Nina Danilova came to the United States from Russia in 1991. After five years as a faculty member at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Washington, she joined the UNCSA School of Dance faculty in 1996, and has taught classes in Ballet, Technique, Pointe, Variations and Repertory.

She has also worked for Kirov Ballet Company in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in Moscow Classical Ballet as a principal dancer and ballet mistress. In Poland, she worked for Polish National Ballet as a teacher and ballet mistress and in Italy, she was Artistic Director of Academy of professor P. Montallto.

In classical ballet, a Variation is musically a solo piece, usually short and choreographically intense. It presents the technical strengths and artistic uniqueness of a dancer.

Nina is a Vaganova-trained dancer and a former member of the Kirov company. She holds a graduate degree in ballet pedagogy. Her popular variations class at UNCSA provided the inspiration for a book she authored, “Eight Female Classical Ballet Variations,” which was published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Nina Danilova has created a valuable resource for the aspiring dancer of classical ballet,” says Wanda H. Plemmons, Director of the Academy of Dance Arts, Inc. Her system provides the teacher or the student with necessary tools to continue study and pass down classical variations to the next generation. Ms. Danilova is recognized in the dance world for her outstanding ability at training hundreds of young dancers for professional career. This book is a wonderful complement to any serious training program. 


  • Classical Ballet Pedagogy, Russian University of Theatrical Arts (GITIS), Moscow, Russia (1978)
  • Vaganova Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Continued studies through a two-year assistantship under Professor Raissa Struchkova


  • Served as a contributor editor for the magazine Soviet Ballet, as well as choreographic editor for the book “Thirty Classical Ballet Variations from Russian choreographers,” published by Professor Valeria Uralskaya.

Career Highlights