• Maria Tyukova

    Born into an artistic family (both parents were Principal dancers), Ms. Tyukova’s first appearance on stage was at the young age of 5 in the opera Chio Chio San and she loved every minute of it.

    In 1990, Ms. Tyukova was  enrolled in the Perm State Ballet Academy where she studied and graduated under Ninel Silvanovich who had been a direct student of Agrippina Vaganova.

    At the beginning of her professional career, Ms. Tyukova was invited to be a model for the famous Russian  theatrical designer, Alla Kozhenkova.  In 1998, she joined the Perm Tchaikovsky Opera and Ballet Theatre and danced in their classical repertoire and toured extensively around the world.  

    In 2001, Ms. Tyukova moved to the United States and was hired to dance for Ballet Internationale under the artistic direction of Eldar Aliev. It was during this time that she was working with Irina Kolpakova, one of the greatest ballerinas during the Soviet era. She also was lucky to be trained  with well known teachers Vladilen Semionov and Tatiana Pali. Maria danced as a soloist in CarmenLa Fille mal gardeeSwan LakeDon QuixoteGisellePhaedraNutcrackerLa Corsaire, Sleeping Beauty, Firebird, Stars and Stripes  and many other performances . She toured to Los Angeles, New York, Detroit in the US and also to Canada, Taiwan, China and Korea. Ms. Tyukova performed with Opera Detroit and was a Guest Artist with University Ballet, Korea performing in New York and Washington in La Bayadere.

    From 2003-2005, Ms. Tyukova worked at the Pan American Skating Arena in Indianapolis, IN with world-class figure skating coach, Serguei Zaitsev. She began working as a figure skating coach while in Russia under the direction of her in-laws, who are both world famous Russian coaches. To this day, Maria enjoys training many figure skaters in Colorado. In 2006, she joined the Cincinnati Ballet where she danced in both their classical and contemporary pieces alongside Val Caniparoli, former San Francisco Principal Dancer and Bart Cook, former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer and “repetiteur “for the George Balanchine Trust and the Robbins Rights Trust. 

    In 2007, Maria moved to Colorado where she worked with the Colorado Ballet Academy until she opened Classical Ballet of Colorado (CBC). As Co-Founder and Director of CBC, she enjoyed receiving the honor of  Youth America Grand Prix’s (YAGP) Outstanding School Award in both 2013 and 2016 and has had several of her students place in YAGP’s Classical Categories, including taking 1st Place and 3rd Place. Several of her students have also received top awards at the Denver Ballet Guild Competition, including 2nd Place, 4th Place and the coveted David Parvin Award for Outstanding Artist in 2015.

    After closing CBC's doors in August, 2017, Maria partnered with her husband Alexei Tyukov to open Rocky Mountain Ballet Academy. 

    In 2017, Maria was honored with the YAGP Outstanding Teacher Award and her student, Roxy Slavin, was awarded the Hope Award. Maria was a judge at the 2017 World Ballet Art Competition Semi-Finals in Dallas, TX. 



  • Alexei Tyukov

    Alexei Tyukov was born in a family of famous Russian figure skaters. At the age of 10, he was a part of the Soviet figure skating team and awarded Candidate Master of sports. Alexei graduated with honors from the Perm State Ballet Academy in 1995 and danced with the Perm State Ballet Theatre that same year.

    In 1999, he won the Gold Medal in the Senior Men’s Division at the Arabesque Competition in Perm (http://www.arabesque.permonline) and was awarded the Mikhail Arnopolsky Prize for the most talented competition participant. You can watch the video HERE. He was a Principal with Ballet Internationale Indianapolis where he performed leading roles in Phaedra, Creation of the World, The Nutcracker (you can watch the video HERE), Sleeping Beauty, Firebird, Carmen and Thousand and One Night (you can watch the video HERE), Le Corsaire, Napoli, La Baydere, Raymonda and Interzone (you can watch the video HERE). He has danced throughout the world, including in Taiwan, China, Canada and Germany.

    In 2010, Alexei participated at Varna competition where he became a Diplomant - placing in the Top 10. In 2006, he joined Cincinnati Ballet as a Principal dancer and performed classical and contemporary works including Plan to B by Jorma Elo, The Bridge by Val Caniparoli, and Bakers Dozen by Twyla Tharp. Alexei has also participated in numerous galas including Le Gala Des Etoiles in Montreal, Stars of the 21st Century in Paris, Stars of the Mariinski in Germany and the International Gala in South Korea. Alexei has also guested with the Russian Company, performing Natalia Makarova’s Swan Lake and was a guest artist in Cincinnati Ballet’s production of Thousand and One Nights. 

    The New York Times said of Tyukov, “In Swan Lake, Alexei Tyukov broke the audience’s hearts as much as Odette’s in his eloquent portrayal of an all too-human Siegfried.”

    In 2016, Alexei was invited to perform at the First Far East Festival where he performed Swan Lake and Le Corsaire. 

