Grand Premier Master Teachers

The Grand Premier Invitational is proud to announce our 2019 Master Teachers


photo Natalia Bashkatova

Natalia has more than 25  years of experience in the entertainment industry, and is a highly talented artist. Born in Russia, Natalia trained at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow and Bolshoi Ballet University. She became a principal dancer for the prestigious Bolshoi Theater Grigorovich Ballet from 1989-1994 and immediately after was a guest principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. 

Her repertoire included many title roles in the great classics including Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake among many others. Awards include "Best Ballerina of the Festival" at the 1992 Spoleto International Arts Festival held in Spoleto, Italy. She has toured worldwide to countries including Holland, Greece, Egypt, Hong Kong, France, and Belgium among many others. 

After moving to the United States, she joined  Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas as a lead dancer in Mystere. In 1998, she moved to Orlando to perform in Cirque du Soleil's "La Nouba" where she currently performs. She has been featured in numerous television commercials, interviews, and videos with Cirque du Soleil. 

Natalia is founder of ARTASTAR ARTIST MANAGEMENT and PRODUCTION company, which supports the dancers from the foreign countries. One of the directions of her company is to support young talented dancers of the new  ballet generation in giving gthem an opportunity to be selected and be a part of the new production on stage with the most recent world known ballet dancers. 


     Principal Dancer, Bolshoi Ballet,1989-1994

     Guest Ballet Dancer , New York City Ballet, Ruth Page The Nutcracker Production ,Philadelphia Ballet Theatre , 1994-1997

     Principal Dancer, Cirque Du Soleil Mystere, 1997-1998 •Principal Dancer, Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba, 1998- present

     Ballet Teacher , Central Florida Ballet 2014- presentHead of Judges, World Ballet Competition, 2015

     Judge, World Ballet Competition, Orlando FL, 2014-2016, 2019

     Judge , YAGP Tampa FL, 2016

     Choreographer, Show Case Collaboration between Orlando Ballet and Cirque Du Soleil   La Nouba 2013-2015


Bolshoi Ballet Academy , Moscow Russia  1980-1989 ( High School Diploma for the performing art )

Bolshoi Ballet University , Moscow Russia 1989-1993 ( Bachelor Degree  for the performing art and choreography)


•25 years of professional experience as a ballet dancer

•Choreography for World Ballet Competition, Orlando Ballet and Cirque Du Soleil

•Judge for World Ballet Competition 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019

•Head of Judge for World Ballet Competition 2015

•Judge for YAGP semi finals 2017

•10 years of master ballet classes at Cirque Du Soleil La Nouba • Ballet Master Classes for YAGP and WBC 

•4 years Ballet Master, Point and Variation Teacher for Central Florida Ballet Academy


photo Olga Tarasova

Ms. Tarasova was born in Vladivostok (Far East Russia) and received her ballet education from Voronezh State Academic Opera and Ballet School. After graduation she was invited to dance with the Krasnoyarsky Academic Opera and Ballet Theater (Russia) where she performed many solo and leading roles in a large number of well-known ballets such as “Swan Lake,” “Giselle,” “Bayadere,” “Spartacus,” ”Notre Dame de Paris,” etc. While with Krasnoyarsky, Ms. Tarasova continued her studies by taking extensive instruction under world-renowned dancers and teachers from both the Kirov and Bolshoi Ballet Companies.In 1986, Ms. Tarasova was invited to join the Kiev Theater of Classical Ballet in the Ukraine. Her repertoire included “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Nutcracker,” “Thumbelina,” “Harlinquinade,” etc.

She toured throughout Russia and Europe performing in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Italy and France.In 1995, Ms. Tarasova was invited to dance in the United States, bringing her unique style to the American audience.In 1998, Ms. Tarasova transitioned from a vast performance career to a full-time teaching career. She has taught at both Brigham Young University and Boise State University as a guest teacher.Ms. Tarasova is an expert in the pedagogy of the Vaganova style of classical ballet technique. A masterful instructor, she teaches Ballet Technique, Pointe, and has staged many variations from Classical Ballet repertoire. Ms. Tarasova is inspiring, quietly commanding, polite and thoughtful: a truly world class artist.



photo Josie Walsh

"Ballet Red"  

