Hamilton City Ballet is the area’s premier classical ballet school and was founded in 2001, by Max Ratevosian and Melania Pawliw.  The school committed is to providing students with instruction of the highest standard in a healthy and happy environment, while focusing on excellence of technique, the development of artistry, self-confidence and creativity.

Max Ratevosian
Max Ratevosian

Max Ratevosian graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia and later from the State University of Lunacharsky G.I.T.I.S. in Moscow with a degree major of Teacher, Ballet Master, and Choreographer.

During his 20 year tenure at the Moscow State Ballet Theater, he was Principal Dancer, Teacher and Ballet Master. As a professor at the University of Shepkin, Theatrical Division, Max taught Stage Movement and Dance for Dramatic Arts. At the University of Luncharsky G.I.T.I.S.,Theatrical Division in Moscow, he taught Methodology for Classical Dance.

Max’s former students have become dancers in major ballet companies throughout Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia, while some have achieved great success in various international dance competitions in Moscow, Varna, Paris and Denmark.

In 1991, Max was invited to Canada to teach at L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec, in Montreal, The National Ballet School and The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto, as well as McMaster University in Hamilton. Over the years, he has been invited as a guest teacher to a variety of schools and companies throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. In 2001, Max co-founded the Hamilton City Ballet.

Max has staged classical ballet productions such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Paquita, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker.

In November of 2008, Max was awarded the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Dance.

In 2009 Max founded the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts in Dundas, Ontario – an independent day school offering students the opportunity to pursue excellence in both the Performing Arts and Ontario Ministry of Education elementary and high school curriculum.

Melania Pawliw
Melania Pawliw

Melania Pawliw is a graduate of L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec and received her diploma in Dance from C.E.G.E.P. du Vieux-Montreal, in Montreal. She was a soloist and principal dancer with various classical ballet companies in Montreal and abroad.  In 1989, by invitation of the Minister of Culture of Ukraine, Melania performed with the Kiev State Opera and Ballet Theatre, and became the first Canadian to dance with the company. Upon her return, Melania co-founded Le Ballet National du Quebec, a professional ballet company, uniting dancers from Ukraine and Quebec.

Melania’s teaching career began as assistant to Olga Baltacheeva at The National Ballet School in Toronto. The next five years she taught at L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec in Montreal. After moving to Hamilton, Melania co-founded the Hamilton City Ballet in 2001. In addition to teaching, Melania has choreographed ballets for children such as The Four Seasons, Enchanted Flower, Carnival of Venice, Grandfather’s Story, and Pinocchio.

From 2005 to 2007 Melania was Ballet Mistress for the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble’s The Nutcracker ballet in Hamilton, working in partnership with Ballet Ouest de Montreal and the National Ballet of Cuba.

From 2003-2009 Melania was dance-educator for the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Arts program, for school boards across the regions of Niagara, Brant, Kitchener/Waterloo and Halton. Melania taught Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum subjects through movement and dance.

In 2009 Melania was a founding member of the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts in Dundas, Ontario – an independent day school offering students the opportunity to pursue excellence in both the Performing Arts and Ontario Ministry of Education elementary and high school curriculum.

JV head shot 4

Jody White Van de Klippe holds an Honors Bachelors degree in Applied Science from the University of Guelph and a graduate diploma from McMaster University in Child Life Studies.  Her former career as a Child Life Specialist lead Jody to working in world renowned hospitals, including Toronto’s The Hospital for Sick Children and Baltimore, Maryland’s Johns Hopkins Hospital.

She has been dancing since a very young age and has training in classical ballet, from Cambridge Theatre Dance School and Hamilton City Ballet.  Jody’s interest in ballet and classical music, and ultimately their combined effects on people living with Parkinson’s, inspired her to pursue launching Hamilton City Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s.  Jody is the Program Director for Dance for Parkinson’s and together with her experience in health care, she is able to develop and deliver a program that is sensitive to both the art and science behind Hamilton City Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s.  She is committed to her ongoing learning and program development and has taken courses with the founding Dance for PD®, The Royal Ballet School, The Franklin Method®.  Jody is now a Franklin Method Fascia Trainer for the Face, Neck and Shoulders.

Mate Szigeti FlutistHungarian-born flautist Máté Szigeti received his training at the prestigious Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Debrecen, ’97 B.A. and `09 M.A.). After graduation, Mr. Szigeti spent several years with the Debrecen Symphony, where a familiarity with the standard operatic and orchestral repertoire was firmly established. 

From 2000-2010, Mr. Szigeti was affiliated with the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra as both principal flautist and soloist, and was on the faculty of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory.  Since Mr Szigeti’s arrival in Canada, he has been a featured soloist with the Dundas Valley Orchestra, York Symphony Orchestra, Burlington Concert Band, and is a member of the Melrose United Church Chancel Choir.   Mr Szigeti is the Music Director of the Hamilton City Ballet Orchestra and teaches flute at Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts and Hillfield Strathallan College.  In September of 2015, Mr. Szigeti joined Oakville Symphony Orchestra as Principal flute player.

AnitaHungarian violinist Anita Hiripi was born in Debrecen, Hungary.  Ms Hiripi graduated from Béla Bartók University of Music, Miskolc.  After graduation, Ms. Hiripi spent several years with the Debrecen Symphony, where a familiarity with the standard operatic and orchestral repertoire was firmly established.   From 2000-2010, Ms Hiripi become a member of the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra violin section, and on the faculty of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory.   In Lebanon Ms Hiripi played many times with the L.N.S.O concerts at the famous Baalbeck, Boustan and Tyre festivals, sharing the stage with such renowned soloists and conductors as Placido Domingo, Roberto Alagna, Angela Gheorghiu, Barnabás Kelemen, Boris Berezovsky, among others.

Since Ms Hiripi’s arrival in Canada, she has joined the Hamilton City Ballet Orchestra as a second principal violin player, and has participated in many chamber and orchestra concerts, from Niagara on the Lake to Toronto. Ms Hiripi teaches with the HWDSB strings program and in Dundas at the Hamilton Academy of Performing Arts, and at Anita`s Music Studio, Long & McQuade.

Noel C

Registered Massage Therapist, Noel Cagampan, graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Biology in 1994. Prior to returning to school for massage therapy he worked as both a physiotherapy assistant and research assistant for the physiotherapy department at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton, ON. He earned his diploma in massage therapy (honours) in 1999 and was awarded at graduation Exceptional Academic/Clinical Performance in the Faculty of Massage Therapy. He had been working in a multidisciplinary clinic setting for the past 14 years and most recently moved to private practice, with experience as an independent medical examiner for the auto insurance industry, as well as working with WSIB, extended health insurers and Department of Veteran Affairs and is a member in good standing with both the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and with the Registered Massage Therapists’ Association of Ontario. Noel’s practice focuses on rehabilitative therapeutic massage and has furthered his practice for the benefit of client care with professional development courses in acupressure, myofascial release, scapular stretch/rotator cuff release, as well as certification in the use of ultrasound and electrotherapy.