    Mr. Tyukov joined Colorado Ballet as a Principal in 2007 where he danced Le Corsaire (you can watch the video HERE), Sleeping Beauty (you can watch the video HERE), Cinderella, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote (you can watch the video HERE), Right of Spring, Dracula, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Midsummer Night's Dream, Giselle and many others. He retired in 2017.


  • Kimberly Chmielewski
    Contemporary, Modern, Ballet

    A native of Chicago, Illinois, Kimberly Chmielewski graduated magna cum laude from The University of Iowa, receiving her BFA and Honors in Dance and Sociology.  While at The University of Iowa, Ms. Chmielewski was a member of Iowa’s elite touring company, Dancers in Company, for three consecutive years, and had the privilege of working with choreographers such as:  Jaime Camarena, Harrison McEldowney, Gina Patterson, Julie Bour, Nina Watt, Karen Burns, and all faculty members at Iowa.  Other outstanding performance achievements at Iowa include: featured dancer in the resetting of José Limón’s “Psalm,” soloist in a new work created by Joanna Rosenthal-Read, soloist in Michael Medcalf’s “Hearthside,” and a cast member in former Trisha Brown dancer, Melinda Myers’, “Green Rooms.” Ms. Chmielewski was also one of twelve students sent to represent The University of Iowa in a cultural exchange and performance with Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico.

    Currently dancing for Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Apex Dance, Moraporvida Contemporary Dance, and multiple free-lance projects, Ms. Chmielewski previously danced for Kim Robards Dance and Dance Co. Collective. She spent time in New York City under the artistic advisory of The Joffrey Ballet School's Artistic Director, George de la Peña.  She began her training under Judith Svalander, Greg Begley, and Altin Naska, director of S.P.A.C.E. Dance Company in Chicago and the Dance Chicago Festival.  During past summers, Kimberly has attended Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet School, and Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre’s summer intensives on scholarships.  As well as dancing professionally, Ms. Chmielewski also teaches dance and loves the creative intuition and positivity her students constantly supply to her passion of the art form.

  • Audrey Elwood

    Ms. Audrey danced professionally for 17 years with companies such as The Colorado Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, The Baltimore Ballet, The Eugene Ballet and The Sacramento Ballet. She has been teaching ballet to young children since the age of 16 and is well known in the Denver ballet community and surrounding areas. Ms. Audrey has a magical way of teaching young children, helping them to learn the foundations of ballet, as well as an appreciation and joy for the world of dance.

  • Marina Oreshkevich

    Marina Oreshkevich is a graduate of the Perm State Choreographic School and the Russian State Academy for Theater Art. She danced as a Soloist and Principal Dancer for Igor Moisseyev Ballet Company and later taught in the Academic Folk Dance School of the Russian Federation of Moscow, earning numerous awards. She toured with Moisseyev's Ballet Company around the world, visiting more then 40 countries and performing in some of the most famous theaters, including The Metropolitan in NYC, the Grand Opera in Paris, the Bolshoi Theater and Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow.

    She has been teaching in Colorado and her students have taken first place in character dance at YAGP,  allowing them to compete in New York with young dancers from all over the world.

  • Audra Leigh Edwards
    Ballet, Modern, Jazz

    Audra is from Eagle, Idaho, where she studied and performed with the Idaho Regional Ballet under the direction of Jeff and Cathy Giese. She continued her dance education at Butler University, where she received her BFA in dance performance. After Graduating, Audra moved to New York City to perform with Lydia Johnson Dance and various free-lance dance projects. In 2017, Audra joined the Hannah Kahn Dance Company in Denver. She currently is a company member with HKDC, as well as with T2 Dance Project. Audra loves the way her students inspire her to be a better dancer, teacher, and person.

  • Susan Beens
    Primary Program

    Susan grew up in Durango, Colorado. She trained in ballet, jazz, and lyrical at the Durango Ballet Academy. She was also a competitive gymnast and competed into her high-school years. She is Ms. Fitness USA 2009.  She has coached gymnastics since the age of 15 and has been working in dance studio settings for several years. She teaches acro and tumbling for dancers, strength and flexibility, along with creative movement, beginning ballet and jazz.

  • Anna Dulay
    Receptionist and Registrar

    Prior to becoming a mom, Anna has had many years of experience in customer service, working with kids and adults alike. Her attention to detail, organization, and love for people are skills she continues to carry with her.  It has been a joy to see students build character through hard work and determination, while applying kindness and generosity towards others off and on stage. Anna is excited to be part of the RMBA staff!

  • Kristan Stephens
    Costume Manager

    Kristan is delighted to be working in costumes with Rocky Mountain Ballet Academy.  Kristan began sewing at age nine and has steeped herself in the creative arts ever since!  She connects deeply with the art of storytelling and enjoys bringing an added sense of depth and life to each dance through costumes.  Kristan is privileged to help create, restore, and care for so many beautiful pieces and most of all to support the dancers by ensuring they look and feel their very best for every performance.  

  • Lori Padilla
    Marketing and Social Media Manager

    Bio coming soon...