Josie is the Artistic Director / Choreographer of BalletRED, the Joffrey Ballet School summer intensives LA, NYC, SF, The Industry Dance Academy Ballet program and Project Protégé.  Josie has danced professionally with the Joffrey Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre and the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland where she began her choreographic career. Moving on to several freelance projects throughout Europe before returning to Los Angeles where she integrated this vast background into the commercial as well as concert dance world. Known as the “Renegade” ballerina for her cutting edge hybrid style of edgy classical and contemporary ballet fusion, Josie is infamous for transcending boundaries and setting new trends. Josie was named 25 to watch by Dance Magazine, awarded the “Outstanding Choreography” award at the Youth American Grand Prix, NBC World of Dance choreographer Season 2 for “Avery and Marcus” and honored with the endorsement from the Los Angeles Times as “Faces to Watch” for her work as Artistic Director/Choreographer of Ballet RED.


photo Joy Annabelle Womack

Is an American ballet dancer who was born and raised in Santa Monica.  Joy made major news in 2009 when she was offered a full scholarship as the first American to study with the World Famous Bolshoi Ballet at the age of 15. At the age of 18 she was promoted to Soloist, she made national headlines again when she quit the Bolshoi.  After leaving the Bolshoi, she was offered a contract to join the Kremlin Ballet as a Principal Dancer at age 19 where she is the first American with the company and at 21 she was promoted to Prima Ballerina.  She has since left the Kremlin Ballet, but is still on their roster as a Guest Prima Ballerina & is a guest Prima Ballerina with the Universal Ballet Theatre in Seoul South Korea. 


Joy has been a Guest Artist with The Istanbul Opera & Ballet, Salt Lake City Ballet, Melbourne (Australian Conservatory) The National Ballet in Canberra, Westside Ballet, Crown Of Russia Ballet, Kazan Opera Ballet, Yoshkorla Theatre, Russian State Ballet, Globex Theatre, and numerous Gala productions internationally and in some countries such as, Lausanne, Geneva, Bern, Switzerland Bari, Milan, Rome, Florence, Genova, Venice, Italy, China Hong Kong.


Principal Roles Include : Clara (Nutcracker), Odette/Odile (Swan Lake), Esmeralda (Diane and Acteon),, Kitri (Don Quixote), Gamzatti (La Bayadere), Myrtha and Queen of Willis (Giselle) Queen of the Night (Magic Flute)Nurida (1001 Nights) Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) Medora (Le Corsaire), Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker).  Numerous Contemporary Works made for Special Projects and International Guestings.


Womack is the founder of Project Prima, a supplement company that caters specifically to dancers and performance athletes. She is also a Gaynor Girl Pro Ambassador for Gaynor Minden, and a model for Cloud and Victory, a dance wear and ballet brand.


photo Jorge Barani

"Ballet Barani"

Jorge was Born in Matanzas, Cuba and graduated from the National School of Art Ballet in Havana, Cuba. In 2010, he joined the Ballet de Monterrey Company in Mexico. Barani came to the United States in August 2012. He was invited to the final YAGP gala in New York, dancing with Maria Kochetkova from San Francisco Ballet.

In 2013, he won two Gold Medals at the World Ballet Competition USA and joined the Kentucky Ballet Theatre in 2014, as a Principal Dancer. He has danced leading roles in Peter Pan, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Paquita, La Sylphide, Le Corsaire, Harlequinade, Don Quixote, Paris Flames, Talisman, Diana and Actaeon, Laurencia, and contemporary and neoclassical works.

In 2015, Barani won the Silver Medal at The Korea International Ballet Competition, in 2016 he won the Gold Medal at Vienna International Ballet Competition and the Silver Medal at Varna International Ballet Competition. Barani has also been invited to dance in international galas in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Mexico .

photo Andrew Brader

Andrew Brader was born and raised in New Orleans, LA, and began his training with Karen Hebert and at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts with Jan Miller and Miguel Lopez. He attended The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL, on full scholarship and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, also studying privately with Susan Jaffe. He was invited to join ABT as an apprentice, dancing with the company at The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, and then joined the Houston Ballet performing in ballets by Stanton Welch, Ben Stevenson, John Cranko, Kenneth MacMillan and George Balanchine. He danced with the Los Angeles Ballet for four seasons performing principal roles in George Balanchine's Agon, The Four Temperaments, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Serenade, Kammermuzik No.2, Lar Lubovich's The Evangelist,Bournonville's Napoli Pas de Six and original works by Josie Walsh, Sonya Tayeh, Olivier Wevers, and Melissa Barak's Scrying presented as the first dance installation performed at NYC's Modern Museum of Art. Andrew was a Lester Horton Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Performance and winner of the Habich Corey Award for Emerging Choreographer. He spent two seasons with BalletMet Columbus before joining Stadt Theater Chemnitz as a Soloist in Chemnitz, Germany.  Andrew danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet from 2014-2018 under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson and has taught for Complexions’ intensives, as well as Joffrey Ballet School summer intensives. Andrew has performed on the stages of The Metropolitan Opera House NYC, The Kennedy Center DC, The Music Center Los Angeles, The Tel-Aviv Opera House Israel, The Odessa Opera Ukraine, The Mikhailovsky Theater in St. Petersburg and The Kremlin Palace Moscow, Russia. He’s danced alongside international dance stars in the galas of Laguna Dance Festival, World Ballet Competition, City Dance Gala DC, The Golden Swan Gala, and The Monterrey International Ballet Gala Mexico. Andrew has appeared in music videos for Jill Scott and music legend Nile Rodgers and has also worked as a model for Los Angeles Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and New York Men’s Fashion Week.


