Max Ratevosian – Co-Founder & Artistic Director
Max Ratevosian graduated from the Vaganova Academy of Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia and from the State University of Lunacharsky G.I.T.I.S. in Moscow with a degree major of Ballet Master, Teacher and Choreographer.
During his 20-year tenure at the Moscow State Ballet Theater, he was Principal Dancer, Teacher and Ballet Master. As a professor at the University of Shepkin, Theatrical Division, Max taught Stage Movement and Dance for Dramatic Arts. At the University of Luncharsky G.I.T.I.S., Theatrical Division in Moscow, he also taught Methodology for Classical Dance.
Max’s former students have become dancers in major ballet companies throughout Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. While some have achieved great success in various international dance competitions in Moscow, Varna, Paris and Denmark.
In 1991, Max was invited to Canada to teach at L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec, in Montreal. Later he taught at the National Ballet School and the National Ballet of Canada, in Toronto, as well as McMaster University, in Hamilton. Over the years, he has been invited as a guest teacher to a variety of schools and companies throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.
Max has staged classical ballet productions such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Paquita, and Les Sylphides.
In 2001, Max co-founded the Hamilton City Ballet. In 2009, Max Ratevosian became Founder and Artistic Director of the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts in Dundas, Ontario, an independent elementary and secondary day school with a special focus on the classical arts of ballet, music, vocal, and drama with an enriched academic curriculum.
Max is Artistic Director of the annual Nutcracker ballet presented in December at the McIntyre Performing Arts Centre in Hamilton.
Max received the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Dance in 2008, the Vancliffen Arts Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, and was appointed Dean of the International University of Ballet Arts for North America. Max is the recipient of the 2015 Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club – Paul Harris Fellowship Award for his artistic contributions in the community. Max is a member of CID – UNESCO and an Honorary Member of the Vancliffen Arts Foundation.
Melania Pawliw ~ Co-Founder & Artistic Director
Melania Pawliw is a graduate of L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec and received her diploma in Dance from C.E.G.E.P. du Vieux-Montreal, in Montreal. She was a soloist and principal dancer with various classical ballet companies in Montreal and abroad. In 1989, by invitation of the Minister of Culture of Ukraine, Melania performed with the Kiev State Opera and Ballet Theatre, and became the first Canadian to dance with the company.
Melania’s teaching career began as assistant to Olga Baltacheeva at The National Ballet School in Toronto. The next five years she taught at L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec in Montreal.
After moving to Hamilton, Melania co-founded the Hamilton City Ballet in 2001. In addition to teaching, Melania choreographs ballets for children such as The Four Seasons, Enchanted Flower, Carnival of Venice, Grandfather’s Story, Pinocchio, and Snow White.
From 2003 to 2009 Melania was also dance-educator for the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Arts program, for school boards across the regions of Niagara, Brant, Kitchener/Waterloo and Halton. Melania taught Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum subjects through movement and dance.
From 2005 to 2007 Melania was Ballet Mistress for the CBYE’s The Nutcracker ballet in Hamilton, working in partnership with the National Ballet of Cuba and Ballet Ouest de Montreal.
In 2009 Melania was a founding member and Associate Artistic Director of the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts in Dundas, an independent day school offering elementary and secondary students the opportunity to pursue excellence in both the Performing Arts and Ontario Ministry of Education enriched academic curriculum.
In 2011, Hamilton City Ballet Dance for Parkinson’s was established, becoming the first ballet school in Canada to offer this innovative program. Melania is the head teacher of the program.
Melania is Artistic Director of the annual Nutcracker ballet presented in December at the McIntyre Performing Arts Centre in Hamilton.
Melania is the recipient of the 2015 Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club – Paul Harris Fellowship Award for her artistic contributions in the community. In 2017, she received the City of Hamilton Arts Award for arts education and community arts. Melania is a member of CID – UNESCO, and an Honorary Member of the Vancliffen Arts Foundation.
