Stevan Grebel - artistic director, ballet. Born in Yugoslavia, Stevan began his training at the age of 9 at with Margarita Debeljak, Smilja Moic, and Nina Kyrsanova (former ballerina at the St. Petersburg Marinsky Theatre, now Leningrad’s Kirov, and member of the Anna Pavlova Company.) graduated from Government Academy School of Dance, Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Entered Belgrade National Opera Ballet after graduating. As principal dancer, he created and recreated roles in many ballets: Romeo and Juliet, The Miraculous Mandarin, La Peri, Arioso Pas de Deux, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Bolero, La Rein des Illes by Dmitri Parlic (former principal dancer, ballet master and choreographer of the Belgrade National Ballet) and Michel Fokine’s Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor. Principal dancer with: Belgade National Opera Ballet, Deutsche Opera Am Rhine, Ballet Marquis de Cuevas, Roland Petit Ballet Company and presented the country of France as a guest with the Bolshoi Ballet. He was trained by the foremost teacher of classical ballet in the world, Alexander Pushkin, in St. Petersburg. In 1963, performed in the ballet film "The Lovers of Teruel" with Ludmila Tcherina and presented the movie at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival. He has worked with great teachers, dancers and choreographers: George Balanchine, Frederic Franklin, Leonide Massine, George Skibine, Edward Caton, Roland Petite, Rudolf Nureyev, Eric Bruhn, Rosella Hightower, Ludmilla Tcherina, Ivan Nagy, Dmitri Parlic, John Taras, Maurice Bejart. He joined the National Ballet of Washington, D.C. in 1965 where he performed in a special White House performance for President and Mrs. Johnson. He started the California Ballet in San Diego, then was invited to Birmingham, to direct the Alabama Ballet. Dr. Joseph Volker asked him to form a dance program and continue the company at UAB. During his 25 years as professor of dance, he built a community program of 700 students, presented the Nutcracker with the symphony until 1982, and four civic center performances per year. He brought in many well known dancers, teachers and choreographers to Birmingham to work with the company. Upon retiring from UAB in 1996, he taught, choreographed and advised with the Montgomery Ballet and is often invited to guest at companies and universities in the U.S. Stevan and his wife, Deborah, opened The Stevan Grebel Center for Dance in 2001 where he continues sharing his legacy and love of the ballet with students of the school, the Alabama Youth Ballet Company and around the world.
Deborah Russell Grebel - executive director, ballet, children's division Deborah Grebel began her training in Birmingham, Alabama with Frances Armstrong. She continued her studies in college at the University of Alabama in Birmngham with Stevan Grebel and was a principle dancer and soloist with the then Alabama Ballet and Ballet UAB. She was a guest artist with several companies in Alabama and California. Deborah taught for Briarwood Ballet in 1978 and opened The North Jefferson Academy of Dance in 1982. She studied in Cannes, France with Rosella Hightower, Jose Ferrer, Elina Tchernichova and Arlette Castanier. During summer studies in New York and Alabama with David Howard, Melissa Hayden,Violette Verdy, Fred Siretta and Marcus Alford. During her career as a dancer in the United States and Europe, she worked with renowned artists such as Frederic Franklin, Nikolas Petrov, Edward Caton, Shamil Yagudin and Mira Popovich. With a B.A. in dance and a MA.Ed in Dance Physiology/Kinesiology, and an emphasis in the Biomechanics of Dance, her teaching has spanned 34 years.
Amanda Willis-Brice - instructor, ballet, lyrical, jazz, musical theatre A qualified and seasoned ballet instructor, Amanda Willis Brice has been a figure in the Birmingham, AL dance community for over eighteen years. Through her extensive experience in teaching students of all skill levels, she brings an unprecedented perspective to her work and her enthusiasm is contagious! Amanda began her studies in 1982 at various local dance studios in the area. In 1986 was encouraged to pursue a BA degree in dance by instructor and owner of North Jefferson Academy of Dance. In 1988 she began teaching career while studying and performing with UAB Ballet. Under the direction of Stevan Grebel and Melanie Mihalic, Amanda performed with BAD & Company (Ballet against Drugs) and enjoyed performing choreography by the staff , students and guest teachers and choreographers. Among the list of teachers that Amanda was fortunate to study with are Zivojin Novkov, Marcus Alford, Gus Giordano and select members of Moscow Ballet. Over a span of 15 years Mrs. Brice instructed dance at North Jefferson Academy, Birmingham Ballet, Alabama Dance Academy and Samford University. While teaching at Birmingham Ballet, she performed in The Nutcracker at the Wright Center. Currently you can find Amanda continuing her studies at Stevan Grebel Center for Dance and teaching ballet and pointe technique with Westwood Ballet. After teaming at Destiny Dance, Amanda developed the ballet syllabus and embarked upon a less traditional form of ballet choreography. This has proved to be a beautiful blessing to her art. This summer, Amanda has taken the opportunity to study in the teacher's program at Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, Mississipppi.
Tatiana Ledovskikh - summer faculty member, classical ballet. Tatiana is was a principal ballerina with the Alabama Ballet since 1997. She was formerly with the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia and performed principal roles in the major classical ballets with the Bolshoi, as well as performing as a guest artist throughout Europe. Ms. Ledovskikh is the recipient of the Glinki State Award for outstanding achievement in the fine arts. She is currently teaching in Moscow, and hopes to be back to teach our Winter Workshop in December.
Jordan Burke Jordan Burke began his dance training in his home town of Cape Cod under the guidance and teaching of Laura Faria. Mr. Burke was accepted into the prestigious Boston Ballet School under the direction of Christopher Hird and Dierdre Miles Burger. Mr. Burke attended Butler University and received a BFA in Dance Performance. While at Butler, Mr. Burke had the opportunity to dance a variety of works in all styles, and was able to develop in many techniques in the dance industry. Upon graduating, Jordan joined the Louisville Ballet as a trainee under the direction of Bruce Simpson. Jordan spent two seasons as a Coryphee with the Montgomery Ballet. While dancing there he had the opportunity to perform the soldier doll in "Munecos" and "Blackbird", choreographed by Artistic Director Darren McIntyre. Jordan originated the role of Fritz in Montgomery Ballets new production of "The Nutcracker" choreographed by Darren McIntyre. Last season, Burke was a soloist with Pensacola Ballet. Jordan is very excited for new challenges in the future and would like to thank all of his family and friends for all of their support on his journey.
Joshua Trance Valentin - Born in Riverside, California, and attended Minor High School in Adamsville, Al. Dance Coordinator at Official A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls Club, DJing/ PROMOTER at DJ and Founder, CEO at Bboy Trance. Proverbs 22:1," A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver or gold." Favorite Quotes: "let your heart not be troubled. Believe in Him, and also believe in Me." John 14:1 "yesterday is history, tomorrows a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why its called the present." master uuguay