WELCOME to one of the oldest Montana ballet schools. Founded in 1987, Yellowstone Ballet School offers specialized classes in classical ballet. This year we welcome former Bolshoi Ballet soloist, Nikita Kusurgashev, to our faculty. Besides teaching some of the younger levels, Nikita will teach professional and pre-professional ballet, variations and pas de deux.
Director, Kathleen Rakela, danced with the Sacramento Theatre Ballet and trained at the Royal Academy of Dancing, England and the Joffrey Ballet School. She has a teaching credential (AIST) with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London, England in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. Rakela is an ABT® Certified Teacher, successfully completing the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. With exceptionally small classes and individual attention her students have been accepted into and received scholarships to the most prestigious ballet schools in the world including London's Royal Ballet School, American Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Canada, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Academie de Danse Classique Princess Grace. Several of her students have gone on to become professional dancers in companies around the world.
Rakela is the recipient of a Montana Dance Arts Association Fellowship and a Montana Arts Council Fellowship for the Performing Arts. Her choreography has been recognized internationally with excerpts from her award winning ballet Romeo & Juliet of the Rockies chosen for presentation at festivals in Amsterdam and Germany.