Faculty & Staff

Tish Cordova, Artistic Director, Virginia Ballet Company & School

Ms. Cordova began her training with Tatiana and Oleg Tupine in 1976 and performed many featured roles with the Virginia Ballet Company. In 1986 she accepted a contract to dance with the Tulsa Ballet Theatre. As a soloist for Tulsa, Ms. Cordova performed principal roles such as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Lev Ivanov’s Nutcracker, the Rancher’s Daughter in Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, and the High Priestess in Arthur Mitchell’s Rhythmetron. While with Tulsa her repertoire expanded to include George Balanchine’s Mozart Violin Concerto, Lew Christensen’s Filling Station, Ruth Page’s Carmen and The Merry Widow, and Frederic Franklin’s Tribute. She has worked with many distinguished choreographers including Frederic Franklin, Peter Anastos, Larry Long, and Esmerelda Agogliev. Ms. Cordova also has numerous years of managerial and administrative experience and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree.


Candra Preshong, Artistic Director, IMPACT Dance Company

Ms. Preshong began her training in Northern Virginia, studying  under Michelle Sarson, Mark Mejia, Linda Kintz, and with various professional teachers/choreographers through workshops locally and nationally. After attending Point Park University and finishing her degree in psychology at George Mason University, Candra began teaching and having success at the regional and national level with her choreography, winning special awards at the solo and group level. Candra co-founded Fusion Dance in 2006, and through this professional company her choreography graced the stages of the Lincoln Theater, the Lang Theater, the Lisner, the Jack Guidone, and the Ernst Cultural Center. In 2009, Candra co-founded IMPACT Dance Company, a pre-professional company with unique and dynamic choreography, technical excellence, and unparalleled artistry.


Cathy Bernero

Mrs. Bernero began her ballet training at the age of 5, with Muriel Shelley Evans at the Academy of Ballet and Hampton Roads Civic Ballet, in Hampton, Virginia.  As a teenager, she studied under Mary Marshall at the Academy of the Peninsula Ballet and later Esperance Dance Theatre, where she was privileged to perform in many of Ms. Marshall’s original works of choreography, in locations around the Tidewater area and Williamsburg. She continued her training at Virginia Tech under Sandra Owens.  For three years, she performed with Live Entertainment at Busch Gardens, The Old Country, in Williamsburg, Virginia, as a German Festhaus dancer, the last year as dance captain for the company.  She has attended numerous Masters’ classes with teachers such as Robert Joffrey, Donald Sutherland, Robert March, Heidi Robitshek, and Gene Hammett, among others.  She began teaching at Virginia Ballet Company & School in 2013.


Stacey Claytor 

Ms. Claytor has studied and dedicated the majority of her life to the art of dance. She chose James Madison University where she continued to enrich her technique and range, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and Dance with a concentration in dance. In addition, Ms. Claytor has studied with several dance studios in Virginia and New York City, including the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. With a passionate love for dance and the performing arts, Ms. Claytor constantly seeks opportunities to perform, instruct, and give back to the community the joy she has experienced through dance.


Dina Fadeyeva 

Ms. Fadeyeva was born in Almaty, Kazahkstan and received her training at the acclaimed Almaty State Ballet Academy. Ms. Fadeyeva danced with the Almaty State Theatre of Ballet and Opera from 1985-1989. In 1989, she went to Moscow, Russia to study at the State University of Arts and Theater (GITIS), where she studied under Marina Semynova; she graduated in 1994. From 1993-1996, Ms. Fadeyeva taught at the Moscow Institute of Contemporary Dance as well as being a guest artist with many companies in Moscow. In 1996, Ms. Fadeyeva returned to Almaty State Ballet Academy to continue her career in teaching and taught at the Almaty Institute of Contemporary Dance. In 2000, Ms. Fadeyeva participated in the International Festival of Traditional Dance in Almaty and won the Grand Prix. In addition, many of Ms. Fadeyeva’s students have won prizes in International Ballet Competitions in Moscow, Budapest, Lausanne, and elsewhere. Between the years of 2000-2005, she worked with the National synchronized swim team in Kazakhstan. The programs she choreographed were performed in World Cup in Barcelona, Spain, in Rome, Italy, in South Korea, and at the 2004 Olympic Games, which was held in Athens, Greece. In 2005, she choreographed her own production, “Triumph of Athena” with music by Mahler, for the Almaty State Theatre of Ballet and Opera. That same year, Ms. Fadeyeva accepted a teaching position with the Ballet Royale in Maryland and came to the United States.


