The PAB faculty all employ the same Vaganova teaching method assuring indispensable continuity and providing students with a precise technique, musicality and complete body awareness and control.

  • John White, Founder
    Growing up in Southern California, John White began his ballet training with Oleg Tupine and Michel Panaieff. Encouraged to pursue a career as a professional dancer, he moved to New York where he continued his training...
  • Margarita de Saá White, Founder
    Born in Havana, Cuba, Margarita de Saá began her ballet training studying under Fernanado and Alicia Alonso. Offered a position with the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ms. de Saá rose through the ranks of the company to attain the title of Prima Ballerina.
  • Melinda Pendleton, Owner and Teacher
    Ms. Pendleton began her ballet training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet under the guidance of her parents, John White and Margarita de Saá

Teaching Staff

  • Amber Aufiero, Teacher
    Amber Aufiero grew up in Perkasie, PA where she began her ballet training at age 3. She received most of her training from Schubert's School of Dance Arts and the Charter Arts High School in Bethlehem, PA.
  • Simone Gadlin, Teacher
    Simone Gadlin is a Southern California native, and has studied with the Inland Pacific Ballet and Village Dance Arts since the age of 5. She spent summers dancing at Dallas Black Dance Theater summer intensive and is a recipient of the International Association of Blacks in Dance scholarship.
  • Nino Gvazava, Teacher
    Nino grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia (Europe), where she studied ballet performance following the Vaganova method at the Vakhtang Chabukiani State Ballet School.
  • Lauren Hirsch, Accompanist
    Ms. Hirsch studied classical piano throughout her childhood with Rose Light and Janet Pearson.  Ms. Hirsch later graduated the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences, and earned her Juris Doctor from Temple University. 
  • Bryan Koulman, Teacher and Ballet Master
    Mr. Koulman began his study of classical ballet while attending Swarthmore College. After dancing with the Milwaukee Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theatre, he expressed an interest in teaching and the choreographic process.
  • Heather Lacey, Teacher
    Heather Holajter studied at Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet and later joined their Society program, getting to perform a wide variety of roles throughout the area.
  • Linda Karash Mintzer, Teacher
    Linda Karash Mintzer attended the School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, where she trained under Barbara Weisberger, Robert Rodham, Richard Thomas, John White and Margarita de Saá. While still a young student, she performed with New York City Ballet...
  • Dara Palmer, Teacher
    Dara was born and raised in Philadelphia. As an active member of the Philadelphia dance community from a very young age, Dara gained a diverse understanding of both the technical...
  • Tatyana Shargorodsky, Accompanist and Teacher
    Tatyana Shargorodsky was born in the former Soviet Union, where she received her elementary music education in the Ukrainian city of Lvov.
  • Elena Tiuriakulova, Teacher
    Elena Tiuriakulova graduated with excellence in 1975 from the world famous Vaganova Choreography School (Kirov School) in St. Petersburg, Russia. She received her practical training at the Mariinski Theater of Opera...