Faculty

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Slawomir Wozniak

Director, Founder, Owner, Elite Coach

Slawomir Woźniak was born on 2 November 1967. In 1977-1986, he attended the Poznań ballet school. He gained his first stage experience partnering artists of Teatr Wielki in Poznań in performances of Cinderella. Slawomir Woźniak’s professional debut took place in 1986 at the Wroclaw Opera where he danced the Prince in Cinderella choreographed by Teresa Kujawa. Wroclaw Opera House Director recognized his talent and invited him to work at that theatre right after school. He was employed there in 1986-1988.

It was in Wroclaw that he met his future wife, also a soloist of ballet company of Wroclaw Opera. Their performance in Swan Lake left an unforgettable impression on all those who had a chance to see it. In 1988 he became a soloist and in 1989 the principal dancer of Teatr Wielki in Łódź. His first premiere there was also Cinderella. Irine Fokine, who prepared the spectacle, invited him to the USA where he appeared in The Nutcracker. On the stage in Łódź, he performed leading parts in classical and modern ballets. Among others, he danced John in Lorca Massine’s, Zorba the Greek, the role which gained him the admiration of the audience in Łódź and Warsaw. It also brought him the nomination of the French magazine Danse for “Revelation of the Year 1992”.

In 1991 he joined the ballet of the National Opera in Warsaw as a first soloist. From 2000-2011 he was a principal dancer with the company. In Warsaw he performed all leading male parts and also gave guest performances at many theaters in Poland and abroad. He was a Guest Artist with Bulgarian National Ballet, Greek National Ballet, Arena Di Verona Ballet and many others. In 2000 Slawomir Woźniak graduated from the Ballet Pedagogy at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. For many years he had conducted dance courses for young Americans during Summer Intensive programs.

Together with his American partner Kathleen Arcierci, he won a bronze medal at the Third International Ballet Competition in New York in 1990. In 1993 Mr. Woźniak won a bronze medal at the First International Ballet Competition in Nagoya, Japan. Slawomir Woźniak was also a Jury Member for Polish International Ballet Competition in Gdansk, Poland.

For the last several years he has also created many choreographies for Ballet, Opera and Drama theatres. His choreographic works include:

  • “Only Love…” Polish National Ballet, Warsaw, Poland – 2002

  • “Comix-Comedy” Polish National Ballet, Warsaw, Poland – 2005

  • “The Nutcracker” full production for Poznan Opera House, Poland – 2006 and Ballet & Friends in Phoenix, AZ – 2007

  • “Peacock and the Maiden” Poznan Opera House, Poland – 2007

  • “Copellia” Poznan Opera House, Poland -2009

  • … and many more.

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Irena Wozniak

Ballet Mistress, Elite Coach

Irena Woźniak started her ballet training at the age of eleven in Gdansk, Poland, at the State Ballet School. At age sixteen, while Irena was still a student, she was asked to dance with the Professionals in Opera Baltycke’s, production of Snow White. Irena had the opportunity to train under some of the world’s most esteemed Dancers and Teachers including; Nathalie Bessmertnova, Yuri Grigorovich, Cynthia Harvey, Pierre Lacotte, Natalia Makarova, Lorca Massine, and Irek Mukhamedov, all of whom inspired Irena with an incredible passion for ballet. Irena graduated with high honors after performing and touring in many concerts and galas throughout Europe.

After graduating, Irena received the position of soloist at Wroclaw Opera House in Poland. It was there that she met her husband, Slawomir, as they performed leading roles together, such as Cinderella, Swan Lake and Giselle. Their performance in Swan Lake left an unforgettable impression on all those who were fortunate enough to see it. Irena performed in a host of other ballets including: La Gitana, D’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers, Chopiniana – Les Sylphides, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker.

In 1988 Irena joined the Teatr Wielki in Lodz, Poland, along with Slawomir, where they both performed in all of the company’s Repertories and Tours throughout Europe. A few years later, in 1991, Irena joined the Warsaw National Opera House as soloist and she danced with the company until her retirement which brought her to the Valley of the Sun. She moved to Phoenix in 2007 with her husband, while her two sons, Slawomir Jr. and Michal, were training on full scholarships in New York City at American Ballet Theatre.

Since living in Phoenix, Irena has trained hundreds of young dancers at Master Ballet Academy, the studio she owns and operates with her husband Slawomir. Since 2007 her accomplishments as a ballet instructor include training her students for international ballet competitions in Berlin, China, San Diego, Florida, and New York in which they have placed with medals and scholarships. Irena instills in each of her students, her love for ballet, and she passes along her own training and performance experiences. Irena inspires her students with her passion, attention to detail, knowledge of classical ballet, and understanding of expression. All of these qualities make Irena one of the most sought after Instructors in Phoenix.

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Slawek Wozniak

Ballet, Men's Tech, Partnering, Variations

Slawomir Jr., also known as Slawek was born into a ballet family: His father was Principal Dancer of the Ballet of the Polish National Opera in Warsaw. At age 11, Slawomir began his studies on scholarship at the State School of Ballet in Warsaw, Poland. While at the school he performed in many productions in the national opera house. In 2005 Slawomir won Second Place in the National Ballet Competition in Gdansk, and went on to represent Poland in the International Ballet Competition in Nagoya, Japan.

