Cem Catbas, Artistic Director

10534 York Road, Suite 201
Cockeysville, MD 21030

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  Baltimore Ballet Faculty 2019-20  

Cem Catbas, Artistic Director

Mr. Catbas is the Artistic Director of Baltimore Ballet School and co-founder and Director of Baltimore Ballet Company.  He danced principal roles with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, the Istanbul Contemporary Ballet, and the Koblenz Ballet in Germany in addition to Baltimore Ballet.  Roles he danced include the title role of Dracula in Ben Stevenson's (Houston Ballet Production) Dracula, the title role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliette with the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, The Monk in Carmina Burana (Kent Stowell's production from Pacific Northwest  Ballet), the title role of Peer Gynt with the Koblenz Ballet, and numerous other principal roles.

Awards he has won include the 2006 and 2002 Individual Artist Award for excellence in solo dance performance from the Maryland State Arts Council, Gold Medal in the 1st International Seleznyov Ballet Competition in 1991, and the Most Promising Dancer Award from the city of Istanbul.

He has a B.F.A. egregia cum laude from the Istanbul University State Conservatory where he studied with Ramazan Bapov, Nikolai Morozov, and Ludmilla Morkovina.  He has worked with Ben Stevenson (Houston Ballet), Patricia Wilde (NYC Ballet) Marianna Tcherkassky and Terrence Orr (ABT), Richard Glasstone (Istanbul Ballet), and Kent Stowell (Pacific Northwest Ballet), among others.

He has choreographed The Nutcracker, Pictures at an Exhibition, A Gershwin Rhapsody, Carnival of the Animals, excerpts from Petrouschka, and danced in and staged Scheherazade, Les Sylphides, the 2nd act of Giselle, Swan Lake and La Bayadere for Baltimore Ballet.  The esteemed dance critic George Jackson praised his "passionately stretched line, buoyant leaps and plush landings."

He has been a judge for several competitions including the Frederick Arts Council, and a panelist for Maryland State Art Council.  His students have gone on to dance professionally, have won numerous awards including 1st Prize at the regional Youth America Grand Prix Competition, winner of the MD Distinguished Scholar Award, and have received full scholarships to the School of American Ballet and other schools.  He has been interviewed on WBFF-Fox News, WMAR-TV, WJZ-TV, WBAL-TV and Comcast Local Edition.  He has given Master Classes in the US, Canada, and Europe.  He also has several articles on dance which were published at www.bourgeononline.com and he maintains an art/philosophy blog called "BARRE NONE".  He appeared in May and June issues of Dance Magazine 2012.



Valeriia Ivlieva

Valeriia Ivlieva is a principal ballerina and the Deputy Artistic Director of Baltimore Ballet.  She was previously a principal dancer with Russian Grand Ballet, Kiev Youth Ballet, Kiev Municipal Academic Opera and Ballet, and Cairo Opera Ballet Company.  She performed principal roles internationally, and toured more than 20 countries in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Snow White, Carmen, Don Quixote, Cinderella, Carmina Burana, Romeo and Juliet, Odysseus, Zorba the Greek, Spartacus, Pinocchio, Cipollino, the Wizard Harry and the Snow Queen, Opera Aida, Pictures at an Exhibition, and Firebird as well as many modern and contemporary works.

Ms. Ivlieva has won the first place in 2005 Grand Pas Competition from Donetsk, the gold medal and a special award in 2006 Galician Terpsichore International Ballet Competition, and the silver medal and a special award in 2007 Crystal Shoe Kharkov International Ballet Competition.  She has diplomas from Kharkov Ballet Theatre, a B.F.A. from the Kiev College of Performing Arts, and a B.A. from the State University of Performing Arts Administration, all with honors.  Ms. Ivlieva’s name is included in the Honorable Book of Fame in Kharkov.  She has taught master classes in the US, Europe and Africa, and she was a Ballet Mistress/Choreographer with Mystic Ballet Company and Academy.  Ms. Ivlieva has won the best choreographer award in 2015 for her modern choreography and her students have placed at the Youth America Grand Prix Competition.



