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.
Emily Schoen Branch
Emily Schoen Branch is a sought-after performer, choreographer, educator, and Dance Magazine "Top 25 to Watch" artist.
Baryshnikov Arts Center (NYC) chose her as their Martha Duffy Resident Artist for their BAC Space Residency. She’s also won the Gibney Dance boo-koo grant for emerging artists in NYC, a Princess Grace Fellowship nomination by METdance (Texas), and various domestic and international residencies, including at the Tunisian National Theater in Tunisia. She has been Artist-In-Residence at multiple organizations, including Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning’s Choreographers and Composers series (NYC). She’s won 17 commissions for companies and university programs throughout the country, including Santa Barbara Dance Theater (California), METdance, Ormao (Colorado), Columbia Ballet Collaborative (NYC), among others.
Emily’s group, Schoen Movement Company, is home to her collaborative and creative endeavors. Their recent work, a two-year collaboration with dancers from Tunisia, culminated in an evening-length premiere in New York, titled “See me in your eye.” Through this project, they successfully acquired visas for five Tunisian dancers and received support from Baryshnikov Arts Center, Dance Motion USA / Brooklyn Academy of Music, Queens Council for the Arts, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and the US Embassy in Tunis.
Her work has additionally been presented at the historic Judson Memorial Church, WestFest, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Liberty Hall Museum, and Joe’s Pub / DanceNOW.
Beyond the stage, Emily conceived and created “A Movement Flight” – a site-specific, happy hour dance performance crafted for breweries. It has since been adapted for five breweries in New York, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and California.
As a freelance dancer, Emily worked for Kyle Abraham/AIM; the Metropolitan Opera in works by Doug Varone, Mark Morris, and Carolyn Choa; the Rolling Stones in their 50th Anniversary reunion tour; and for eight years with KEIGWIN + COMPANY. With Larry Keigwin, she was privileged to tour extensively, collaborate on a dozen new works, serve as a repetiteur, and assist in commissions for The Juilliard School, Marymount Manhattan, and Keigwin’s “Bolero” community series, reenacted throughout the US. She received her BFA, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of Arizona.
For more information, visit www.schoenmovementcompany.com
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 began dancing at Sky Valley Dance at age three. Over the years, she has trained in various dance styles, including ballet, tap, musical theater, contemporary, African, lyrical, and modern.
At age eleven, she was invited to dance as a guest in Katy Hagelin Dance Project’s modern production of George McDonald’s Phantastes. She spent several years training under Katy before joining Duvall Performing Arts in their Performance Division, where she performed various leading roles in productions and taught young dancers. In 2017, Elianna participated in the Olympic Ballet School’s Summer Intensive. She completed Olympic Ballet Theatre’s Trainee Program and is now a company dancer with Olympic Ballet Theatre. Elianna has also performed as a guest artist in Central Oregan School of Ballet’s Cinderella in the role of Fairy Godmother in 2019 and danced a traditional Armenian piece for a film production by Karin Kirkland School of Ballet’s in 2020.
Taylor Lim is from the San Francisco Bay Area, California. She began dancing at age four at the Conservatory of Classical Ballet...
At 16, she went on to train full-time at the Ellison Ballet Professional Training Program in New York City. Upon graduation, she accepted a position at Sibiu Ballet Theater in Romania, where she performed with the corps de ballet in productions such as La Bayadère, Swan Lake, and Harlequinade. She also danced soloist roles, including Medora in Jardin Anime, the Diamond Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, the 2nd Odalisque in Le Corsaire, and the 2nd Shade in La Bayadère. Taylor toured with Sibiu Ballet Theater throughout Romania and Luxembourg to perform Swan Lake. She joined Olympic Ballet Theatre in the summer of 2021 and is excited to perform with the company.
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.