In 2006 Slawomir accepted a full scholarship to study at The School of American Ballet in New York City where he trained for 2 years. Slawomir joined Ballet Arizona in 2008 and has danced soloist roles in Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15, The Four Temperments, and Ib Andersen’s Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. Slawomir has also performed in Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Sleeping Beauty (Blue Bird), Play, Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section and Petipa’s Raymonda. Slawomir performed in Andersen’s premiere of Diversions at the Kennedy Center in D.C., Balanchine’s “Rubies” (from Jewels) at The Chicago Dancing Festival and Andersen’s Play at The Joyce Theatre in New York City.

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Michal Wozniak

Ballet, Men's Tech, Partnering, Variations

Michal began his training in gymnastics at age 7, and began his ballet training when he was 10 at the State School of Ballet in Warsaw, Poland. As a student, Michal was invited to perform in ballets and operas at the Great Theatre in Warsaw, and in 2004 was awarded first place in the ballet competition there. In 2006 Michal accepted a full scholarship to study at The School of American Ballet in New York City where he trained for 2 years. Michal continued studying on full scholarship at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre.

Since joining Ballet Arizona in 2009, Michal has been featured in Swan Lake, George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Petipa’s Raymonda, and Ib Andersen’s The Sleeping Beauty. Michal danced the principal role in George Balanchine’s Prodigal Son and Ib Andersen’s Mosiak. Michal toured with Ballet Arizona to perform Andersen’s Diversions at The Kennedy Center, Balanchine’s “Rubies” (from Jewels) at The Chicago Dancing Festival and Andersen’s Play at The Joyce Theatre in New York City.

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Raissa Chazova-Bauer

Ballet Technique, Pointe, Pre-Pointe, Floor Barre

Raissa Chazova-Bauer is a classically trained ballet dancer having studied at professional ballet institutions in both Russia and Kazakhstan. After graduation and 8 years of classical training in The Vaganova syllabus, she performed with The Novosibirsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, apprenticed with The National Opera and Ballet Theater of Kazakhstan and participated in The First Korean International Ballet Competition. After moving to the United States Mrs. Chazova-Bauer trained with The School of Oregon Ballet Theater, performing with the company in Christopher Stowell’s “Swan Lake” and in George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”. In 2009 Raissa began her teaching career, educating professional ballet dancers, coaching and judging rhythmic gymnastics competitions, as well as training figure skaters and synchronized swimmers.

 

In 2015 Mrs. Chazova-Bauer moved from Portland, OR to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she trained and coached dancers at Contra Costa Ballet School, then later becoming Program Director for Los Gatos Ballet, where she developed an in-depth training syllabus for all levels of the school. In 2013, while in Oregon, Mrs. Chazova-Bauer was introduced to GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®. Inspired by the incredible benefits the method provided, she decided to pursue certification on the pulley tower, specialized equipment and specialized courses, such as GYROTONIC® Applications for Dancers among others. In 2016, she continued her education becoming an American Ballet Theatre NTC™ Certified Instructor for Pre-primary - Level 3.

 

In 2017, Raissa and her husband Brett Bauer moved to sunny Phoenix, AZ then in 2018 founded their business “Heightened Humanity LLC”. The studio offers The GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods, Body Code® Master Stretch®, Progressing Ballet technique (PBT), The Boris Kniaseff Floor Barre, as well as Private Classical Ballet Education and Career Consulting. Raissa finds great joy in helping professional dancers and athletes understand their bodies. She is committed to helping find the most effective and efficient ways of balancing flexibility with strength, preventing injuries and empowering individuals’ overall performance.

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Victoria Lazareva

Ballet Technique, Pointe, Pre-Pointe, Ballroom, Character

Bio coming soon!

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Ashley Eschler

Broadway, Heels, Jazz

Bio coming soon!

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DeQuan Lewis

Contemporary, Jazz

Bio coming soon!

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Zach Kelley

Tap

Bio coming soon!

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Brooke Anderson

Improv, Contemporary

Bio coming soon!

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Bernadette Gaxiola

Flamenco

Bernadette Gaxiola began her dance training at age of 6. She has studied with artists Laura Moya, Luis Montero, Oscar Nieto, Julia Lopez, La Meida, La Conja, Carola Zertuche, Yolanda Heredia, Isabel Bayón, and Antonio “El Pipa”, and continues to be inspired by her brother Martín Gaxiola. Company/Performance credits include Laura Moya Spanish Dance Co (AZ), Flamenco Ole/Antonio Granjero (PA), Ballet Etudes (AZ), ‘Zona Flamenca (Scottsdale). She has performed throughout the United States including American Dance Festival (VA); Philadelphia’s Fringe Festival and Feria de Abril (PA). She conducts her own adult/children’s flamenco classes and is founder of the children’s group, Gitanitos del Sol.

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Pavel Getman

Character, Partnering, Men's Technique

Bio coming soon!

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Gina Mangiaracino

Level I and II Ballet and Creative Movement, Cardio Barre

Bio coming soon!

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Lizzy Zaritsky

Contemporary, Jazz and Elite Movement Company

Lizzy started her training from the age of 6 and had majority of her training at Stars Dance Studio in Miami, Fl. Lizzy has trained in all styles including Ballet/Pointe, Jazz, Jazz funk, Hip-hop, Lyrical/Contemporary/Modern, Ballroom, Tap, Technique/Flexibility. She has danced and worked with amazing teachers such as Travis Wall, Will Loftis, Misha Gabriel, Teddy Forance and many more. Apart from all of her training she has won many awards including Top 10 Best Dancer at the Dance Awards. Lizzy’s passion for dance and love of life are evident both in and out of the classroom. She is looking forward to sharing her passion and knowledge of dance with all the students and hope that she can spark the same love for dance in them as she found in herself!