• 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.

  • Tessa Rehbein
    Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet

    Tessa Rehbein is a native Coloradoan from Fort Collins, and graduated as a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance from the University of Arizona in Tucson.  While in Arizona, Tessa danced under James Clouser, Amy Ernst, Douglas Nielsen Michael Williams, Tammy-Dyke Compton and Melissa Lowe.  During the time period of her undergraduate studies, Tessa had the opportunity to work with renowned choreographers such as Peter Chu, Sidra Bell, and Yin Yue. One of Tessa’s favorite undergrad opportunities was the chance to work with company members and showcase repertoire from Batsheva Dance Company. While in Tucson, Tessa guest performed with HawkinsDance Co. and CONDER/dance (Tempe Festival of the Arts).

    Since graduating, Tessa has been dancing in the Northern Colorado area as a guest artist with Impact Dance Company, Industrial Dance Alliance and as a soloist with Canyon Concert Ballet. She has recently performed in the Steamboat Springs Strings Festival in Romeo and Juliet, commissioned choreography for Gaelynn Lea’s (NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest winner) music video “Lost in the Woods” and has been choreographing for local studios and other local musicians. Apart from performance, Tessa ran a youth ensemble in Northern Colorado for the 2017/2018 season, bringing works to First Friday Art Walk performances, competitions and various outreach events. She finds great joy in bringing dance to students and nurturing the cultivation of their own artistic voices. Tessa is also a Barre instructor at Perk! Pilates and has been working as a substitute dance teacher at Colorado State University and Front Range Community College. She recently worked as a choreographer in residence at San Francisco Conservatory of Dance’s Summer Intensive and will be in Italy this Summer, collaborating with The University of Rome’s School of Music. Tessa joined the Hannah Kahn Dance Company in 2018 as a Company Member. 

  • Susan Beens
    Acrobatics and Ballet/Tap

    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.

  • Lori Padilla
    Marketing Manager

    Over the years Lori has worn many hats and has spent the majority of her career in the travel and healthcare industry. Lori caught the bug for social media marketing and loved being able to pair an elegant visual with written words. Once she started some intensive up- skilling within the marketing world, she knew this was going to be a new direction for her. She has recently side stepped into the world of media coordination and loves the ever-evolving nature of the field and being able to stay up to date on the latest trends.

  • Becca Slavin
    General Manager

    Becca grew up in Southern California with a passion for dance and musical theatre. During her earlier years, she enjoyed playing roles such as Charity in Sweet Charity (directed and choreographed by Donald McKayle), Ilona in She Loves Me, and DeLee in Smokey Joe’s Cafe. She also pursued film and television and was cast in the CBC Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Gypsy, starring Bette Midler - earning her Screen Actor’s Guild membership. In addition to performing, Becca worked for Disney Feature Animation on the films Pocahontas (film credit) and Hunchback of Notre Dame. After leaving Los Angeles, Becca returned to college and graduated with an MFA in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. Immediately following graduation, Becca was hired as a Choreographer for Disneyland, CA where she worked on shows such as Animazement, the Musical!, Parade of the Stars, and Steps In Time at the Hyperion Theatre in Disney’s California Adventure. She choreographed Disney’s 1998 Christmas national commercial, Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Pier Grand Opening and portions of Disney’s Electrical Parade and Disney’s Christmas Parade. After leaving Disney in 2001, Becca taught dance classes (including Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Labanotation and Pedagogy) at several colleges before accepting the position of Director of ArtsBridge, UC Irvine’s School of the Arts’ outreach program. As Director, Becca mentored undergraduate and graduate students in the departments of Music, Dance, Drama and Studio Art. She was also the Research Associate and Contributing Author on The Dancing History Collection, written by Jill Beck, PhD.

    Of all the roles Becca has played, none compare to that of mom to her three daughters and wife to her husband, RMBA’s studio photographer, Sean Slavin. In pursuit of finding exceptional dance training for her middle daughter, Roxy, Becca found Maria Tyukova. Under Maria’s training, Roxy won the 2017 YAGP Hope Award. Becca is thrilled to assist Maria Tyukova and Alexei Tyukov as Rocky Mountain Ballet Academy's General Manager. 

  • 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.  

  • Sean Slavin
    Studio Photographer