Originally from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Liesl Rinke Balatsenko began her training at Lascu School of Ballet where she had the opportunity to study under many famous dancers and continued training and performing at Orlando Ballet, later joining the professional company under the direction of the late famed Fernando Bujones as well as other well-known directors. She competed in Youth America Grand Prix and was awarded a scholarship as well as competing in The Paris International Ballet Competition. Liesl performed with Russian Ballet Orlando before moving to Indianapolis, joining Ballet Internationale and working with world renowned Irina Kolpakova and many other international ballet stars. With Ballet Internationale, she toured China dancing in several different ballets. Moving to Virginia led to joining Manassas Ballet Theatre where she performed numerous principal roles. In 2005 she and husband, Nickolai Balatsenko, also a professional ballet dancer, were invited by Russian Ballet Orlando to tour South America performing Cinderella. She has danced in all the major ballets, from Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle and Nutcracker, to A Thousand and One Nights and so many in between. She has taught at several ballet schools in the Northern Virginia area and is beyond blessed to be the mother of six beautiful, crazy children.
Nickolai began his study of ballet at the Kiev Academy of Ballet. Nickolai’s first professional position was with the National Ballet Usti Nad Labem in the Czech Republic, where he stayed for three years before touring with Ballet Classique of Paris and then moving to the Donestsk Ballet. In 1999, he moved to the United States and joined the Washington Ballet. He later danced with Ballet Theatre of Maryland and Ballet Internationale in Indianapolis, Indiana. He toured Seoul, South Korea with Universal Ballet and danced with Atlantic Southeast Ballet in Charleston, South Carolina. Nickolai was also a member of Manassas Dance Company and toured South America where he danced in Cinderella with Orlando City Ballet. He currently teaches at multiple schools in the Northern Virginia area as well as professional videography with Video and Audio Services.
Natalya is the face you have come to know and love at Liesl Dancewear! Surrounded by ballet her entire life with both her brother and sister-in-law as well as a parent of ballet students, Natalya learned the ins and outs of the dance world. She was a rhythmic gymnast in her youth in Ukraine and went on to study to be a teacher at university. She holds a degree from George Mason University. Natalya's skills as a seamstress have led her to create the Liesl Exclusive Dancewear you see in our shop. She designs and manufactures this line of high quality but affordable dancewear.
Jennifer began dancing in Lexington, KY where she studied at The Lexington Ballet and The School for the Creative and Performing Arts. Jennifer continued her studies at the prestigious Virginia School for the Arts which helped her pursue a professional career in New York. While a performing career was eventually halted due to injuries, Jennifer transferred her extensive dance background to Capezio, a dancewear company. As Vice President of Retail, she oversaw the national retail chain, worked on product development, and guided advertising for the world-renowned company. She travelled extensively as an expert pointe shoe fitter and speaker at dance conventions as well as wrote several articles on the subject for Dance Teacher Magazine and Pointe Magazine. Upon relocating to Virginia with her husband and 2 children, Jennifer began working for The Marine Corps in purchasing and marketing but missed dance and began teaching at various studios in the area. After many years of teaching, her love of dance, art, and marketing led her to create, Artistry Reimagined, a photography and marketing company for dancers.