Russian Ballet Theatre School
Russian Ballet Theatre School

Classical Vaganova Ballet Instruction for Ages 4 through Adult. Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels

Technique, Pointe, Pre-Professional, Variations, Boy's classes, Pirouette classes, Bolshoi/Kirov Stretch-Strengthen-Tone classes

Russian Ballet Theatre School was formed with the intention of bringing the richness, artistry and exquisite beauty of Vaganova Ballet to students, their families and friends and arts supporters in Ypsilanti and surrounding communities. The beautiful studio space at 44 East Cross Street with its 12 ft. ceilings and vintage pressed tin crown moldings provides a perfect backdrop to a vision long held by RBTS founder, Kathy Scharp.


"Art is so important  - crucial even, not only for our cultural development, but for our shared experience of transcendence toward things far greater than ourselves. It is a universal language that creates meaningful bonds and keeps us connected with each other, and to what really matters in life."


Kathy Scharp has had the great fortune and privilege to serve for many years as an Artistic Director and Ballet Mistress with Ann Arbor Ballet Theatre under the direction of Carol A. Radovic. Ms Scharp and her mother Ms Radovic founded AABT together when Ms Scharp was a young dancer attending classes at CAS Ballet Theatre School. She served on AABT's Board of Directors until recently when it became necessary to focus on the  needs of her growing school and its artistic development.


Ms. Scharp received Russian method teacher training since 1985 with the late Jurgen Schneider (former ballet master with American Ballet Theatre and coach to M. Baryshnikov and N. Makarova) and also with Janina Cunova (former ballet mistress with Australian Ballet Company) Further training has been with Genrikh Mayorov, L. Snelnikova, M. Lavrovsky and N. Kurgapkina, and C. Radovic. Ms. Scharp has danced many roles with AABT since 1980, including the lead in "Carmen"; Arabian and Snow Queen in "The Nutcracker"; Dying Swan in "Carnival of the Animals" and lead and character roles in "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Cinderella", "The Nightingale" and others. She has choreographed several works for AABT including "Medieva", Undead from "Dracula",  "Hylas and the Naiads", and the Balcony Scene from "Romeo and Juliet".


"It is my intention and ultimate goal to create a non-competitive artistic learning experience with an emphasis on individual growth and personal achievement. Consistent, methodical training blended with the richness, discipline and expressiveness of Vaganova Ballet helps to build the kind of self esteem and sense of accomplishment that will accompany a child well into adulthood. I also believe in the accessibility of classical ballet, not the exclusivity often associated with it, and I will continue to work toward providing the loving discipline, professional instruction and passion for ballet as an art form to my students, their families, and the community at large."


Ms. Scharp lives in Ypsilanti with her husband Jake Grimes, and their two dogs,

Violet and Tulip.


Russian Ballet Theatre School

44 E. Cross St.

Ypsilanti, MI 48198


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