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FACULTY

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IRINA MAKKAI (Classical Ballet) Irina graduated from a nine year program at the Professional Classical Ballet School of Cluj, Romania. She became a solo dancer at the Iasi Opera performing in Giselle, Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Faust and other classical and modern ballets. Upon completion of the three year program in ballet education at the Bucharest Institute of Choreography, which included courses in history of dance, ballet methodology, physiology and pedagogy, she obtained her degree in Ballet Education. She began teaching ballet in 1974, and since 1981 has offered Classical Ballet classes in Highland Park, bringing the Vaganova-Tarasov method to the North Shore.
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LILLA MAKKAI DANIELS (Ballet, Pointe, and Pre-Ballet) Lilla started her ballet education with Irina Makkai. She has also studied with Larry Long, Dan Duell and Homer Bryant. For years she has been a scholarship student at the Houston Ballet Academy, Joffrey Ballet School and the School of American Ballet. Lilla has performed with Bryant Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Ballet Theater of Chicago, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago in such ballets as; Giselle, Coppelia, and the Nutcracker. She will continue teaching Pre-Ballet, Ballet and Pointe classes. Lilla also established the Ballet Makkai Youth Company which participates in such festivals as the Dance Chicago Festival, Annual Student Choreographic Workshop and produces the school's annual performance of the Nutcracker. For details on this program please e-mail Lilla at: Lilla@balletmakkai.com
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SARA BIBIK (Jazz, Tap) Sara attended the National Academy of Arts, in Champagne, Illinois, where she also began her career as an instructor. Sara has taught at Western Kentucky University, Gus Giordano Dance Center and Dance Educators of America. Her professional performing experience has been with the Linda Martha Dance Company, Especially Tap Company, Gus Giordano Dance Chicago, and is a founding member of the River North Dance Company. Sara is currently the Assistant to the Artistic Director and Workshop Coordinator of River North Chicago. She is also a recipient of the Ruth Page Award for Excellence in Dance. Sara has been on the School's faculty for the past twenty years, and will continue teaching, and overseeing our Jazz, Tap, and Modern classes.
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ASHLEY BOCINSKY (Pre-Dance, Ballet) joined the faculty of the school two years ago. She studied ballet with Dmitri Ruednev in Chicago, at the Harid Conservatory and was a scholarship student of our school. Upon graduation from highschool Ashley continued her ballet education at the University of Utah. She performed with Dance Alive National Ballet in various roles from The Nutcracker and other classical and modern pieces choreographed by Kim Tuttle and Judy Skinner. In 2013 Ashley returned to the Chicago area and started teaching Pre-Dance and Ballet classes at our school. Students, as well as parents like her very much and we are happy to have her back as one of our talented teachers.
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LEVIZADIK BUCKINS (Modern) began his dance education at the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Connecticut. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, under the direction Ethan Stiefel. During his time at UNCSA, he worked with choreographers such as Brenda Daniels, Trish Casey, and Diego Schoch. He has also had the chance to work with well-known choreographers Maurya Kerr, Larry Keigwin, Scott Rink, and Trish Lent. He has performed professionally with the Winston-Salem Festival of Ballet under the direction of Gary Taylor in North Carolina, and River North Dance Chicago under the direction of Frank Chaves. Levizadik currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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TERRY MARLING (Ballet) Terry began his dance training at the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance. He spent twelve years there before joining Pittsburgh Ballet Theater in 1994. He was then invited to join Nationaltheater Mannheim in Germany. Terence joined Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2006. While dancing with the company Terence was commissioned to create two works with Hubbard Street 2 and began teaching in the newly created summer intensives as well as teaching regular company class. In 2010, Terence retired from dancing and became Rehearsal Director for Hubbard Street. In 2013 Terence became director of Hubbard Street 2 where he commissioned new works from choreographers, created original programming and toured the company internationally. In 2019 Terry founded COMMON Conservatory. We are very excited to have Terry join our faculty!
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MEGHAN HOWE (Pre-Dance, Ballet) We are so excited to welcome home Meghan Howe teaching for us since last fall. Meghan trained at Ballet Makkai and attended Summer Intensives at Milwaukee Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. She recently graduated from Vanderbilt University where she was the captain of the Vanderbilt Dance Team and Performed various works with the Vanderbilt Dance Theatre under the direction of Jennifer McNamara, Kelvin Amburgey, and Tom Shoemaker. We are so happy to have her back with the Ballet Makkai Family! Meghan will be teaching Pre-Dance along with Miss Ashley, Miss Helen and Miss Celine.
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OLIVIA DURYEA (Ballet)Olivia was born and raised in Haslett, Michigan. She received her early training at the Happendance School under the direction of Diane Newman and Patricia Villanueva and performed for several years with Capitol Ballet Theatre of Michigan under the direction of Gregory George. Accepted into the Joffrey Academy, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet in 2014, Ms. Duryea danced as a Trainee from 2014-2016. She was then invited to join the Joffrey Studio Company for the 2016-2017 season. In 2017 Ms. Duryea joined the Joffrey Ballet. Since dancing with the company, she has performed in the world premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s “The Nutcracker” and Yuri Possokhov’s “Anna Karenina”. She also performed featured roles in Jerome Robbin’s “Glass Pieces”, George Balanchine’s “The Four Temperaments”, Liam Scarlett’s “Vespertine”, and Justin Peck’s “The Times are Racing”.
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Ballet Makkai Youth Company & The Ballet Makkai Nutcracker

 2126 First Street, Highland Park Illinois 60035 (847) 433-1449  www.balletmakkai.com