Founder and Executive Director
Vasile Petrutiu - (Ballet, Character, Partnering, Pointe, Variations) - was born in Transylvania, Romania, Mr. Petrutiu trained at the Romanian Academy of Fine Arts and graduated at the top of his class with the highest degree in the field of dance. After graduation he joined the Romanian National Opera and Ballet in Bucharest where he was spotted by the great director/choreographer Oleg Danovski, who invited him to join The Classical and Contemporary Ballet of Romania, as principal dancer and touring extensively throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. In 1982 he defected while on tour in USA. In 1984 Mr. Petrutiu established his residency in the United States and later got his US citizenship. He held the Principal Dancer position with several companies including Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Cleveland-San Jose Ballet, Dallas Ballet, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Nevada Dance Theatre, Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Alberta Ballet. His distinguished career encompasses an extensive list of leading roles in the great classical ballets and many contemporary master pieces. During his dance career, Mr. Petrutiu worked with noted personalities such as Frederick Franklin, Reid Anderson, Natalie Krassovska, Laura Alonzo and Flemming Flindt. In addition to dancing, Mr. Petrutiu also acted as master teacher, school director, ballet master, choreographer, and artistic director for several companies, most recently Southern Ballet Theatre, now Orlando Ballet, in Florida. Under his direction SBT, now Orlando Ballet, successfully eliminated its trailing deficit of over 400K, tripled season subscriptions and earned a surplus of 100K by the third year of his leadership. In the year 2000, Mr. Petrutiu founded and incorporated The Ballet Academy of Central Florida and the Central Florida Ballet, guiding the two organizations to great success. The Academy reached an enrollment of over 300 students in just four months, and the professional company made its debut with Tutus, Tangos, and More. This program featured several of Mr. Petrutiu's ballets and was a smash-hit debut for the new company. In year 2004 Mr. Petrutiu’s Nutcracker Production reached international attention being featured in USA Today and later highlighted by CNN Headline News as one of five outstanding Productions in the nation. Mr. Petrutiu engaged many international stars including Gelsey Kirkland, Fernando Bujones, Angel Corella, Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Sascha Radetski, Yanis Pikieris, David Palmer and Dragos Mihalcea. Mr. Petrutiu is excited to continue working with professional dancers and students and to bring quality in dance to Central Florida.
Vladimir Bykov - (Ballet, Character, Partnering, Pointe, Variations) - Mr. Bykov graduated from the Kiev State Ballet Academy (Ukraine) in 1988 and joined the Malyi Theatre of Operaand Ballet in Kiev as a principal dancer. In 1995, he received a Master's Degree from the Kiev National Institute of the Arts. Vladimir has performed in leading roles including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Harlequinade, Romeo and Juliet, and the Rite of Spring. Vladimir toured throughout Europe and came to the U.S. in 1996 where he danced with El Paso Ballet, New Mexico Ballet, Albuquerque and Dallas Metropolitan Ballet. He has been a ballet instructor at the University of Texas and was awarded Outstanding Male Newcomer by the El Paso Association for the Performing Arts in 1988. Before joining Central Florida Ballet as Ballet master, Mr. Bykov danced with Southern Ballet Theatre (now Orlando Ballet) and also served as a teacher and coach for the company.
In year 2004 Mr. Bykov was appointed and accepted the Artistic Director’s position with Central Florida Ballet while also remaining the leading master for the Central Florida Ballet Academy's upper-levels since 2000. His students have been awarded scholarships to more than 25 dance schools worldwide and have established professional careers with such prestigious companies including San Francisco Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and Ballet MET. In 2007, Mr. Bykov accepted the Artistic Director position with the World Ballet Competition. Under his co-leadership the World Ballet Competition, has been labeled “a world class event”, “remarkably organized” and “how all competitions should be”. Most recently, Mr. Bykov traveled to Sibiu, Romania where he prepared dancers of the Teatrul de Balet Sibiu for the Central Florida Ballet’s first international tour of “The Nutcracker”. The production received rave reviews and is set to tour in more cities internationally.