Jody Van de Klippe ~ HCB Dance for Parkinson’s Program Manager
Jody Van de Klippe holds an Honors Bachelors degree in Applied Science from the University of Guelph and a graduate diploma from McMaster University in Child Life Studies. Her former career as a Child Life Specialist lead Jody to working in world renowned hospitals, including Toronto’s The Hospital for Sick Children and Baltimore, Maryland’s Johns Hopkins Hospital. More recently, Jody has studied architecture and contributed to the Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design.
She has been dancing since a very young age and has training in classical ballet, from Cambridge Theatre Dance School and Hamilton City Ballet. Jody’s interest in ballet and live classical music and their combined effects on people with Parkinson’s Disease, inspired her to pursue launching Hamilton City Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s. Jody is the Program Manager for Dance for Parkinson’s and together with her experience in health care, she is able to develop and deliver a program that is sensitive to both the art and science behind Hamilton City Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s.
Amelia Wanderlingh ~ Ballet Teacher
A native New Yorker, Ms. Wanderlingh began her Ballet studies with Madame Maria Nevelska (Bolshoi Ballet, Moscow). Later after only two years of study she was accepted as a student at the famed Harkness House for the Ballet Arts in New York, under the direction of Patricia Wilde and where she studied with members of the famed faculty most importantly Leon Fokine, former Ballet Master of the Harkness Ballet and nephew of the famed Mikhail Fokine. Her performing experience has brought her to perform extensively throughout the United States and in Europe.
For her many accomplishments as an Artist and Dance Educator, she was honored with entrance into the Constantinian Academy of Letters, Arts and Sciences, based in the North America. In Europe for her contribution to universal culture, honored with entrance into the Mozart Academic Society for the Arts an organization supported by the Presidency of the Italian Republic by virtue of her achievements, in particular as a Master Teacher and her outstanding artistic successes as Prima Ballerina around the world. A Member of American Guild of Musical Artsis (AGMA) and a member in good standing of Dance Masters of America.
In 2004, upon her arrival in Canada she expanded her horizons and along with Dr. Fernando Milelli founded the Vancliffen Arts Foundation in order to better help and support the dreams of young artists and to insure new generations of students and dancers a high standard in Dance Education.
From the 2008 to the beginning of 2009, she was Artistic Consultant and Acting Artistic Director for the Quinte Ballet School of Canada one of the five professional schools in Canada. From 2009 Ballet Mistress for the Balletto di Lombardia directed by Madame Svetlana Pavlova.
In 2018 & 2019 Ms. Wanderlingh was Artistic Director for SORRENTO DANZA in Sorrento, Italy
Ms. Wanderlingh has been nominated as Director of the Ballet Faculty of the International University of Ballet Arts for North America and is a member of CID-UNESCO.
Nikolai Riabin ~ Ballet Teacher
Nikolai Riabin is a graduate of the Vaganova Ballet Academy, Saint Petersburg, Russia. As a professional dancer he performed with the Choreographic Miniatures, Malyi Theatre, and Eifman Ballet Company in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and with the Dnipropetrovsk Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ukraine. Since moving to Canada, Mr. Riabin has been a ballet teacher and choreographer in many schools across Ontario and continues to enchant audiences with his stage performances, including Herr Drosselmeyer in the Nutcracker.
Masami Clarke ~ Ballet, Pilates & Yoga Teacher
Masami Clarke has been a Ballet teacher at Hamilton City Ballet since 2011.
She started dancing at age 5 at Mizuno Hiroko Ballet Academy in Kyoto, Japan, eventually completing its company apprenticeship program. She continued her dance training broadly from Classical Ballet, Jazz, to Tap, while at Santa Monica College and the University of California, Los Angeles, both on campus and at studios around Los Angeles.
In addition to dance training, Masami finished a year-long fitness instructor program at the UCLA John Wooden Center in 2007. As a certified yoga teacher and Fletcher Pilates® Licensed Provider, she also teaches yoga and Pilates at HCB.
Masami works with dancers of all ages—from pre-ballet to professional levels and adults—to improve strength and flexibility with various body-conditioning routines.
