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About Academy of Ballet Wauconda


Melissa Hayden (owner/artistic director) began dancing At the age of three with The Boston School of Ballet (the official School of the Boston Ballet Company). She went on to attend Walnut Hill School for Performing Arts. Melissa earned her Dance Performance With a Teaching Emphasis degree from the University of Utah Fine Arts Department. While living in Utah, Melissa taught at the Ballet West Conservatory (the official school of Ballet West). Since moving to the Chicago area 13 years ago, she has continued to share her love of the performing arts through teaching and opening The Academy of Ballet Wauconda...

Our professional instructors have over 30 years of teaching experience. Their extensive training and true love for the arts is displayed through their compassion for every student.

Kelly Kledzik has been on the staff at the Academy of ballet Wauconda for five years. She has studied under numerous respected dancers and choreographers. She has over 20 years of experience instructing Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Ballet and Pom. Her innovative choreography has been recognized at both state and national levels. Kelly was also a Luvabull Dancer for the Chicago Bulls during their 2nd Championship season.

Lana Galina is in her third year teaching at the Academy of Ballet Wauconda. Her dance career has spanned the globe for more than 30 years. Before Ms. Lana began teaching in Northern Illinois, she owned The Latvian Independent Ballet located in Riga, Latvia. She has performed in numerous ballets as a Prima Ballerina with the Latvian National Opera. Ms. Lana has had the honor of working with choreographers like Vladimir Vasiliev (Bolshoi Theatre), Oleg Vinogradov (Kirov Ballet) and Natalia Kasatkina (Moscow Classical Ballet). She has been a wonderful addition to our studio working with our dancers on Pointe.

Cindee Winshutonis is a member of CNADM (Chicago National Association of Dance Masters) and is an accepted member of the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. Ms. Cindee has over 25 years of teaching experience. She has also danced as a regular on the Art Robert’s Television Show, choreographed for the Bob McGrath Sesame Street Show and the Harper College Modern Dance Group.

Lauren Mackey was a member of the Lake Zurich High School Orchesis Group. Ms. Lauren went on to earn a Physical Education with a minor in Dance and Theatre from Luther College. She was a member of the Luther College Dance Team as well as the Eklipse Hip Hop Group. Lauren has also had the opportunity to study under Joel Hall.

Alexander Kopchinsky (guest teacher/artist) has worked with famous ballet masters like S.N. Golovkina, V Vasiliev, Lavrovsky and D. Briantsev. Alexander has toured with the Straislavsky Ballet throughout the Us, England and Japan.