Our Unique Training Approach

Intensives and Teacher Training

The Open World Dance Foundation Mid-Winter Workshops and Summer Intensive and Teachers Training programs provide unique access to the comprehensive Vaganova Method Training. We accomplish this in multiple ways. We have a network of teachers who are comprised of the only three direct students of Agrippina Vaganova still teaching today, as well as other instructors who are graduates of the Vaganova Academy, some of whom have taught there as well. They are accomplished dancers and teachers. READ MORE.

Most importantly, Vaganova method training is more than a style and ballet technique. It encompasses appreciation of ballet history, culture and art; character and historical dance; and stage preparation, including make up and acting. Our programs expose dance students and teachers to the full scope and breadth of the method .Our Summer Intensive and Teacher Training share the best of Russian Ballet Traditions. We are able to offer exceptional training for students, dancers and teachers; to coach promising students including those interested in attending Vaganova Academy including Russian orphans; and to conduct events that celebrate the Russian ballet and unite us through dance.

NEW - Elite Training Program

While participating in our Winter Workshop and Summer Intensives, many students realize they have found the type of training they were searching for and they want more! We are happy to announce that we have formalized a unique opportunity that many of you have been asking for! READ MORE.

About Agrippina Vaganova

Agrippina Vaganova (1879-1951) is revered as the visionary who first codified the Russian system of classical ballet training. Her approach has proven to create beautiful, expressive, musical powerful dancers. The training of dancers in this tradition includes ballet technique, variations, character and historical dance, music theory and history, and acting. It includes proper etiquette between teachers and students, allowing the passing on of traditions and knowledge built by centuries of incredible Russian history and art and to share its exquisite elegance and taste.

Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, based on impeccable technique and powerful movements, enjoys a well-earned reputation for elite standards. The Academy’s students and graduates include Rudolf Nureyev, Yuri Soloviev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, (Irina Kolpakova,) Natalia Makarova, Uliana Lopatkina and Diana Vishneva. ... Vaganova’s story (extends) from her early years as a ballet student in tsarist Russia to her career as a dancer with the Mariinksy (Kirov) Ballet to her work as a pedagogue and choreographer. ...(She was a) great woman who changed the face of Russian – and international – ballet forever.
*From book jacket of “Vaganova Today – The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition” by Catherine E. Pawlick

Pawlick discusses "the deep significance of the Mariinksky and Vaganova traditions. As a country, the United States itself is barely as old as this venerable technique; as such, it possesses no comparable ancient traditions, especially in the realm of art." As graduates of Vaganova Academy and former members of the Mariinksy Ballet, Ekaterina Shchelkanova and Anton Boytsov share their knowledge and offer unparalleled level of instructors to share knowledge of Vaganova method training with students, dancers and teachers. Few have experienced such depth of Vaganova training outside the hallowed halls of Vaganova Academy itself.

"When the curtain goes up on the Mariinsky Theatre today, there is no doubt that this is a company that continues to be the epitome of refined, uniform classical ballet technique with deep historical traditions. Those traditions and that classical technique exist in great part thanks to the system founded by Agrippina Vaganova.

Vaganova’s system endures, which speaks to its strength, longevity, and the heavy weight of tradition that it now carries, a tradition that has been supported by the Russian government, by social philanthropists, and by countless pedagogues and dancers who perpetuate it by devoting their life work to the art of ballet. If, as so many pedagogues insist, the core principles of Vaganova technique can continue to be preserved while adapting to the changing times, then Vaganova’s system of ballet training will withstand any future vagaries that may arise in ballet, and will persist for decades to come."

*Quotes credited to “Vaganova Today – The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition” by Catherine E. Pawlick