Performance opportunities with a carefully designed curriculum and a nurturing faculty are vital to the students’ progression, and are what make Olympic Ballet School a professional-quality school.

Artistic Director – Oleg Gorboulev

Oleg Gorboulev received his ballet training from the National Ballet School of Uzbekistan (Class of K. Sagatov). Upon graduation, he was accepted into the ballet troupe of Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan... Read more

Oleg Gorboulev received his ballet training from the National Ballet School of Uzbekistan (Class of K. Sagatov). Upon graduation, he was accepted into the ballet troupe of Alisher Navoi Opera and Ballet Theatre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. From 1990–1995, Oleg performed with Moscow Classical Ballet in Russia, where he had opportunities to develop roles such as Albrecht & Peasant Pas in Giselle, Rothburt & PD3 Act I in Swan Lake, La Esmeralda Pas De Deux and many others. He toured with the company throughout Europe— England, Holland, Spain, Italy, France— and Japan.

In 1995 he was offered a contract to dance in USA with Indianapolis Ballet Theatre later known as Ballet Internationale (BI) Indianapolis. Worked with Eldar Aliev, Dale Shields, and ballet legends Irina Kolpakova and Vladlen Semenov, Oleg added to his classical repertoire principal and soloist roles from The Nutcracker, Cavarly Halt, Carnival in Venice, Sleeping Beauty, and La Sylphide. Working at Ballet Internationale he had his first experience performing lead roles in contemporary ballets such as: Val Caniporali’s Lambarena, Paul Taylor’s Company B, Eldar Aliev’s Firebird, and Alberto Alonso’s Carmen.

After dancing with BI for 4 seasons, Oleg was invited to join Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) where he reached soloist rank. There was his first acquaintance with George Balanchine choreography. Under coaching of Francia Russell, PNB’s founding co-artistic director and Balanchine Trust repetiteur, Gorboulev danced Pas de trois from Agon, Ballet Imperial, and Chacconne; Demetrius in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dark Angel in Serenade, and many others. In 2000 he participated in filming of the George Balanchine Foundation’s Interpreters Archive series. His classical repertoire includes Nutcracker Prince in Kent Stowell’s The Nutcracker, Gold & Silver in Ronald Nynd’s The Sleeping Beauty, Espada in Mikhael Baryshinkov Don Quixote, and Conrad in Petipa’s Pas de Trois from Le Corsiare Act II. Oleg had also performed in contemporary works by Kent Stowell, PNB’s founding co-artistic director, Nicole Fonte; Glen Tetley, Hans Van Manen, and Lynn Taylor-Corbett.

Before retiring from performing, Oleg was a founding member of Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) and Seattle Dance Project (SDP). Working under directorship of Colleen Neary & Thordal in Los Angeles, he expanded his classical and Balanchine repertoire with role of Apollo, Agon Pas de Deux, and Concerto Barocco 2nd movement. While dancing with SDP directed by former colleagues from PNB, Julie Tobiasson & Tim Lynch, Oleg worked directly with contemporary choreographers such as Edward Liang, Heidi Vierthaler , Molissa Fenley, Donald Byrd, Olivier Wevers, Pat Cat, and Betsy Cooper.

Oleg Gorboulev has been teaching over a decade, starting his teaching career with PNB, Spectrum Dance Theatre, and many schools in Greater Seattle area. In 2007, he was invited to teach at Midwest Regional Dance America festival in Indianapolis, IN. In 2011, he became co-artistic director of Olympic Ballet Theatre & School in Edmonds, WA. His students have been placed in the Top 3 and Top 12 at YAGP regional semifinals. Oleg’s choreography was presented at OBT productions, in collaborations with Seattle Symphony, Seattle Chamber Players, YAGP, and throughout the Seattle area.

Artistic Director – Mara Vinson

Mara Vinson is from Redondo Beach, California, and started her ballet training at Palos Verdes Ballet with Uta Graf-Apostol. She was later accepted, on full scholarship, into the Kirov Academy where she studied with legendary Kirov Ballet ballerina Alla Sizova... Read more

