Alexander Alexandrovich Styopin

Teacher of Character, Historical and Modern Dance, and Acting. 

Born in Leningrad in 1952. In 1960 he entered the Vaganova Academy (at that time called Vaganova Leningrad Choreographic Institute) studying classical dance with A. Bazhaeva, V. Tarasova, V. Tulubiev and S. Kaplan and Acting with T. Shmyrova.

After the end of his study at the Vaganova, he was invited to join the troupe “Choreographic Miniatures” under the direction of Leonid Jacobson. Many ballets were created directly for him such as “The 9th Symphony” by Shostakovich, “The Wedding Procession”, “The Poor Groom”. He danced in “Baba Yaga”, “Lovers”, “Troika”, “Meeting”, “Open Door”, “Minotaur and Nymph”, “Circus”, “Surprise”, “Rural Don Juan” and others.

Since 1986 he has been teaching Acting at the Vaganova Academy.

Moreover, since 1996 he has been the choreographer of important programs and numbers in figure skating. The title of Honored Trainer of the Russian Federation was awarded to him for setting up a program with which Maria Petrova and Alexey Tikhonov became World and European champions. Three times skaters with programs set by Alexander Styopin won the World Junior Championships.

In 2014 the free program choreographed by Styopin was recognized as the best at the Olympics in Sochi. Ksenia Stolbova and Fyodor Klimov received a gold medal for the figure skating miniature “The Addams Family”.

He set programs and worked on expressiveness and classics with many world and Olympic figure skating champions such as Evgeny Berezhnoy, Artur Dmitriev, Alexey Yagudin and Evgeny Plushenko.

Since 2012 he is responsible tutor in the discipline of Heritage Dances in the troupe of the St. Petersburg State Academic Ballet Theater named after Leonid Jacobson.


Stepin A. “Acting. Textbook – St. Petersburg: Academy of Russian Ballet named after A.Ya. Vaganova” 2012 – 205 pages (reissued in 2018).

Maria Alexandrovna Gribanova

Head of the Department of Methodic of Teaching Classical and Duet-Classical dance

She was born on April 24, 1946 in Leningrad. In 1956, she entered the Leningrad Choreography School named after A. Ya. Vaganova and graduated in 1965 in the class of Feya Ivanovna Balabina.

From 1965 to 1968 she was a soloist at the Kuibyshev Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet. From 1968 to 1986, she danced as leading soloist in the Maly Theater of Opera and Ballet M. Mussorgsky. During her career, she performed solo parts in ballets of classical and modern repertoire such as Swan Lake, Giselle, La Bayadere, Carmen Suite, Antony and Cleopatra, Corsair and others.

In 1997, she graduated from the pedagogical faculty of the Russian Ballet Academy A. Ya. Vaganova. Since 1994 she teaches classical dance in the middle and senior classes of the Performance Faculty, and she is also considered a leading expert in the teaching of the methodic for classical dance technique at the Pedagogical Faculty of the Academy of the Russian Ballet A.Ya. Vaganova.

Since 2015 Mrs Gribanova is the head of the Department of “Methodology of Teaching classical and duet-classical dance”.

She regularly gives master classes in the US, South Korea, Japan, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic. As a member of the jury she has repeatedly participated in international ballet competitions in Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan.

Among the students of Mrs Gribanova there are: Olesya Novikova, Victoria Krasnokutskaya, Zlata Yalinich, Ksenia Zhiganshina, Ksenia Shevtsova, Elena Solomyanko, Ksenia Fateeva, and others.

ROLES: Odette-Odile in “Swan Lake”, Mistress of the Copper Mountain in “Stone Flower”, Myrtle in “Giselle”, The ruler of the Ice Kingdom in “Solveig”, Carmen in “Carmen Suite”, Marina Mnishek in “Tsar Boris”, Cleopatra in “Anthony and Cleopatra”, Freedom in “The 11th Symphony”, Cinderella, Fleur de Lys in “Esmeralda”