Program Resident Choreographer/Teacher
Jessie Riley trained with Alicia Head, Paula Morgan, Reid Olson, Stanley Holden and many other teachers across the U.S. and Europe. Jessie has performed works by Peter Chu, Sonya Tayeh, Mike Esperanza, Lauren Adams, Billy Bell, Helen Blackburn, Mia Michaels, and many. Jessie was a member of Sonya Tayeh’s “Tayeh Dance”, and Mike Esperanza’s BARE Dance Company. Jessie started her choreography and production career at 18 when she produced and directed the choreography showcase Terpsicoreal in Hollywood. Jessie Formed WESTSIDE Dance Project in 2009 geared towards young dancers training for a career in contemporary concert dance. WESTSIDE Dance Project, under Jessie's direction, has produced many shows including Bodies Never Lie, Vessel, Emerge-A double billing with Billy Bell's Lunge Dance Collective, Thread, Porcelain, The Watcher, Integrate in 2015 co-choreographed with Matt Luck, and 2016 Depth of Field. Jessie has taught for various conventions, intensives, and workshops, She has also hosted her own intensives in the U.S., England, and Italy. Her choreography has been honored at Youth American Grand Prix. Her choreography has also been shown at The Spotlight Awards in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. She has been accepted into the Dancing Under the Stars Festival in Palm Desert CA in 2009, 2010, and 2013 with her company WESTSIDE Dance Project. Jessie's work competed at The Capezio Ace Awards in 2014 and 2015.
Performance Company Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer
Megan Guise is a native of Southern California where she began her training in many movement forms at a young age. Growing up, she studied Commercial Dance at Orange County School of the Arts. After high school, she studied at San Francisco State University and in 2012, trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She holds a BFA from California State University, Long Beach where she received the Susan McLain Dance Scholarship. Her choreography was featured at last years American College Dance Association in Montana. Megan has had the privilege of appearing in works created by Alex Ketley, Becca Lemme, Lorin Johnson, Jessie Riley, Liz Imperio, Christian Burns, Keith Johnson, Sophie Monat, and among others. Recently, she has been performing and co-directing rehearsals for Westside Dance Project, hosting weekly improvisation sessions and teaching at Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy.
Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev
Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Directors and Instructors
Mr. Kulev received his fine arts diploma from the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet School in Moscow, Russia, where he trained with the distinguished teacher Peter Pestov. After graduating in 1992, he was invited to join the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre under the direction of Yuri Grigorovich. During this time, he performed in over 12 countries including France, Greece, Egypt , Japan, England and the US. After touring the US, Mr. Kulev decided to stay and join Ballet Arizona. Since then he went on to perform as a principal dancer with the Fort Worth Dallas Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Ballet Concerto.
As a teacher, Mr. Kulev possesses a charismatic teaching philosophy that leaves students eager to return each day. He focuses on core strength and technique in the Vaganova method. Inspired by his own teacher, teaching legend Pyotr Pestov, Mr. Kulev inspires students to give their best in class each day.
As a private coach, many of Mr. Kulev’s dancers have won top honors and grand prizes in prominent local, national and international ballet competitions; and received scholarships to elite professional and collegiate training programs from American Ballet Theatre, Royal Ballet School, The Bolshoi Academy, San Francisco Ballet Program, Indiana University, Boston Conservatory and others.
JENNIFER LANGENSTEIN KULEV
Ms. Kulev retired from her professional career as a principal dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT). During her seven seasons with PBT, she danced the lead roles in the company’s classical ballet productions and worked with and performed the repertoire of many distinguished choreographers such as Glen Tetley, Dwight Rhoden, Kevin O’Day, Derek Deane and Lynn Taylor-Corbett.
Ms. Kulev received her early training from Harvey Hysell and Maestro Vincenzo Celli in New Orleans, then later trained at the School of American Ballet as a scholarship student where she studied under famed teachers Antonina Tumkovsky, Alexandra Danilova and Andrei Kramarevsky. After returning to her home state of Texas, she studied with Madame Krassovska in Dallas and with Ballet Concerto director Margo Dean in Fort Worth. During her eighteen-plus summer performances with Ballet Concerto, she had the unique opportunity to work with and dance works by Luis Montero, Bruce Marks, Michael Vernon and Fernando Bujones.
Ms. Kulev’s performing repertoire includes the principal roles in Giselle, Coppelia, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly, Ben Stevenson’s Cinderella, Dracula and Cleopatra, and Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, Valse Fantasie, Jewels and Serenade among others. Prior to dancing with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, she danced with the New Orleans Ballet, Dallas Ballet and Fort Worth Dallas Ballet. Ms. Kulev focuses on precise technique, turnout and artistry in her classes.