Vika Gresova ~ Ballet Teacher
Vika Gresova started her ballet journey at the age of 4 through the Centre for Development of Children and Youth in Russia and is a graduate of Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts. Studying at the Academy allowed her the opportunity to perform soloist roles in many ballets including Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio, Les Sylphides, Swan Lake, Coppelia, Cinderella, and the Nutcracker. In addition to ballet, Vika developed her experience in theatre, music, contemporary dance, and flamenco dance during her time at Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts.
Vika’s teaching journey began as an assistant teacher for Hamilton City Ballet and later taught for the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts summer camp. In addition to being a full-time Social Science student at McMaster University, Vika’s passion as a ballet teacher at Hamilton City Ballet remains in helping students grow and learn in a way that is creative, fun and exciting.
Andrea Crans ~ Contemporary Dance Teacher
Andrea found her love for dance at Caledonia Studio of Dance at the age of six and has extensive training in jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and ballet. After graduating from CSOD Andrea ventured off to New York City and completed Broadway Dance Centers ISVP (International Student Visa Program) program. While in New York Andrea was lucky enough to study under well-known respected choreographers and participate in many performances around the city of New York.
Andrea moved to Toronto in the fall of 2013 and completed her first year of The Conteur Academy, artistically directed by Eryn Waltman. In the fall of 2014 Andrea had the privilege of training with POV Dance Project, a contemporary dance company in Toronto under the artistic direction of Amy Adams and Kylie Thompson. Andrea’s stage credits include Toronto Dance Expo’s Choreographers Showcase, POV Dance Projects “Wireless Connection”, The Bazzar, Fever After Dark, the Conteur Academy’s production of “FRAMES”, and The Student Showcase presented by Broadway Dance Center in New York City.
Andrea had the privilege of representing the city of Hamilton on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats cheer team from 2015-2017 and was lucky enough to perform for Shania Twain, One Republic, Alesia Cara, Dean Brody and Sonreal in the Grey Cup opening and half time shows.
Andrea attended Mohawk College receiving a diploma in the Health Wellness and Fitness program and is also a certified level 1 artistic gymnastics and trampoline coach. Andrea continues to take dance, fitness and yoga classes around the city of Hamilton to gain the knowledge she needs to spread her passion for movement to the next generation. “If I can inspire at least one person to dance, I have succeeded in doing my job”.
Dylan Vandemaele ~ Hip Hop Teacher
Dylan Vandemaele is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Hamilton, Ontario. He found his passion for dance as a teen and has since been heavily involved with Hamilton’s street dance scene, and at Defining Movement Dance where he continues to train alongside the International Dance Mentorship (R2D) with world renowned choreographers such as Gina Michaels, Buddha Stretch, Ray Basa and more. Dylan is a lover of all styles in street dance, but specializes in Hip-Hop choreography, and Funk Styles (Popping, Locking). You may catch Dylan at one of the Hamilton Honey Badgers (Hamilton’s professional basketball team) home games during the half time shows as he is one of the choreographers and dancers on the team. Outside of dance Dylan is also an actor, videographer, graphic designer and upcoming photographer.
History of the Building
Hamilton City Ballet is located in the heart of downtown Dundas in a quiet and safe neighborhood, just steps away from shops, cafes, restaurants, Carnegie Art Gallery, Dundas Valley School of Arts, Dundas Museum, and Dundas Driving Park. Close to the Escarpment, walking trails, waterfalls, Hamilton City Ballet has easy bus access and free parking. The building is also home to Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts.
In 1842 the Baptist congregation of Dundas built a brick church on Park Street West, and seven years later a baptistery was added.
In 1866, after the church was destroyed by a fired that started in the carpentry shop to the east, the congregation was able to purchase adjoining land to the west and construct a new sanctuary. A Sunday School was later built on the foundation of the original church and in 1868 a parsonage was erected at 104 Park Street West the site of the carpentry shop.
In 1904 the plain glass of the church windows was replaced with simple stained glass, and over the years, additions have been added to the rear and to join the Sunday School to the sanctuary.
The Dundas Baptist congregation moved to a new building in 2001 and the church buildings were then used by the Dundas Valley Montessori School.
In the summer of 2009, the building was purchased by Max Ratevosian. Renovations began and the Ballet Studio and classrooms were completed. Future plans include renovation of the stage and performance space.