Our Founders and Faculty

annaF2Anna Fateeva-Kazantseva
Artistic Director-Choreographer

Anna Fateeva was born in Moscow, and began her dance training at the Academy of the Bolshoi Ballet at the age of nine. She graduated in 1992 and joined the Moscow Classical Ballet Company. As a soloist, Anna Fateeva performed a number of principal roles in ballets such as the “Nutcracker”, “Swan Lake”, “Giselle”, “Don Quixote”, “Cinderella”, “Romeo & Juliet” and many more. She accompanied the theatre on many world tours, dancing in Japan, Italy, France, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, China, Mexico and other countries. In 1998, Anna moved to the United States and continued her career as guest performer for the Eglevsky Ballet, the Leggz, and the Tressor Dance Company. Anna’s teaching and choreographing experience started at the Brighton Ballet. In 2000, she joined the Broadway Dance Center in New York City, as an adjunct instructor.

In February of 2006, Anna Fateeva became a partner and an artistic director of an innovative, elite dance studio, aimed to grant Russian community the true meaning of a professional school of classical ballet and modern dance.

In January of 2007, Ms. Fateeva proudly presented the premiere of her original choreography in the ballet the “Snow Queen,” performed by her students at the Millennium Theatre, and welcomed with great enthusiasm and appreciation in the Russian-American community.

Since Ms. Fateeva-Kazantseva became the cherished Artistic Director and Choreographer of the New York Children’s Dance Theater, formed in 2010 on the student base of Nika Ballet Studio, this unique company has presented numerous astonishing performances on the stage of the Millennium Theater, went on to win several first-place prizes in Miss Olympic Dance Competition, showcased their talent and Anna’s incredible creativity at the Symphony Space Peter Jay Sharp Theater, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and at various other important venues in NYC such as the 2011 and the 2012 NYC Couture Fashion Week.   Anna’s work, particularly her latest accomplishment, a two-act ballet-fairytale “The Beauty & the Beast” involving performances of over 160 young members of the New York Children’s Dance Theater as well as professional ballet artists, continues to  receive significant recognition throughout the NYC performing arts community and is met with great enthusiasm by diverse audiences, young and old alike.  The cast of the New York Children’s Dance Theater is now excitedly preparing to shine once again on the stage of the Millennium Theater on February 10th, 2013 with the debut of Anna’s newest original choreography in a wonderfully entertaining, full-length children’s ballet “The Wizard of Oz”!!! 

tina2Kristina Giyaur
Executive Director 

Ms. Giyaur holds a graduate degree in clinical psychology and is a practicing attorney. She carries a passion for ballet from childhood and now the dance school named after her daughter, Nika, is the source of genuine pride, joy, and excitement.

nika2 Nika

Our very special little princess who united us, gave us a real purpose, and continues to be an inspiration! 

dina2Dina Sootes
Modern Dance Instructor

Born and raised in Saint Petersburg, Ms. Sootes has studied with Anna Fateeva-Kazantseva for over a decade, receiving intensive training in classical/neo-classical and contemporary ballet, as well as modern dance.   Dina has also trained with some of the most renowned teachers of modern and character dance in New York, at Broadway Dance Center.  She is a principal dancer with several established dance companies performing throughout United States.  In her career with Nika Ballet Studio, Dina has danced leading parts in the ballets “The Snow Queen” and “The Twelve Brothers Months” under the artistic direction of Anna Fateeva-Kazantseva. Her teaching methodology is based on Ms. Fateeva-Kazantseva’s approach, and she is excited to have the opportunity to share her technique and love for the art of dance as part of the faculty of Nika Ballet Studio.

edita2Edita Greben
Rythmics/Pre-Ballet Instructor 

Edita Greben was born in Kiev, Ukraine and began her studies in classical ballet at an early age at the Kiev Academy of Arts.  Upon her arrival to the United States, Edita continued her ballet studies under the tutorage of Anna Fateeva-Kazantseva. Ms. Greben is currently aBaccalaureatedegree candidate at Hunter College of CUNY.  She now successfully combines her academic endeavors with teaching as part of the faculty of Nika Ballet Studio. Since 2006, Edita has performed principal roles in numerous ballet shows including “Colors in Motion”, “Snow Queen”, “Twelve Brothers-Months”, “Fountaindance”, and the “Beauty and the Beast”. 


Olga Balan
Administrative Assistant

Olga Balan was born in Moscow and moved to the United States at the age of 15.  Olga has been studying ballet, modern and folk dance since the age of 5 and during the past three years has been training at Nika Ballet Studio with Anna Fateeva-Kazantseva.  Olga is a full-time student at Brooklyn College with an interest in working with children and a goal of pursuing a degree in developmental psychology. Passionate about both dancing and children, Olga's devotes much time and effort to assisting with the administrative tasks at Nika Ballet Studio.

DianaDiana Ryzhova
Modern Dance Instructor

Diana Ryzhova was born in Almaty, Kazakhstan and upon her arrival to the United States began ballet training at the age of five under the discipline of Anna Fateeva-Kazantseva. Diana joined Nika Ballet Studio when it first opened its doors in 2006 and since that time has been a principal dancer with the company engaged in numerous leading roles in various ballets and performances. Diana has intensive training in various styles of dance including jazz, street styles, and contemporary at the Broadway Dance Center in addition to her continued training in classical and neo-classical techniques at Nika Ballet Studio. Diana is currently enrolled in Baruch Scholars program where she is pursuing her BBA in Accounting.  Diana is the most recent and exciting addition to the growing faculty of Nika Ballet Studio where she currently teaches Basic and Beginner Modern Dance classes.

NatalyNataly Mailande
Hip-Hop Instructor

Nataly was born and raised in Riga. Her dance training started at the age of 11 at Alla Dukhova's school-studio Todes. Nataly was trained in modern styles such as hip-hop, house, wаcking, vogueing, locking and jazz funk. She trained in ballet and jazz classes with Latvia's renowned instructors Vladimir Ponomorjov and Andris Bukolovskis. Nataly performed in “New Wave 2006—2010”, “Dejo ar zvaigzni”, “Koru kari 2”, "Jane Jackson & Smooth Criminals", "Crazy menu", and was a lead dancer in “Carmen” and “Once upon a time in America". She had the honor of performing solo roles in “The Snow Queen” at Baden-Baden VGK Dance Company and performed extensively with InGrid.  She studied acting technique with Sergei Ostrenko – the head of IUGTE “Russian Theatre Department”.  Since 2010, Nataly joined Alla Dukhova's Moscow studios as  a dance teacher and choreographer and performed extensively with the Todes Ballet. Nataly graduated from Riga Technical University with a degree in Civil Engineering. Nataly, aka Ashatan, is now very excited to join Nika Ballet Studio with an innovative hip-hop program.