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Artistic Director

Dusanka Gradiski Ivanova, PhD

Dr D Website Picture_edited.jpg

Artistic Director & Ballet Master & Choreographer

Dr. Dusanka Gradiski Ivanova, PhD


Dusanka G. Ivanova received her ballet education under Prof. Gjurgjica Jovanovska in Skopje, Macedonia, graduating with straight A's from Music & Ballet State School in 1983. The same year she became a full time employee of Macedonian Opera and Ballet. In 1985, as a talented young ballerina she got a scholarship from Yugoslavian Ministry of Culture in Belgrade and continued her studies in the world famous Vaganova Ballet Academy in St.Petersburg, Russia under tutelage of prof. Ekaterina Kokorina. In 1999, at the Academy of Music, Ballet and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, uder prof. Irina Trofimova (Russia), Prof. Peter Loukanov and Prof. Lili Draguleva (Bulgaria), Dusanka earned her Bachelor of Ballet Pedagogy, specializing in Vaganova methods of teaching classical ballet. In 2000, at the same Academy in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, she took her both Master degrees, the one in Ballet Pedagogy and another in Choreography and Ballet Directing with the highest praise.  In February of 2021,

Dusanka defended her PhD dissertation on the theme “The Role of Russian School in Creating Ballet in America in 20th Century. Comparative analysis between American and Russian Ballet schools.“   We are blessed to have her talent and knowledge to guide and direct our dancers at the highest level of training to bring out their greatest potential.

Dusanka's repertoire includes principal and solo roles in The Nutracker, La Fille mal Gardee, Ellan, Giselle, Swan Lake, Ilo Tempora, Cadet's Dance, Don Quixote, and Ad Apsurdum, as well as guest performances in Days of Macedonian Culture in China, The Legend of Dubrovnik in Croatia, and The Bakhchisaray Fountain in Germany. As a student of Vaganova Ballet Academy in St.Petersburg, Russia she had the privilege to dance on the stage of the famous Marinsky Theater as a soloist of Arabian Dance in the school production of Nutcracker under tutelage of Prof. Irina Gensler. As ballet mistress for Macedonian Opera and Ballet, she choreographed for operas such as: The West Side Story, Pagliacci, La Forca del Destino, Rigoletto, Cavalleria Rusticana, Aida and Turandot. At the Music & Ballet State School in Macedonia, Dusanka has held positions of Artistic Director, Choreographer, Ballet Pedagogue, Rehearsal Specialist, and Department Head. There she choreographed Dance of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky, Adagio by Albinoni, The Sounds of Love by Kenny G., Childish Tempers by E.Grieg, Tiny Fox by P. Atanasovski, Miniatures from The King Gilgamesh by Vangelis, Synthesis by Enigma, Impressions by A. Ponkieli, Dance by M.Oldfield.  Her full-length ballets include For the Unknown, Last Game, and Golden Feather, performed by Macedonian Ballet. Her students are professional dancers in Macedonia, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, New Zealand, and United States. 


In 2007, Dusanka moved to USA, where she has continued her career as Ballet Master and choreographer. She has choreographed and staged Vivaldi's Four Seasons, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dr. Doolittle, Coppelia, La Fille mal Gardee, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Raymonda, La Bayadere, Peter Pan , and Les Sylphides.  Her choreography was featured in the Florida Lyrica Opera's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, and with New Century Opera's production of Carmen, Iphigenia in Aulis, Macbeth and Rienzi. Dusanka's teaching experience locally includes teaching positions at SPCollege, Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, former Artistic Director at Florida Dance Center, former Artistic Director at Florida West Ballet.  Dusanka serves as a Guest teacher at USF - School of Theater and Dance; America's Ballet School in Tampa; Tampa City Ballet, and School of Russian Ballet in Sarasota.  Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg is pleased to have Ms. D as their certified Vaganova methods teacher and Artistic Director to lead our students to their greatest potential!

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