GINNY SIANO-ECK is the founding Artistic Director of Foothills Conservatory for the Performing Arts and owner of Foothills Dance Conservatory in Seneca.
She began her early classical training with Larry Long and Delores Lipinski at the Ruth Page Foundation and with Bell Bender and Ellis-DuBoulay dance schools in Chicago. Ginny holds a B.A. in Dance and Secondary Education from Barat College. While at Barat she trained with Kenneth Melville, Carol Walker, Bobbie Neiman, Marcus Alford, Eileen Cropley and performed with the Barat Repertory Dance Company. While pursing graduate studies at Northwestern University Ginny worked with Peter Sparling, Sue Lee and Juanita Lopez. She trained in modern dance with Randy Duncan, Joseph Holmes, Harriet Ross, and studied jazz under Gus Giordano, Nan Giordano and Lea Darwin.
Ginny Siano-Eck taught modern dance for seventeen years in the Performing Arts Departments at Highland Park High School and for three years at Stevenson High School. Ginny has danced with the Tony Wilson Dance Company and Chicago Ballet Ensemble. In 1987 she founded Lake Shore Dancers and remained artistic director until 1996 when she relocated to the upstate. Ginny's former students have had professional careers with American Ballet Theatre, The Mark Morris Dance Group, Charleston Ballet, Maryland Dance Theatre, Cedar Lake Dance Ensemble and most recently Charlotte Ballet. Ginny was artist in residence for the School District of Oconee County from 1997-2005 and was on the approved artist roster with the South Carolina Arts Commission.
VAL SALNIKOV has performed both nationally and internationally with the Kirov Ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre St Petersburg, Russia; Saratov Opera House, Voronezh Theatre of Opera and Ballet, Tbilisi Ballet and the Augusta Ballet. His repertoire includes performances of many well-known choreographers including Maurice Béjart, Marius Petipa, Leonid Jacobson, Boris Eifman and George Balanchine. Mr. Salnikov has worked with renowned musicians, Mstislav Rostropovich and Winton Marsalis. He has produced ballets including From Russia with Ballet, The Nutcracker, Carmen, Don Quixote and more. Mr. Salnikov has taught Classical Ballet at the University of South Carolina, Columbia Music Festival Association, South Mississippi Ballet Theatre and the Houston International Ballet Academy. He is currently the Ballet Master at the Foothills Dance Conservatory.
OLIVIA POWELL a native of the Boston area, received her ballet training from the Boston Ballet School. She attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ dance department and received her BFA with first class honors at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, in Hong Kong. Olivia then joined The Alabama Ballet where she performed in works such as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, as the dew drop fairy, and Tarantella. She also performed in Jiri Jylian’s Sechs Tanze, Agnes De Mille’s Rodeo, and Roger Van Fleteren’s Romeo and Juliet and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In 2014 Olivia joined Ballet Memphis where she worked with many choreographers including Mark Godden, Steven McMahon, Uri Sands, Joshua L. Peugh, Gabrielle Lamb, Julia Adam and Julie Marie Niekrasz. Currently, Olivia is working as a freelance artist and is based out of Pompano Beach, Florida under the direction of Magaly Suarez.
ALLIE LARSON-THOMSON started dancing at 3 years and hasn't stopped since. Graduating from James Madison University with a BA in Theater and Dance, she joined West Virginia Dance Company/Theater West Virginia in 2008. After finishing her contract, Allie came back to South Carolina to help start a poultry operation and teach modern and jazz to the students of the Foothills Dance Conservatory. Allie sat as President of the FCPA from 2011 to 2014 and has aided in its indeavors to foster, create and produce positive and engaging educational children's programming for the community at large.
VAUGHN NEWMAN was born in Philadelphia, PA where he began dancing at William Penn Arts Charter. Later, Freedom Theater and PHILADANCO (The Philadelphia Dance Company) became his formal introduction to the dance world. But it wasn't until he moved to Miami, FL that he realized his passion was dance.
During his training at New World School of the Arts he performed works by Anna Sokolow, Merce Cunningham, Jennifer Muller and works of Sean Curran. He has also performed various seasons with MOMENTUM DANCE COMPANY of Miami, FL and Premiered "Dreaming Amazonia" with Brazz Dance Theater, an Afro-Brazillian based company. Along with community organizations and various grant programs he has taught dance throughout South Florida for inner-city community centers and public schools, encouraging youths through the arts and dance.
Foothills Dance Conservatory has been his dance home since moving to the Upstate. Vaughn teaches & choreographs for the intermediate and advanced students of FDC. In 2016 FDC students performed Vaughn's choreography at Youth American Grand Prix in Atlanta and recieved excellent scores.
His personal artistry fuses his life's experiences, human encounters, spoken word and dance with local artists and venues as a platform for higher consciousness in the Arts.
SVETLANA TODINOVA is a professional ballet dancer from Russia and performed with the prestigious Moscow Ballet since 2001 before relocating to teach at Foothills
Dance Conservatory. Her profile on the official website for the Moscow Ballet's "The Nutcracker" states the following:
"Svetlana Todinova, Moscow Ballet's dynamic Audition Director and soloist for over a decade, dances as soloist with Moscow Ballet in all the company's repertory. Born in Yadrun, Russia just outside of Moscow, Todinova completed formal training under ballet legendary Yuri Gigorovich at the Ufimsky school of Choreography in Ufa, now named Rudolf Nureyev Russian State Ballet Academy in honor of the legendary dancer who was also a graduate. Upon graduation in 1997, Svetlana was invited to dance with the Ufa Opera and Ballet Theatre in the capital city of the Bashkiria Republic. She was later invited to join the Krasnoyarsk Musical Theater, directed by Yuri Grigorovich who is now famous for his virtuosic productions at the Bolshoi Theater. There she danced all the big works that Grigorovich created including "Legend of Love," "Spartacus" and more. She recounts that at rehearsals for these productions Grigorovich would watch the complete show without comment and then gave corrections to each dancer as needed one by one on stage and from memory. In 1999, Svetlana joined Russia's renowned National Academy of Theatrical Arts, aka "GITIS," founded in 1878 by theater pioneer and founder of the Stanislavsky acting method, K. directory, and to preserve the heritage of Russian classical ballet. There she specialized in pedagogy and repertory for children.
Known for her high speed jumps, turns and strong accents, Svetlana was known affectionately among her colleagues as "The Baby Swan" for her role in the classic "Swan Lake." Along with Swan Lake, her repertoire included Spartacus, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadere, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, and more. As Moscow' s former Ballet Audition Director, Svetlana visited dozens of American cities September though November annually, where she auditioned and rehearsed hundreds of aspiring dancers to perform in Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker." Foothills Conservatory was honored to have her join the faculty in August of 2015.