Mara Vinson is from Redondo Beach, California, and started her ballet training at Palos Verdes Ballet with Uta Graf-Apostol. She was later accepted, on full scholarship, into the Kirov Academy where she studied with legendary Kirov Ballet ballerina Alla Sizova. At age 15, Vinson moved to Seattle to continue her training at Pacific Northwest Ballet School on full scholarship before joining Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) as an apprentice in 1999. She was promoted to corps in 2000, soloist in 2004, and became a principal in 2007. Her classical repertoire includes Stowell productions The Nutcracker and Swan Lake as Clara and Odette/Odlie respectively, Hynd’s The Sleeping Beauty as Princess Aurora and Princess Florine, and Balanchine’s Coppélia as Swanhilda. Under coaching of PNB’s founding director Francia Russell, Vinson also performed leading roles in Balanchine ballets such as Agon, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Four Temperaments, Serenade, Brahms, Divertimento #15, Symphony in C, Ballet Imperial, and Chaconne. She later added roles of Diamonds and Emeralds from Jewels, Symphony in Three Movements, and Square Dance while dancing under current PNB artistic director Peter Boal. As a principal dancer, Vinson appeared in numerous works by contemporary choreographers such as Nacho Duato’s Jardi Tancat & Ressemblement; Jerome Robbins’ Dances at Gathering, Nicole Fonte’s Within Without, Val Caniporali’s Torque, Twyla Tharp In The Upper Room & many others. During her time with PNB Vinson toured to England, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Vail, CO.

Other accomplishments include an opportunity to work with Frederick Franklin on variation from Balanchine’s Raymonda, and Vinson has also appeared in lecture series held by Dough Fullington in Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 2008, Vinson was name one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch.”

Vinson became co-artistic director of Olympic Ballet Theatre & School in 2011, after teaching ballet at various schools in Seattle area, Indiana, and California. Under Mara’s instructions and coaching, students of Olympic Ballet School have been accepted into summer programs of schools such as San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, and many others. Her students have been placed top 12 at and have taken 3rd places at YAGP Semi-Finals in Seattle as well were invited to participate in Finals in New York.

In 2017, Vinson was awarded Best Teacher at World Arts Ballet Competition Semi-Finals. For that same competition two of Vinson’s students, after receiving top places at Semi-finals, were invited to compete in Finals in Niagara Falls, Canada.

Karen Herr

Karen Herr enjoys a long history with Olympic Ballet: she received her training at Olympic Ballet...

School and was a charter Olympic Ballet Theatre company member. She went on to dance with David Taylor Dance Theatre in Denver and Nandanco in Norwich, England. Prior to her performing career she earned a BFA in English Literature from Pacific Lutheran University, followed by an MFA in Ballet Teaching/Choreography from the University of Utah. She has taught ballet and other dance forms for more than 15 years, working with dancers of all ages and abilities. Karen joined the OBS faculty in 2007.

Elianna Langley

Elianna Langley is from Monroe, Washington and began dancing at Sky Valley Dance at age three. She has trained...

Elianna Langley is from Monroe, Washington and began dancing at Sky Valley Dance at age three. She has trained in various dance styles over the years including ballet, tap, musical theater, contemporary, African, lyrical, and modern. At age eleven she was invited to dance as a student guest in the Katy Hagelin Dance Project’s modern production of George McDonald’s Phantasties in the role of a woodland fairy. Most recently, Elianna has been dancing at Duvall Performing Arts in their Performance Division, and has enjoyed performing in various roles in their productions and teaching the younger dancers. Elianna participated in Olympic Ballet School’s summer intensive in 2017, completed Olympic Ballet Theatre’s Trainee Program, and is now a company dancer with Olympic Ballet Theatre, and teaches Dance for Young Children program classes for Olympic Ballet School.

Karina Melikyan

Karina Melikyan is originally from Armenia. She has been trained in classical ballet...

(the Vaganova style) at the Ballet School of Yerevan. After her graduation in 2002, she joined the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Armenia as a ballet artist. She has performed in “Swan Lake,” “Don Quixote,” “Giselle,” “Cinderella”, and “Nutcracker.” She taught classical ballet and character dance in Armenia and Syria and continued her career as a ballet teacher after moving to the US in 2010. Besides her ballet career, Mrs. Melikyan holds a B.S. and M.S. degree in Oriental Studies from Yerevan State University. Karina joined the faculty of Olympic Ballet School in 2011.

Anisa Sinteral

Anisa Sinteral is from Parker, Colorado. She started dancing at local dance academies until...