Diane Withee - (Ballet, Pointe, Variations) - This will mark Ms. Withee's 8th season with the Central Florida Ballet Academy where she has previously served as a Principle Ballet Instructor, Competition Director and Movement Mentor Coordinator. She brings to the position more than 20 years of teaching experience as Ms. Withee is a former professional ballet dancer who served as Artistic Director for 2 performing Arts Schools; Owned and Directed the New Orleans based ballet academy: Ballet Workshop; and was the Founder and Director of Attitudes Ballet Company. Ms. Withee is also a graduate of the Boston Ballet School and has studied under many world renowned ballet masters. She received her instructor training in Vaganova, Cechetti and RAD methodologies. Ms. Withee strongly believes in the vision and mission of the Central Florida Ballet Academy. She is dedicated to inspiring students of all ages and abilities to achieve their highest potential. She is also committed to enriching the lives of the Central Florida Community through the OCPS Partners in Education program and our exceptional Dance Mentoring program. Under Ms. Withee's leadership CFBA will continue to grow as an internationally renowned ballet school.
Shata Ben-Avari (Yoga) has been practicing and sharing her love for yoga throughout Florida for the past 20 years and has led Yoga-Healing retreats in Costa Rica, North Carolina, and across the state of Florida. With a degree in Holistic nutrition, Shata facilitates yoga inspired personal training, yoga therapy, and transformational Thai bodywork. Her lifelong experience in dance and movement has inspired her flowing vinyasa teaching style, with a strong emphasis on Core strength. She began her healing journey with yoga during a life-threatening illness and emerged transformed and passionate to share. She has been the owner of Yoga Central in Mount Dora, Florida for the past 12 years as well as directs and facilitates a 200-hour Yoga teacher certification program, "Teaching from the Heart".
Deedee Sherman – (Ballet & Tap) - Deedee began dancing with Betty Kovach, in Raleigh, N.C., studying the Vaganova method. She received her BFA, in Dance, from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, in Winston-Salem, NC. After graduation, she had a 15 year stage career in Reno, Nevada dancing with Maggie Banks' newly formed, Nevada Festival Ballet. At the same time, she was performing in the MGM Grand's production, “Hello Hollywood Hello”, on the world's largest stage. This was a dream job that allowed her to dance in 2 shows a night, 6 nights a week, for 10 years. While in Reno, she also performed with the Nevada Opera, Karen Burns Productions and numerous special events at MGM Grand and Bally's Hotel & Casino. Deedee has taught dance in the Orlando area for the past 20 years, joining Central Florida Ballet, in 2001. Deedee, also, works with Virginia Trudeau Photography.
Lorraine Spack – (Pilates) - Originally from Queens, New York, Lorraine has been living and working in Orlando since 1997. Along with having a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and being a registered nurse, she has always had a passion for health and fitness. A former long distance runner, she has completed multiple marathons, half-marathons, and many other races over the years. She has been working in the fitness industry for the past 12 years. What started as a part time job in order to raise her family, blossomed into a full blown career. Lorraine is an AFAA certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and holds multiple other certification including Spinning, yoga, sports nutrition and pilates. Her extensive pilates training is through STOTT PILATES and includes mat work, reformer, Cadillac, chair, barrels and props. Lorraine absolutely loves working with the dancers and feels it has brought an entirely new perspective to her fitness career.
|Genevieve Tallarico-McKay – (Ballet, Pointe, Modern) - Genevieve began her dance training with Movement Laboratory under the direction of Ms. Judith Williams-Henry, and later, under Marcia Dale-Weary at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Following High School graduation, Genevieve continued her passion for dance at Belhaven University where she received a Bachelors of Arts in Dance, specializing in Pedagogy. She danced through her college career with the Belhaven Ensemble, Belhaven Worship Team, Urban Dance Club and the Belhaven Dance Team. Throughout her summers, Genevieve continued to train at Ballet Magnificat!, Central Pennsylvannia Youth Ballet and Dance Ad Deum. She also was a part of Belhaven University's dance ensemble to the National College Dance Festival in Oxford, Mississippi. After graduation she went on to dance with Ad Deum Dance Company in Houston, Texas under Artistic Director, Randall Flinn. Moving back to Jackson, MS, Genevieve accepted the position as the executive assistant for the USA International Ballet Competition. She now lives in Orlando, after getting married to her wonderful husband, David. She enjoys teaching all disciplines and levels of dance and is thrilled to be teaching for Central Florida Ballet. |
Daniela Veliz Wilk - (Ballet) - is from Caracas, Venezuela. She began her training at the Central Florida Ballet Academy in 2003, and since then has performed in various ballets with the company; her favorites being Paquita, La Bayadere, and Swan Lake. She has also trained at the Orlando Ballet, Universal Ballet Academy (Kirov), and Ballet Florida where she received a full scholarship. Additionally she performs at Universal Studios and local theater companies including The Garden Theater and Titusville Playhouse.