Misha Tchoupakov

When teaching dance, ballet faculty member Misha Tchoupakov conveys to his students a sense of history and continuity by explaining and demonstrating origins of steps and traditions, methods of implementation, anatomical considerations and kinesthetic joy. Students acquire proper and full understanding of movement: the aesthetics, the physical sensations and the qualities of movement expression in ways unique to each individual dancer. Watch him explain tour en l'air.

In class, Tchoupakov talks about ballet and teaches ballet in a manner that is entertaining and familiar, by telling anecdotes and fascinating life stories of famous dancers, by explaining ballet’s role in history and by conjuring up images from epochs long gone.

Ballet is often accused of being elitist, difficult to understand, escapist and even unnecessary. It is my conviction that none of these accusations are true. Ballet is a classical form of art, which means it must be produced and presented in a manner that reflects excellence and aesthetic aspirations. When done with conviction, taste, understanding, attention to detail and respect to tradition, the old art of ballet is capable of communicating the minutae of contemporary life.

Misha Tchoupakov


  • International Ballet Competition D. Modugno, Bari, Italy, Master Teacher, 2015
  • Youth America Grand Prix Competition, New York, Resident Master Teacher, 2000-present
  • Salt Lake City Ballet, Utah, Ballet Instructor, 2011-13
  • Elmhurst School for Dance in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham, United Kingdom, Principal Teacher, 2004-07
  • Royal Ballet School, White Lodge, London, Ballet Teacher, 2003
  • State Street Ballet, Santa Barbara, California, Ballet Master, 1999-2001
  • Colorado Ballet, Colorado, Ballet Master and Repetiteur, 1995-99
  • Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow, Ballet Teacher, 1988-1990

Career Highlights

  • Performed solo and principal roles with many prominent ballet companies: 
    • State Street Ballet, 1999-2001
    • Colorado Ballet, 1993-1999
    • Los Angeles Classical Ballet, 1991-1993
    • Vienna State Opera Ballet, Austria, 1991
    • Sarasota Ballet of Florida, 1990-1991
    • Bolshoi Ballet, Russia, 1983-1991

Awards, Recognitions and Honors

  • Certificate of Appreciation from the Ministry of Education in Bucharest, Romania. Completed series of lectures for 34 Romanian ballet teachers from national ballet schools of Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca


M.F.A. Dance Pedagogy and ChoreographyMoscow State Academy of Choreography

B.S. Political ScienceMoscow State University of Marxism

B.A. Dance PerformanceBolshoi Ballet Academy