April Giangeruso (Guest Faculty)

April Giangeruso was born in Washington D.C. and began her early training in her hometown of Ellicott City, Maryland.  At age nine, she received a full scholarship to the Kirov Academy of Ballet where she studied from 2001 - 2005 under the direction of Ludmilla Morkovina.  She also studied with Valentina Kozlova and at 15 years old was the youngest female finalist at the 2006 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi.  She has performed the Bluebird Pas de Deux from The Sleeping Beauty, the Grand Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker and Raymonda, and Medora and the Slave Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire.  She has attended the ABT Summer Intensives as a National Training Scholar, and in September 2007 she joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT.  Giangeruso joined ABT II in December 2007 and joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in January 2010 and became a member of the corps de ballet in June 2010.  April was recently featured in The New York Times, click here to read.


Evgenia Singur, Ballet, Variations and Character (Guest Faculty)

Evgenia Singur was a principal dancer for the Russian State Ballet in Moscow, where she performed principal roles in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppelia, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Spartacus, and Don Quixote.  She toured with the company internationally to Austria, England, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, China, Indonesia, Mexico, North & South Korea, United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman), and Spain.  Ms. Singur began training as a rhythmic gymnast, then a figure skater, and finally as a ballet dancer from 1993-2001 at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and Moscow State Institute of Choreography before joining the Russian State Ballet.  She won the 2004 International Dance Festival in Korea, and the Silver Award in the 2002 Dance Europe Magazine Competition.  Ms. Singur recently appeared in the lead female role in Baltimore Ballet's productions of Scheherazade at Kraushaar Auditorium and Les Sylphides at the BMA, as well as a lead dancer at Artscape at the Lyric Opera House in July 2009.



Bat Udval, Ballet, Variations (Guest Faculty)

Bat Udval Erdene is a former principal dancer with the Russian Ballet Theater and was inducted into the Hall of Fame as one of the world’s greatest male dancers. 



Carrie Millikin Euker

Carrie is originally from Rockford, IL, Carrie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dance from Mercyhurst University and an MBA degree from the University of Colorado, Denver. Carrie has performed professionally with Milwaukee Ballet II, David Taylor Dance Theater, 7Dancers, and Missouri Contemporary Ballet as well as appearing as a guest artist nationally. During her time at MCB, Carrie originated the role of Alice in Karen Grundy’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and in 2011 became the founding director and lead instructor of the School of MCB. While serving in this position she lead various outreach programs and in 2013 co-founded DanceAbility, a program offering dance classes to students with special needs. Carrie serves as an adjudicator for Energy National Dance Competition and continues to appear as a guest performer, instructor, and choreographer.



Bethany Kwasniewski-Geoghegan

Bethany began her formal ballet training under Canan Kadam Jackson, former soloist with the Ankara National Ballet of Turkey and her husband Stephen Jackson at John Hayes O’Neill Studio of Dance in Rome, NY.  She went on to study with the Mercyhurst University Dance Department under Tauna Hunter, earning a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in Teaching/Choreography. During her undergraduate study, she attended summer intensives including: Point Park University’s International Summer Dance in Pittsburgh, PA and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, MI.  Following graduation from college in 2004, she moved to Maryland to teach full-time for Cecil Dance Center in North East, Maryland while creating ballets for the school’s junior company. She has taught both ballet technique and contemporary dance for the Baltimore Ballet School while performing in productions of the Baltimore Ballet Company from 2005-2009. Ms. Bethany has served as a faculty member and associate dance ensemble director for the Community College of Baltimore County where she has taught ballet, modern, and dance appreciation from 2007-2008.  Ms. Bethany has taught beginner-advanced levels of ballet, pointe, and modern technique at The Sudbrook Arts Centre while serving as artistic director of The Baltimore County Youth Ballet from 2014-2017. She has acted as faculty member and as a guest instructor for other area dance institutions including: JMD Studios, Maryland Ballet Theatre, Susquehanna Youth Ballet, Maryland Academy of Dance, Rebounders Gymnastics, Morton Street Dance Center, Art of Motion Dance Center, Arabesque Dance Studio, Celebree Learning Centers, Nicole Gait Center of Performing Arts, and the Baltimore County Public School Dance Festival.



