GINNY SIANO-ECK is the founding Artistic Director of Foothills Conservatory for the Performing Arts and owner and Director 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.
Guest faculty 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. This is Ms. Pwell's first season with Diablo Ballet, Walnut Creek CA.
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.
ADAM JONES was born and raised in western Massachusetts where he began studying and competing in all styles of dance at the age of 7. Upon graduating from high school he went on to study Classical Ballet and Modern performance at the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance in NY. It was here that he was able to train and work with established choreographers such as tony award winner Bill T. Jones and two-time Bessie winner Doug Varone. He also had the privilege to be under the direct mentorship of former American Ballet Theater principal Ted Kivitt. During his collegiate years, he spent his summers dancing at Busch Gardens Europe in Virginia, where he was a featured dancer and dance captain in 4 of their shows in addition to being a featured soloist with NYC based contemporary company BEings Dance under the direction of Emily Bufferd. After college he was signed by Stiletto Entertainment in Los Angeles and had the opportunity to travel to over 75 countries on various Holland America Line cruise ships as a featured dancer and dance captain. Following a move to Los Angeles, he signed with Jim Keith and the Movement Talent Agency. While in LA, he premiered and has been a been a featured dancer in new works from Carey Ysais, Paulette Azizian, and Kristen Shapiro. In addition he has danced back up for Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande while also being featured in numerous Buzzfeed online skits as an actor.
ROBYN MAGGIO started tapping in Massachusetts at the age of 4 and hasn't stopped since! She was fortunate to have moved to Spartanburg when she was 9 and began training with Marion Feinstein. Miss Marion sealed her love for tap, traveling to take master classes and performing across the country (including The Worlds Fair in 1984). She even auditioned for Kenny Ortega for the movie Dirty Dancing and was selected as one of the dancers, only to injure her knee the week before filming was to begin. As a young adult, she lived in New York and studied under some great tap and jazz professionals at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.
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.