The Michigan Ballet Academy (MBA) is a not-for-profit arts organization under the artistic leadership of Akop and Gaiane Akopian which offers the highest quality classical ballet training using the Russian Vaganova training method. The pedagogy of the MBA is based on the method developed at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia as well as the performance aesthetic of the Kirov Ballet. It is acknowledged around the world as the foremost training program for classical ballet.
MBA incorporated as a non-profit organization on June 1, 2011. We are located in a state of the art facility at 1595 Galbraith Avenue SE in the Cascade area of Grand Rapids.
MBA does not have a registration deadline.
The focus of this division is to provide body awareness, musicality, flexibility, and coordination for children between the ages of 3 and 7. It includes creative movement for children ages 3 to 6 and pre-ballet for 7-8 year olds. Our goal is to ignite, nurture, and fully engage the imaginations of young children through the joy of movement and creative expression.
This division is designed for 8-18 year olds with a passion for dance who are interested in a rigorous curriculum that could culminate in a professional career. Students in this division and other divisions will be offered opportunities to perform classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works, as well as original choreography created by Akop Akopian. Interested students in this division will also have the opportunity to be prepared for national and international ballet competitions.
This division is designed specifically for students who are 17 years and older. These students may want to continue their involvement with dance and performing, or may seek to refine their artistic studies in anticipation of entering the professional ballet world in the near future.
This division is for both adults and children. It is for the adults who want to learn ballet or continue previous training. It is also for children who want to include dance training as part of a well-rounded education but prefer a less rigorous curriculum than the Professional Division. MBA offers Open Division students two technique classes each week and the opportunity to participate in MBA productions for an additional fee.
In addition to the traditional classes offered such as ballet technique, pointe, pas de deux, variations, modern, and workshop, MBA also offers a unique constellation of classes for their students. These include:
Artistic Directors’ Statement
Ballet as an art form has been our passion and our life’s inspiration since we were young. We channeled that passion into performing for many years. Our efforts to inspire audiences in Europe and America with the beauty of classical ballet brought us great joy. As we continued with our careers, we discovered that we also loved to teach this beautiful art form to others. Our love of children and youth, in combination with our love for ballet, resulted in a strong desire to pass along both technique and artistry to a new generation of dancers. In our quest to nurture excellence in our students, we believe in a teaching atmosphere of discipline and hard work, sustained dedication, and personal achievement. In order to help shape not only superior dancers, but fine human beings, we also believe in a school atmosphere where there is mutual respect, dignity, integrity, inclusion, and a sense of community. By helping our students reach their true potential, we hope to open doors to personal joy, accomplishment, and self-discovery.
Akop and Gaiane Akopian
Our mission is to deliver the highest quality ballet training in an atmosphere of creativity, challenge, encouragement, and integrity.
We share a collective aspiration to enrich the lives of children and adults in our community through the beauty and discipline of classical ballet training and performance.