intermediate and advanced ballet students. The program stresses the highly structured Vaganova syllabus and closely resembles the program of study adhered to in the former Soviet Union.  Students hone their skills in ballet, pointe, partnering, jazz, modern, character dance, historical dance and yoga.  WDA ballet mistress and former principal dancer from the Kyrgyz Opera and Ballet in Krygystan, Elena Tiuriakulova, has been on staff at WDA since 2003 and will be teaching during the program. Additional faculty include Yosbel Delgado, formerly of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Donald Lunsford, Artistic Director of Philadanco II, Quyne Rider and Megan Do Nascimento, yoga instructor. The Intensive is intended for serious students who want to improve their technique. Dancers should be between the ages of 10-22 and have at least two years of experience.

The program is for students ages 10-22 with at least two years training in ballet. Class placement in the program is on an individual basis and will be determined on the first day of the program. An audition is recommended, but not essential. The audition fee is $17. Students may submit a photograph in first arabesque and a letter of recommendation by a ballet teacher, in lieu of an audition. To schedule an audition, contact Wissahickon Dance Academy at 215-849-7950, or email

A limited number of scholarships are available for the summer program based on need and talent. Applicants must submit a financial aid form, schedule an audition or, if not within commuting distance, submit a 10 -15 minute videotape showing barre, center, and pointe work (upper levels). The financial aid form can be downloaded here. Contact the studio at 215-849-7950 or email for information.

FACULTY (Partial list)
QUYNE RIDER, Character


IRINA KOMARENKO graduated from the Alma-Ata Ballet Academy, Kazahkstan and joined the world-renowned Donetsk Ballet as a soloist. At the 1995 International Festival of Stars World of Ballet she received “The Hope of Ukrainian Ballet” diploma of recognition. In 1993 she received the award of “High Mastership.” Komarenko has toured in Italy, France, Norway, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Canada, China and Switzerland. In 1998 she was a Finalist in the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, and in 2000 received an award for being the best non-competing partner at Varna’s International Ballet Competition in Bulgaria. She joined the Indianapolis Ballet in 1999 as principal dancer for six years before returning to the Donetsk Ballet as principal dancer. Due to Covid-19 Irina Komarenko will not be travelling to the USA in 2020. 

ELENA TIURIAKULOVA graduated with excellence in 1975 from the world famous Vaganova Choreography School (Kirov School) in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received her practical training at the Mariinski Theater of Opera and Ballet. She became Principal Dancer at the Kygyz State Theater of Opera and Ballet, dancing the lead roles in all of the major ballets for twenty years, including Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Kitri in Don Quixote, Aurora inSleeping Beauty, Nikia in La Bayadere and many more. She received many honors including “Honored Artist of Ballet of the Kyrgyz Republic” in 1982 and “Laureate of the Prize of Youth Union of Kyrgyzstan for Excellence in performance” in 1980. Elena joined the WDA faculty in 2003.


YOSBEL DELGADO -A native of Pinar del Rio - Cuba, began his training at age 9 at the E.V.A. (vocational school of arts).His first professional ballet position was at the Camaguey Ballet in Cuba where he remained for two years performing their repertoire including several works by Osvaldo Rivero.In 1998 he was hired by the Ballet Nacional de Cuba under direction of Alicia Alonso where he performed featured roles including: Von Rothbart and pas de six in Swan Lake, Don Quixote, toreros and sword dance in Don Quixote. In 2003 he joined the Pennsylvania Ballet and has performed numerous featured roles including the jester in Cinderella, chocolate and sugarplum cavalier in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Spanish dance and other roles in Swan Lake, as well as featured roles in Taming of the Shrew,Dracula, Firebird,Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Concert, Kazimir’s colours, Carmina Burana,Five Tangos, Nine Sinatra Songs, Western Symphony, Messiah, Fearful Symmetries, The Four Temperaments, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Carnival of the Animals

Castro-Tauser.Christina photo-by-Scott tauser-name.jpg 300 dpi or larger.jpgCHRISTINA CASTRO-TAUSER earned her MFA at Temple University and was the recipient of the Rose Vernick MFA Choreographic Achievement Award. Excerpts of her Thesis ¿Que Pasa Ahora? were showcased at the ACDA 2018 Mid-Atlantic North  Conference, and as part of the Artist Bash at the Barnes Foundations. Recently her essay “Embodiment in the Public Art of Jody Pinto” was published in Dancer-Citizen. Christina is also the founding director of Expansions Contemporary Dance Ensemble, adjunct faculty at Temple University and Teaching Artist for Taller Puertorriqueno. Prior to her years in Philadelphia, she was the Director of the Gainesville Ballet Junior Company and an Instructor for the Gainesville School of Ballet for eight years. Christina received her BA in Dance from Point Park University. She was an apprentice at the Colorado Ballet where she choreographed Cafe con Leche for the Colorado ballet studio Company. She has trained with Laura Alonzo at Centro Pro Danza Havana Cuba, Minnesota Dance theater and Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive.


NANCY MALMED, Director, performed professionally as soloist with Contemporary Dance Theater, LaSalle Music Theater and Pro Musica and has been teaching the Vaganova Method since 1979. She trained with Lilia Vladimirova and Tamara Lysenko of the Donetsk Ballet, Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, Harkness Ballet, and Maywood Academy, and served as faculty member of Temple University's Dance Department, where she received her Master's Degree in Dance. In 2007 she served as judge for the International Ballet Competition "Artek Fouette" in Crimea, Ukraine. In 1999, she was honored by the School District of Philadelphia for her work with public school children, and has also been selected to serve on local grant panels. Her choreography credits include Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sleeping Beauty, La Boutique Fantasque, Carmen, The Four Seasons and Porgy and Bess. Each year she stages a full-length ballet for WDA's annual recital. She has also choreographed for the Delaware Valley Opera Company.


DONALD LUNSFORD, Artistic Director of Danco II, the apprentice company of Philadanco, received his formal training from University of the Arts with a B.F.A in modern dance as well as a degree in Horticultural Science from Temple University. He was a former member and soloist with Philadanco and later a guest artist for the company. He has taught and choreographed for many area colleges and has received awards for both his teaching and choreography. Winner of the American College Dance Festival Award, Mr. Lunsford is listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. He has been on staff at WDA’s Summer Intensive for the past 10 years.

IMG_5534.jpgQUYNE RIDER, a classically trained alumna of the Wissahickon Dance Academy, former member of the Janosik Polish Dance Ensemble and Monique Legaré Interna#onal Dance Company, has been dancing professionally for 20 years. Specializing in dances from all over the world, Ms. Rider is also the reigning Polka dance champion of Pennsylvania 6 years in a row.



30171974_10160010251705478_7453515380747398718_o.jpgMEGAN DO NASCIMENTO studied dance at the High School for Creative and Performing Arts and Spanish at Temple University. She first practiced yoga while undergoing treatment for breast cancer six years ago. Yoga became a safe space that allowed Megan to disconnect from treatment and feel power.  Megan teaches at The Salvation Army Kroc Center, Fit Life Gym, Shine, Magee Rehabilitation and the Whitemarsh Boathouse and offers private classes.   She completed her 200-hour teacher training at Hot Box Yoga in Manyunk.  In addition to yoga instruction, Megan works as an independent trilingual sales representative for orthodontic companies. 

REGISTRATION: Click Here: Send a $25 non-refundable deposit to Wissahickon Dance Academy, 38 E. School House Lane, Phila, PA 19144