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Meet our Team!

Amy Russell Ballet Kalamazoo


Artistic Director/Owner

Amy Russell is from Paw Paw, Michigan. She started dancing at the age of 4, beginning a life-long love of dance. This passion inspired her to pursue ballet training in the Vaganova Method of classical ballet at Farrell Ballet Theatre at Kalamazoo College at 12 yrs old. In 2003, she became a principal dancer in the company. There, she partnered and collaborated with professional artists from the Grand Rapids Ballet Company and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Amy had the privilege of experiencing classical ballets and the opportunity to dance her favorite roles: Odette in Swan Lake, Giselle, Kitri in Don Quixote, and Swanhilda in Coppelia.

In September 2016, Amy launched her own youth ballet company called Ballet Kalamazoo in Downtown Kalamazoo to share her love for ballet and passion for helping others. 

She was the proud recipient of 2013, 2016, and 2018 Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative Grant with the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo which funded her teacher studies with American Ballet Theatre and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.

Amy is committed to continuing education and preserving the high standard of technique required as a ballet teacher and dancer. Amy Russell is an AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.


Annually, she studies the Proven Teaching Syllabus © developed by Marcia Dale Weary, one of the nation’s foremost instructors of classical ballet at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet.   Amy is proudly certified in the innovative Progressing Ballet Technique.  She is certified in Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.


Amy and her husband Kirk have two daughters named Sylvia and Juliet and live in Downtown Kalamazoo.


Eun-Kyung Chung

Master Ballet Instructor

Choreographer/Ballet Coach

Eun-Kyung Chung holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Dance  from Ehwa University (Seoul, South Korea), the world’s largest female  educational institute and is one of the most prestigious universities in South  Korea. Mrs. Chung is an American Ballet Theatre® Certified Teacher, who has  successfully completed the Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3  of their training curriculum. She is also a certified Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis®  trainer who enjoys sharing these methods with people.  

Mrs. Chung was a principal dancer at Seoul Ballet Theatre prior to moving to  Germany in 2010. She joined Mainfranken Theater Würzburg as a soloist under  the direction of Anna Vita and worked with Youri Vámos, Ihsan Rustem, and Ivan  Alboresi. Later, she joined Landestheater Coburg under the direction of Mark  MaClain as a principal dancer and choreographer.  

Mrs. Chung moved to the United States in 2016 and worked with Charlottesville  Ballet Company (VA), Proia Dance Project (GA), Traverse City Dance Project  (MI), Neglia Ballet (NY), and TAKE Dance (NY). She is currently a Visiting  Assistant Professor at Randolph College as well as a faculty member at Central  Virginia Ballet and Forest Dance Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia.  

Aliya Kosten Ballet Kalamazoo

Aliya VanTuinen

Ballet/Contemporary Instructor/Choreographer

Aliya began her dance training at age three. She has trained at Michigan Ballet Academy, Grand Rapids Ballet, Turning Pointe School of Dance, Zeeland Dance, and at summer intensives at American Ballet Theater - Alabama, Bossov Ballet, Orlando Ballet, and Joffery's Contemporary and Jazz Intensive.


Aliya is currently at Western Michigan University and majoring in Dance and Digital marketing. She is also a member of WMU's Dance Team. She has performed roles in Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, and Cinderella, as well as original ballets produced by Turning Pointe School of Dance including Blue Coat, It is Well, The Promise, and The Deliverer.

At Ballet Kalamazoo, Aliya trained for a year as an assistant instructor under the Artistic Director. During this training, she was recognized for her talent, as a mentor to young dancers, and for her contributions of choreography to Ballet Kalamazoo, and was promoted to ballet instructor.  Aliya implemented and leads the YAGP dancer training program at Ballet Kalamazoo.

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