“Summer with the Stars” 2020 Intensive

Due to the turn of events posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are sad to announce that the 2020 Summer with the Stars will not be happening in St. Petersburg, Russia. However, please stay tuned on our site and social media for further updates!

Are you looking for a unique intensive where you will not only improve tremendously, but reap from the rare opportunity of training with ballet stars of the Mariinsky and Bolshoi Ballet Theatres? If so, then attend our “Summer with the Stars” Intensive from August 3-15, 2020! Learn from the best of the ballet world, and discover the secrets of the Vaganova method that have shaped so many legendary dancers.

Our intensive will be held in the cultural capital of Russian ballet–St. Petersburg, Russia! Accepted students will experience a transformative 2 weeks of classical Russian Vaganova ballet training and master classes from guest ballet stars including EVGENIA OBRAZTSOVA. Our unique program not only caters to each dancer’s technical needs and strengths, but also provides a comprehensive cultural, historical, and artistic experience through excursions. Teachers can also apply to observe, ask questions, and learn successful teaching methods through our Teacher Training Program.

Click here to read past success stories from our Summer Intensives.

Click here to read about our faculty from past intensives.

Quick Facts:

Dates: August 3 – 15, 2020*

Location: St. Petersburg, Russia

Curriculum: Classes are taught in a nurturing environment and will include:

Ballet technique | Men’s classes | Pointe | Repertoire | Variations| Acting | Character | Conditioning|

Tuition: Accepted students can choose from the following tuition options:

FULL PACKAGE–2 weeks of classes, Hotel accommodation, and excursions: $2950

CLASS + EXCURSION PACKAGE (No hotel accommodation): $2000

A special group rate is available for teachers and their students who may want to come as a group for our Teacher Training / Summer Intensive Program. Please contact ekaterinaowf@gmail.com if you are interested.

We ask accepted students to please first submit a $500 deposit to secure your enrollment with balance due in full by May 30, 2020. To submit payments, please navigate to our payment site here.


Auditions are made by video audition only. The deadline to submit your audition for the 2020 Summer Intensive is April 30, 2020.

For students as young as eleven years old who are at an advanced beginner level through professional dancers wanting to perfect their technique and perhaps explore teaching, this program presents a rare opportunity to train with master teachers and receive coaching as it is taught at the Vaganova Ballet Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia. Ideal students have a passion for dance and for learning. Past participants have come from many countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and the United States. We are delighted to say that some of our Summer Intensive students became our Elite Training students and are now dancing in professional ballet companies in St. Petersburg and Moscow! We are very proud of them!

To submit your video audition, please navigate to this page here.

Guest Faculty



World-renowned ballerina and Honored Artist of Russia Evgenia Obraztsova graduated from the prestigious Vaganova Ballet Academy in 2002 in the class of Professor Lyudmila Safronova, and joined the Mariinsky Ballet, where she quickly rose through the ranks as an emerging star. In 2003, she danced Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, making her the youngest dancer in the Mariinsky Ballet’s history to perform the role. Among her numerous awards, she is recipient of the Gold Medal at the Moscow International Ballet Competition (2005) and the Golden Mask Award (2007), Russia’s most prestigious theatre prize. She is frequently invited to guest in principal roles with companies like the Royal Ballet, Stanislavsky Ballet Theater, and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre. In 2012, Obraztsova joined the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow as a principal dancer. To this day, Obraztsova continues dancing as prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet.

We are thrilled to have Ms. Obraztsova teach master classes at our 2020 Summer Intensive!

Video clips of Obraztsova dancing La Sylphide


Principal character artist of the Mariinsky Theatre; Honored artist of Russia

photo by Zotov

After graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy, Elena Bazhenova joined the Mariinsky Ballet in 1989. With her stunning stage presence and exquisite character dancing, Bazhenova has graced the stage for over 20 years in her expansive repertoire. She also received the prestigious title of Honored Artist of Russia in 2008. She continues to dance today as a principal character artist with the Mariinsky Ballet.


Former principal dancer and Senior Repetiteur of Mikhailovsky Theatre; Honoured Artist of Russia

Mr. Sidorov graduated with honors from the Vaganova Academy, being taught by such notables as K. V. Shatilov and A. I. Pushkin. He danced for the Mariinsky Ballet and became the Principal dancer with the Mikhailovsky Ballet and subsequently served as Senior Repetiteur. He taught pas-de-deux class at the Vaganova Academy where his students included OWDF Founders Ekaterina Shchelkanova and Anton Boytsov. For his outstanding achievements in ballet, Mr. Sidorov was awarded the prestigious title of Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation.


