Nashville Ballet Announces New Appointments

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photo from Nashville Ballet

Nashville Ballet, under the visionary guidance of Artistic Director and CEO Nick Mullikin, is thrilled to announce significant leadership appointments and strategic enhancements at School of Nashville Ballet. Starting in August, renowned ballet instructors Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev will join as the new School Directors.

Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev, celebrated for their leadership at the Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy in California, bring their extensive experience and a profound dedication to ballet education. Their expertise will be instrumental in refining the technical training programs and expanding the curriculum at School of Nashville Ballet. The Kulevs’ leadership is expected to bring fresh perspectives to the school’s established traditions, merging classical discipline with innovative teaching methods.

Newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Mary Poiley, brings over 15 years of exemplary experience in strategic leadership and arts administration. Helen Yeoman-Shaw has joined Nashville Ballet as the new Manager for the Children’s, Adaptive and Adult Programs at School of Nashville Ballet.

These appointments mark a pivotal moment in the institution’s commitment to elevating ballet education in the Nashville community and beyond.

“These strategic additions to our staff signify a monumental step forward in our mission to foster a rich ballet and dance culture in Nashville,” said Nick Mullikin, Nashville Ballet’s Artistic Director and CEO. “Dmitri and Jennifer’s leadership will not only enrich our training programs but also enhance our community outreach and educational efforts.”

Nashville Ballet’s commitment to educational excellence is unwavering as they continue to build upon their strategic leadership. The company tapped award-winning choreographer Maria Konrad as their Director of Nashville Ballet 2 (NB2), Nashville Ballet’s official second company last August. Konrad was named International Outstanding Choreographer in 2022 by Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest dance network, as her work has been showcased and recognized both nationally and internationally.

School of Nashville Ballet is dedicated to providing an environment where students can thrive artistically and personally, promoting dance as a vital and inspiring part of the Nashville community. School of Nashville Ballet is now set to introduce an expanded curriculum and increase the total class offerings to 240, accommodating a wider range of disciplines and skill levels. This expansion aims to nurture a larger student body, now capable of supporting up to 2,156 students, with enhanced opportunities for both beginner and advanced dancers.

Key enhancements include the revamping of the daytime program, offering tailored pre-professional and professional division levels for homeschooled students, and an early release pre-professional level for traditional school students able to start classes at 2:30 PM. In addition, the school plans to grow their Young Men’s Scholarship Program, spearheaded by Dmitri Kulev, who is dedicated to transforming the skills and performance of male-identifying dancers of all ages.

Under the guidance of Jennifer and Dmitri Kulev, Nashville Ballet School will significantly enhance its performance opportunities, offering more comprehensive stage experiences for both the Academy and Pre-Professional divisions to showcase their skills and development in professional settings.

The new school year will also see the introduction of new optional disciplines including tap, jazz, hip hop, musical theater and contemporary. Additionally, the school will offer more comprehensive training programs and an increase in performance opportunities to include recitals for children and community youth, as well as a prestigious spring production for all academy levels.

Nashville Ballet is committed to remaining accessible to the community while expanding their class offerings. The majority of these new classes will enhance the Children’s, Community Youth and Adult Programs, ensuring that foundational and recreational segments receive focused development and support. This strategic expansion is designed to make ballet more inclusive and available to everyone in the community, nurturing a passion for dance across all age groups and skill levels.

To inquire about placement or to schedule one-on-one sessions with the new School Directors at School of Nashville Ballet, email [email protected].

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