BALLET DIRECTOR / COMPETITION DIRECTOR
Our Ballet Director and Competition Director is Liliya Ruhukya, fondly known as “Miss Lil”. Her vast knowledge of the art of dance is evident from the moment one sets foot in her classroom. She perseveres to provide students with extensive knowledge that they will always carry with them. Her experienced background paired with her patience and kind-hearted nature is only part of what makes her an excellent teacher.
Liliya began her dance training at the age of ten and completed eight years of professional classical ballet training at the College of Ballet and Choreography in Minsk, Belarus (part of Russia at the time), where she was trained in the “Vaganova” method. Her college instructor Vera Shvetsova was herself trained by the famous Vaganova and was one of Vaganova’s best students.
Liliya has trained and worked with various choreographers including Dr. Olga Tarasova, Lena Golikova and Lena Bendel. Liliya has performed various ballets at the Bolshoi Theater in Minsk including, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake”, “Corsaire”, “Giselle”, “Nutcracker”, and “Chopinianna”. She also performed “Halt of Calvary” in Germany, Vietnam and in the United States. In addition to classical ballets, Liliya has also performed in dramas and pantomime.
After moving to the United States, Liliya taught in North Carolina while she also toured Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, New York, Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio performing in “Time To Remember”, “Christmas Around The World”, “Pas De Quatre”, “Dying Swan—by Saint Saen”, and “Man on the Street”. Liliya has taught in Virginia and danced in such works as “Hadassah-The Story of Ester” and “The Play”.
Liliya has been a staff member at Karen’s School of Dance for over ten years and teaches classes and workshops to all levels – from beginner to advanced – in classical ballet, pointe, variation and character dance. Although she devotes many hours a week to provide outstanding ballet and pointe training to our dancers, it doesn’t stop there. Liliya also teaches award winning lyrical, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop routines. During our winter season, Liliya works hard creating KSD’s own version of the Nutcracker for our Holiday Spectacular. It’s clear that she lives and breathes the art of dance!