Lyndsy Keith

Lyndsy is 20 years old and has been dancing for 11 years. She has been a part of Baltimore Ballet since 2015.  She was enrolled in Viktor Yeliohin's International Ballet Academy and also Lancaster School of Ballet where she was a member of the company, and performed major roles in their productions. Lyndsy has danced many solo parts in Baltimore Ballet’s the Nutcracker, the Carnival of the Animals, and La Bayadère. She enjoys sharing her love of dance with younger students.



Sophia Trakhtman

Sophia was born in Baltimore Maryland and began her training at the age of three years old. At 12 years old, Sophia trained at Peabody Conservatory and then later that year met Valeriia Ivlieva who has been training her since. She has performed Nutcracker, Carnival of the Animals, Swan Lake, and La Bayadère with Baltimore Ballet.  She has taken master classes in Saint Petersburg and with the Moscow Ballet. She has also participated in summer intensives with Baltimore Ballet and CityDance. Sophia has also competed in Youth American Grand Prix and Legacy where she took home a first-place trophy.  She is also the captain of her dance company at school where she helps to choreograph contemporary and jazz pieces for performances such as the Baltimore County Dance Festival.



Nina Basu

Nina is a Towson University student studying Anthropology and International Studies. She received her training with Tampa City Ballet, a pre-professional intensive ballet program in Tampa, Florida. While there, she learned classical ballet, variations, partnering, and neoclassical repertoire. She has danced in Cinderella, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, the Nutcracker as Clara, Alice in Wonderland, and Paquita as Paquita. She also attended Blake High School for the performing arts in Tampa, Florida that taught Horton modern technique. She has also been awarded acceptances into summer programs such as The Rock School for the Dance Education, The Miami City Ballet, and International Ballet School, and Lines Contemporary Ballet. She is also a YAGP finalist.



Leigh Targaryen

Leigh has been dancing since the age of three.  As a youth, she studied under Towson's Children's Dance Division with Patty Enoch Bond where she was able to gain a strong foundation in R.A.D.  In high school, Leigh was accepted into the dance program at Carver Center for the Arts.  After graduation, Leigh went on to receive her Associate of the Arts degree from CCBC in Dance.  During her attendance, Leigh was awarded "Outstanding Dancer of the Year" for two consecutive years.  In addition, she received the only scholarships offered in the dance department, both years in attendance.  She graduated from Goucher College in 2009, where she earned her BA in Dance Therapy.  Leigh began her teaching career at age 11 as an assistant at Kingsville Recreation Center.  After three years she was awarded her own classes. Leigh went on to teach creative movement, ballet, tap, modern, & jazz to varying age groups around Maryland.  Her theory behind teaching dance is to inspire the dancers creatively while maintaining a technical balance.  Leigh's passion in the field of dance has led her in many directions, including costume design.  In 2006, she started designing and crafting dance costumes for herself and received several awards for outstanding craftsmanship at local and national conventions.  In 2008, she began designing and constructing costumes for several dance companies including Baltimore Ballet, Deep Vision Dance Company, Full Circle Dance Company, and Goucher College's Dance Department. 



Emily Godfrey

Emily is a senior Linehan Artist Scholar at the University of Maryland Baltimore County pursuing a B.A. in Dance and a minor in Psychology. Born in South Korea and raised in Bel Air, MD, Emily trained with Harford Dance Theatre and Dance Conservatory of Maryland. In 2016, she was awarded the Maryland All State Dance Award. She has performed at the UMBC Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day, the BIDA Choreographers’ Showcase, and the annual American College Dance Association Conference. Professionally, Emily has performed with Baltimore Dance Project, co-directed by Doug Hamby and Carol Hess. In June 2018, Emily had the honor of performing at the John F. Kennedy Center under the choreography of UMBC alumni Maia Schechter, whose work was performed and selected from the finals of the 2018 American College Dance Festival. She has attended the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Summer Intensive, the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Summer Intensive, and the Peridance Blueprint Summer intensive.