top of page
Jessie Riley
Artistic Director Emeritus &
founder of westside dance project

Training Director

Jessie Riley has trained with Alicia Head, Paula Morgan, Reid Olson, Stanley Holden as well as 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 more. 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, CA. 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 12 successful concerts and special events. 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 showcased at The Spotlight Awards in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. She has been accepted into the Dancing Under the Stars Festival, and at The Capezio Ace Awards.

Terence Marling
Interim Artistic Director

Terence (Terry) Marling, originally from Chicago, began his dance training with Larry Long at the Ruth Page Foundation School of Dance.

Marling danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, then directed by Patricia Wilde and later by Terrence Orr, for nine seasons. During his time at PBT, Marling performed as a soloist in major classical ballets and in works by Ohad Naharin, Ib Andersen, Dwight Rhoden, and Kevin O’Day. Marling made his choreographic debut at PBT when Terrence Orr commissioned him to create two works for the company. From PBT Marling went on to join Nationaltheater Mannheim Ballet (NTM) in Germany with Kevin O’Day. During his two seasons at NTM, Marling participated in the creation of eight evening-length works.

In 2005, Marling returned to Chicago to join Hubbard Street for four seasons. At Hubbard, Marling danced the works of Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian, Jorma Elo, and Alejandro Cerrudo, among many others. While performing with the company, Marling was commissioned to create two works on Hubbard Street 2 and began teaching for intensives and classes on a regular basis. When Marling retired from performance in 2010 he became Rehearsal Director of Hubbard Street. In 2013, he was named director of Hubbard Street 2 and continued to choreograph new works for the main company, including a performance in collaboration with Second City.

In 2017, Marling transitioned to freelance teaching, choreography, and staging. Marling has choreographed works for Robert Moses’ Kin in San Francisco, restaged works by Alejandro Cerrudo and Ihsan Rustem, and taught at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Visceral Dance Chicago, The Chicago High School for the Arts, and A&A Ballet. Marling has worked with numerous university programs and frequently teaches private lessons and choreographs solos for competitions, and auditions and accepts commissions from dance companies.

Dmitri and Jennifer Kulev
Managing ARTISTIC Directors

Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet ACADEMY
Artistic Directors


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.



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.

Terry HS.jpeg
D Kulev HS.jpg
J Kulev HS.jpg
bottom of page