photo Victor Smalley

Victor is the artistic director and owner of Stars Dance Company, one of the top dance studios in the United States. Before opening Stars, Victor was a Top 12 finalist on Season 6 of FOX's So You Think You Can Dance. Along with his business partner Angel Armas, Victor has trained and developed some of the top young dancers in America over the last ten years. These dancers have gone on to be winners at at the top dance competitions in the world, featured on numerous national and international television shows, and students at some of the world's top dance institutions. Victor has also trained SYTYCD winner Ricky Ubeda and SYTYCD finalists Derek Piquette, Daniela Avanzini, and Logan Hernandez, and NBC's World of Dance competitors Diana Pombo, Nick Daniels, and Vivian Ruiz. In 2012, Victor and his studio were featured on the Life Time TV Show Dance Mom’s Miami.  STARS has now grown to include dance convention, Liberate The Artist, and Non-Profit organization STARS for Artists.  Victor brings his love for dance and artistry around the world, having taught over 750 Master Classes in 43 states and 4 countries.   



photo Michael Waldrop

Michael Waldrop was born in Los Angeles, California. He has toured the world, performing with Ballett des Theater Koblenz, State Street Ballet, and Pasadena Dance Theatre, as well as guest performances with Odyssey Dance Theatre, Seamless Dance Theater and the Covent Garden Dance Company’s international gala, Ballet in the Park. During this time, he performed in the classical and contemporary works of Peter Chu, Andreas Heise, Daniel Ezralow, Steffen Fuchs, Bella Lewitzky, Cathy Marston, Ihsan Rustem, Tom Ruud, William Soleau, Uwe Scholz, and Josie Walsh.


From the world of concert dance to the commercial industry, Michael has also appeared in film, television, print, and stage productions including the feature film Underground Comedy, ABC’s Bunheads, Nickelodeon’s Fresh Beat Band, and the Emmy Award winning opening routine of the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Other credits include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, industrials for Disney and MAC Cosmetics, performances at Downtown Los Angeles’ Music Center and the Getty Museum for the Dance Camera West Film Festival, the American Choreography Awards, and a feature in an edition of Life Magazine.


Michael has created original works for Theater Koblenz and the Joffrey Ballet School, as well as commissioned presentations for Marymount Manhattan College, APEX at Peridance Capezio Center, the Joffrey Ballet School, and the School of State Street Ballet. His work has been shown throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, and Germany, emphasizing dynamic, extension, and flow through a classical and contemporary vocabulary.

photo Grand Premier Master Teachers

Grand Premier Invitational 2019

photo Rhi Lee Photography

Rhi" Lee is a visual artist.  In her vibrant and creative photos, Rhi captures dancers and their fluidity of 

movement.  She strives to create remarkable photos in various environments that showcase how dance feels.  


She composes her stylized imagery from a rich background in the arts with over ten years experience as a professional photographer.  Training as a dancer and growing up with the guidance of her musician family - she has an individualized ability to bring melodic movement to life through visual creation.  Combining an artful upbringing with dedicated dancers allows her to craft extraordinary portraiture highlighting a particular dancer's strengths and abilities.  


Rhi has worked with dancers, choreographers and dance brands across the country in both outdoor locations and in studio.  She currently shoots with the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue in Dallas.  Past on-location shoots include: Alaska, Aspen, Austin, Boulder, Cabo, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Del Mar, Denver, Estes Park, Hawaii, Houston, 

Jackson Hole, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Memphis, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Palos Verdes, San Antonio, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Seattle, Syracuse and Washington D.C.  This photographer shares a special visual story with you - the dance shared between the collaboration of artists.