In February 2019 Alisa Balayan established Orlovska Dance Studio, which is named after her grandmother, Ludmila Orlovska. Ludmila was the Prima Ballerina at the Lviv National Opera and Ballet House. She studied at the Kiev State Choreographic Academy which was later merged with Kiev Conservatory during World War Two. At the institute, Ludmila studied ballet (Russian Vaganova Ballet method), character and historical dance. She was taught by Klavdia Vasina a student of Agrippina Vaganova.

Ludmila graduated from the Institute in 1949 and received offers from across the Soviet Union. She chose Lviv National Opera and Ballet House to be close to her family. A storied career followed including the lead roles in: Giselle (Giselle), Swan Lake (Odette), Spartacus (Phrygia), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), Nutcracker (Clara), Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), Peer Gynt (Solveig), The Red Poppy (Tao-Choa), The Tale of the Stone Flower (Katherine), Les Sylphides, Grand Waltz and many others. After retiring at 35 Ludmilla began her career as a teacher, teaching for 49 years including teaching her own daughter and granddaughter, Olena and Alisa.

Ludmila passed away at the age of 89 on the 17th of March 2020. Her legacy will be remembered and carried through to the young dance students of Orlovska Dance Studio.

our philosophy

The Vaganova ballet method, along with Contemporary dance, Acrobatics, and Hip Hop, places a strong emphasis on building a solid technical foundation. This foundation serves as the fundamental starting point that must be honed alongside dancers’ expressive abilities. At the heart of these dance forms lies the harmonious fusion of technique and joyful expression. In fact, without the capacity to convey the sheer delight and exuberance of a performance, technical prowess alone loses its significance.

For those dancers who seek to engage in dance primarily for recreational purposes or as a means of exercise, Orlovska Dance Academy (ODA) is dedicated to providing students with the necessary technical skills and expertise to fully enjoy movement and express themselves through dance. Our primary objective at ODA is to foster a nurturing and inspiring environment that nurtures both vocational and recreational dancers, allowing their unique personalities and talents to flourish.

At ODA, our esteemed instructors firmly believe in the power of positive encouragement, body positivity, and fostering a supportive team atmosphere as the catalysts for unlocking a dancer’s full potential. We view dance as a profound tool for self-development, and it is this passion that drives us to witness the growth and development of our students of all ages. Indeed, observing their progress and transformation serves as its own intrinsic reward, inspiring us to continue providing a wonderful platform for dancers to thrive and flourish.

What is Vaganova Ballet Method?

In ODA we teach Vaganova Ballet Method. The Vaganova Method is a ballet technique and training system devised by the Russian dancer and pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova (1879–1951). While there is debate over which system is the best, simply put, most of the world’s best dancers of the last and current century were trained in the Vaganova method (e.g Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Anna Pavlova, Sergei Polunin, Natalia Osipova, Diana Vishneva, Ivan Vasiliev to name a few). A good dancer can come out of any system and no ballet company hires only Vaganova or RAD, or Cecchetti graduates.

Vaganova’s key strengths are teaching correct movement and posture first, strict technique based on correct movement and very clear grading and marking systems. Many RAD & Cecchetti dancers need to unlearn or improve their technique upon entering the professional dance world.

Vaganova graduates are arguably more ready for the rigours of professional dancing.
From a parent’s perspective Vaganova may seem the better choice as the risk of injury is lower and assessments of the student’s progress are more accurate as the balance between technical ability and expression is more objectively obvious.
For dancers starting at a later age ( 5-7 years of age is normal) Vaganova method is a good choice as they will be immersed in correct technique allowing their natural ability to flourish faster.

Recreational dancers who dance purely for fun or exercise will benefit from a system of movement that reduces injury risk and quickly benefits endurance, posture and strength.