Anisa Sinteral is from Parker, Colorado. She started dancing at local dance academies until, at the age of twelve, she decided to focus mainly on ballet, and began training at International Ballet School under Mark & Sandra Carlson. By fifteen she received multiple full scholarships to summer intensives, and chose to train at PNB and SAB for the next three summers.  From 2007–2011 she competed in Youth American Grand Prix (YAGP), World Ballet Competition (WBC) and the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland. She placed 1st, 2nd & 3rd in numerous classical & contemporary pieces throughout the varying competitions and was invited each year to compete in the YAGP NYC finals.  At the 2011 YAGP NYC finals, she accepted an apprenticeship with the Dresden Semperoper Ballett in Germany, under Artistic Director Aaron S. Watkins. This coincided with the company’s partnership with their affiliated school, the Palucca Schule für Tanz, where she furthered her training under Jason Beechey, Marina Antonova and Olga Melnikova.  While dancing with the Dresden Semperoper Ballett (2011–2013), she performed with the company in Aaron S. Watkins’s Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Bayaderé, The Sleeping Beauty, and Paquita. She also performed in George Balanchine’s Coppélia, Jewels, and Serenade (Dark Angel). One of the highlights for her was touring with the company and performing for the royal family in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In 2013 she returned to the states where she competed in the USA International Ballet Competition (IBC) and received an offer to join Ballet West II.  She started in 2014 and joined Ballet West’s main company in 2015.  Under Artistic Director Adam Sklute, she performed in his and Pamela Robert’s rendition of Giselle, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker.  She also danced in, Gerald Arpino’s Confetti, John Kranko’s Onegin and Romeo & Juliet, and Sir Fredrick Ashton’s Cinderella. Simultaneously performing in numerous works by George Balanchine such as Who Cares?, Symphony in C, Serenade, and Jewels. Anisa also worked with various contemporary choreographers and was able to perform in Kurt Joos’s Green Table and Nicolo Fonte’s Carmina Burana. One of her favorite moments was performing as the Blue Lady in Jerome Robbin’s Fancy Free.  She was also a presenter for BWs local outreach program for the arts and worked with students throughout Salt Lake City. 

Other accomplishments include commercials, photo shoots in the states and Europe, modeling for Grishko, appearing in Pointe magazine and Vogue International.  In the summer of 2019 Anisa had the opportunity to work with Director Nicole Romine and was cast in an art film called Mistress of Tears as a soloist. In September 2020, Mistress of Tears was selected for the Signes de Nuit film festival and will be screened in Paris in the Synthox Programme.

In the fall of 2019, Anisa relocated to Seattle and joined Olympic Ballet Theatre.  Since joining, she has performed lead roles such as Snow Queen, Dew Drop, and Spanish Dancer in The Nutcracker.  

Victoria Pulkkinen

Victoria Pulkkinen began her serious study of ballet in Ottawa Ontario Canada from Nesta Toumine...

She received intensive training from David Moroni as a scholarship student at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and studied with Vera Volkova at The Banff School of Fine Arts. After one year Victoria joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Pulkkinen ‘s professional career has included dancing soloist and principal roles with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet , Artistic Director Arnold Spohr; the Hamburg Ballet with Artistic Director John Neumeier, first Chamber Dance Company with Artistic Director Charles Bennett, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, Artistic Directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell.

In January 1984 Pulkkinen was invited by Francia Russell to join the faculty of Pacific Northwest Ballet School. In 1988 the position of Curriculum Supervisor was created for her by Ms. Russell. She continued to teach all upper levels in the school, conducted syllabus meetings and taught company class on a regular basis until 2007. Pulkkinen also conducted the PNW Ballet School’s cross country prestigious Summer Intensive auditions for many years. In 2012 Pulkkinen was invited by Donald Byrd, Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, to join the school of SDT in the newly established position of Head of the Ballet Department and as a company teacher. She remained with SDT for the 2013–2017 seasons.

From 2016 to the present Pulkkinen has been invited to return eight times by Robert North, Director / Choreographer of Theater Mönchengladbach Germany, to teach all company classes during her regular three week stay. In 2018 Ms. Pulkkinen was asked by Artistic Directors Oleg Gorboulev and Mara Vinson Artistic Directors of Olympic Ballet School and Olympic Ballet Theatre, to join the faculty as a company teacher. Pulkkinen’s other guest teaching has included besides Theater Krefeld/ Mönchengladbach Germany, The Goteborg Ballet Sweden, and The San Francisco Ballet.

Victoria Pulkkinen’s impressive teaching career expands 35 years. The strongest influence on Victoria’s teaching career has been Francia Russell Founding Artistic Director with Kent Stowell of Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Karl Watson

Karl Watson is from Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Butler University, graduating with a B.F.A. cum laude in dance...

performance and a history minor in 2012, as well as summer programs at Houston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Springboard Danse Montreal. In 2012, Karl began dancing with Luna Negra Dance Theater, then joined Visceral Dance Chicago as a founding member. He also danced in Pursuit Productions’ dance theater production of “Blood Wedding,” by Federico García Lorca.


Lev Koshkin
Betty Hostetter
Jungshin Kim


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Katya Turnbow