Ann Saretzky McGinnis 

Ms. McGinnis began her early ballet training in Berlin, Germany.  In 1976, she began studying at Virginia Ballet Company & School. She has been a VBC staff member and rehearsal assistant since 1983, and received a B.S. in Dance from Radford University in 1990.  While earning an M.F.A. in Dance, Ms. McGinnis served on the faculty of Point Park College, James Madison University, Shenandoah University and George Mason University.  Her eclectic work has been commissioned by Virginia Ballet, Rockbridge Ballet, and Loudoun Ballet and has won awards for both choreography and costume design.


Alex Miegel 

Mr. Miegel is originally from Fairfax, VA and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance & Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2008. After graduating he has had the pleasure of performing with Theatre West Virginia and West Virginia Dance Company located in Beckley, West Virginia. Since returning to Fairfax he has worked with Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company primarily in their educational outreach program. He began teaching at Virginia Ballet Company in January 2013.


Barbara Mirabello 

Mrs. Mirabello has incorporated her experience as an RN in Neurosurgery and Orthopedics and her interest in Natural Health, yoga, reflexology, fitonics and healing touch therapy to provide a gentle stretch program designed to safely stretch, strengthen and relax the entire body. She keeps up to date on current trends with monthly updates from the Weill Medical College at Cornell University and the Tufts University fitness newsletter. Mrs. Mirabello holds a Yoga Fitness Certification from the AFPA (American Fitness Professionals & Associates).

Alisha Reay 

Ms. Reay has taught ballet for over 16 years, while continuing to choreograph and perform. Ms Reay began her dance training at Chicago City Ballet, followed by the Ballet Russe School in Skokie, Illinois, where she studied and performed for seven years, achieving the rank of soloist and principal dancer. Ms Reay holds a certification in teaching the Vaganova method of ballet and also teaches character, modern, jazz and hip-hop. She was a founding member of the Union Street Dance Company in Valparaiso, Indiana and was the owner and manager of the Valparaiso Dance Connection before moving to the Washington DC area in 2001.

Mark P. Rubin 

Mr. Rubin has been teaching for more than 30 years. He began his training with such world renowned teachers as David Howard, Dolores Brown, Robert Christopher and George Chafee for ballet; Luigi, Fred Benjamin, and Ron Forella for jazz and Joyce Tristler, Bertram Ross and Milton Myers for modern. He also studied with master teacher Zena Rommett, the originator of the Floor-Barre® Technique. He has performed with Ailey II, the Joffrey Ballet, Bertram Ross Dance Co., the Batsheva Dance Co. and the Fred Benjamin Dance Company. Mark is Lifetime Certified in the Floor-Barre® Technique. He has taught company class for CityDance, has been Ballet Master for Manassas Dance Company and the Dance Director at the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia.


Shelly Siller

Ms. Siller grew up in Cape Coral, FL, where she studied Cecchetti ballet technique, jazz, tap, lyrical, and acrobatics at Pine Island Dance. During this time, she had the privilege to take classes from New York City Ballet principals Jock Soto and Melinda Roy at Gulfshore Ballet. After moving to the D.C. area, Shelley became a member of Fusion Dance's pre-professional program, IMPACT Dance Company, where she continued to dance for 5 years. She received a scholarship to DMA's Student Honors Intensive Program at SUNY Buffalo in 2007. Shelley is currently an ECC Cecchetti board member, and holds her Advanced Professional Cecchetti certification and grades I-III Teacher's levels. She currently dances professionally with MOVEiUS Contemporary Ballet, along with other freelance projects. Her solo and choreographic works with these companies have been critically acclaimed in the Washington Post and the Washington City Paper, along with many other popular theater blogs online.


Heidi Spence 

Mrs. Spence began her training at Lascu School of Ballet in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where she performed for seven years in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s production of the Nutcracker. At twelve she attended American Ballet Theater’s four week summer program studying under such artists as Wes Chapman, Cynthia Harvey, and Megali Messac. A year later, Mrs. Spence attended, on scholarship, the Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, Florida. She studied privately with American Ballet Theatre’s soloist, Yan Chen, while also studying under such accomplished teachers as Alla Chernova, Irina Depler, Vadim Fedotov, Fernando Bujones, Peter Stark, Nathalie Krassovska, and Gelsey Kirkland. With Southern Ballet Theatre School and Company, now the Orlando Ballet, Mrs. Spence performed solo and corps roles in numerous ballets including Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, Dracula, Carmen, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Nutcracker, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Faust, and Bolero. While in Orlando, Mrs. Spence taught Vaganova floor barre classes and creative movement at the Orlando Ballet School, while also teaching at a private school in the Orlando area. Mrs. Spence has been teaching ballet classes for all ages in the Northern Virginia area for the last three years.