Acting teacher of Vaganova Ballet Academy; repetiteur of Leonid Yakobson’s works

After graduating from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in 1970, Mr. Stepin worked at the Mariinsky Theatre and Leonid Jacobson Ballet Theatre. He went on to teach acting at the Vaganova Academy and continues teaching today at the Academy and around the world. Renowned ballerinas like Svetlana Zakharova, Evgenia Obraztsova, and Olga Smirnova have been among his students. He has also worked at the Mariinsky Theatre with Viktoria Tereshkina and Olesya Novikova.

Mr. Stepin worked closely with famed choreographer Leonid Yakobson, and today, he serves as the repetiteur of Yakobson’s works. He also staged US dancers who performed the piece “Gossipers” at the first International Ballet School Festival in Estonia.



OWDF Founder, former soloist of Mariinsky Theatre and American Ballet Theatre, graduate of Vaganova Ballet Academy

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ekaterina Shchelkanova (Chtchelkanova) received her dance training at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. Upon graduation, she joined the Kirov Ballet (now the Mariinsky Theatre) as a soloist, where she danced a variety of leading roles in major classical ballets. Ms. Shchelkanova joined American Ballet Theatre in 1995, and as a soloist with the Company, she excelled in a variety of soloist and principal roles.

Ms. Shchelkanova’s versatility, strong classical training and technical skill in classical and contemporary dance allowed her to work closely with legendary Twyla TharpSallie WilsonJohn NeumeierFrederik Franklin, and Mark Morris. Her amazing training and pure classical line were noticed by such masters as Gelsey KirklandNatalia Makarova, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

In January 2006, Ekaterina accepted a position of Artistic Director at the Berlin International Dance Festival. As a guest, Ekaterina taught classes at the National Ballet of Canada and ABT’s JKO School. She joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as ballet mistress and since September 2007, held the same position at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal until she founded Open World Dance Foundation.


OWDF Founder, former dancer of Mariinsky Theatre, graduate of Vaganova Ballet Academy

At the age of 10, Mr. Boytsov was accepted to Vaganova Academy of St. Petersburg, Russia. After graduating from Vaganova Academy, Mr. Boytsov was invited to join Kirov Ballet (now Mariinsky Theatre), where his great partnering skills allowed stage partnerships with such stars like Uliana Lopatkina, Svetlana Zakharova, Yulia MakhalinaAltinai Asilmuratova, Olga Chenchikova, and many others.

OWDF Founder Anton Boytsov partnering with Ulyana Lopatkina.

In 2011, Mr. Boytsov organized and helped to host JKO School of American Ballet Theatre first teacher’s training course in St. Petersburg, Russia.
This international event opened doors to teachers and ballet students of America and Russia to fruitful collaborations through projects connecting the ballet communities of America, Russia, and other countries. In 2013-14, Mr. Boytsov worked with Ballet Theatre Houston and Robert Underwood’s Studio of Dance. Currently, Mr. Boytsov enjoys sharing his professional skills and love for dance through Open World Dance Foundation as a founder and Vice-President.

For a more detailed biography on our founders, please click here.

Hotel Accomodation and Visa Support

Living arrangements for students, teachers, and parents of our 2020 Summer Intensive will be available at the Best Western Plus Centre Hotel.

The Best Western Plus Centre Hotel is located in the historical heart of one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg has all the ingredients for an unforgettable travel experience: lavish architecture, an extraordinary history and rich cultural traditions that have inspired and nurtured some of the modern world’s greatest literature writers, musician, and visual artists. Situated in the middle of corporate, cultural and social life in the center of the northern capital at the famous crossroads of Nevsky and Ligovsky Prospects, the hotel is just steps away from the city’s main attractions. (Images and Text from Best Western)

For parents that wish to help with chaperoning our students, the 2-week hotel stay will be $850.

For a single parent who does not wish to chaperone, the 2-week hotel stay will be $1050.

In order to make your travels safe, smooth, and easy, Visa Support is provided by the Best Western Plus Hotel for the cost of 1500 rubles per person. Visa Support is only offered to Summer Program participants staying at the Best Western Plus Hotel. The Visa Support includes a Foreign Traveler Entry Permit and a Tourist Voucher registered with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To obtain Visa Support, follow the steps of the following link (where you can select the appropriate language): VISA SUPPORT.

Please note that all students, teachers, and parents are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.

Packing List for Accepted Students

Ladies, please be sure to have the following:

Ballet slippers, pointe shoes, pink tights, leotards, warm up clothing, yoga mats, character skirts, character shoes, water bottle, and light snacks.

Men please be sure to have the following: 

Black tights, white shirt, ballet slippers, character shoes, warm up clothing, yoga mats, water bottle, and light snacks.

Please stay tuned for any updates on our Summer Intensive.