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Jurijs Safonovs is a native of Riga, Latvia. At the age of 10, Safonovs was invited to enroll in the Riga Choreography School, Latvia’s premiere establishment for ballet education. For the next 8 years, Safonovs studied the Vaganova method of ballet training under skilled teachers, including Jurijs Kapralis, Regina Kaupuzha, and Valentin Blinov. After graduating in 1996, Safonovs began his professional ballet career with the Latvian National Ballet Theatre. He performed various roles in a wide range of company repertoire, including all the classical full length story ballets, as well as more contemporary works by choreographers including Boris Eifman, Krzysztof Pastor, and Andris Liepa. While performing with the Latvian National Ballet Theatre, Safonovs toured throughout Europe, Russia, and China. In the 2000s, he took part in the Stars of Tomorrow tour to Germany. Since 2001, Safonovs has continued his dancing, coaching and directing career in the United States. Over the past 20 years, he has danced professionally with Virginia Ballet Theatre and Neos Dance Theatre; served as an artistic director of a dance program in Statesboro, GA; and been a dance coordinator in Carrollton, GA. In addition to his accomplishments as a professional dancer and ballet master, Safonovs has years of experience teaching ballet and traditional character classes to students at schools nationwide and abroad, including stints at Joffrey Academy's Summer Intensive Program in Chicago, and Dance Department of Tainan Institute of Technology in Tainan, Taiwan.
I place equal importance on establishing a positive studio environment built upon mutual respect and effort between student and instructor. I want my students to take pride not only in their achievements onstage but in their discipline in the work process. My teaching philosophy represents an open-minded and all-inclusive approach based on the principles and structure of Russian ballet.
Riga Choreography School
International Teacher's Seminar - Vaganova Ballet Academy