faculty

Ilka Doubek

Owner/Director

Ilka Doubek has been a professional ballet/contemporary dancer and choreographer. She has collaborated with reknown choreographers, theatre and opera directors globally. Ilka was a member of the Omaha Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet and Hamburg Ballet companies. She toured many nations of the world with her solo dance concerts. In 1995, Ilka formed the Litchfield Dance Arts Academy (LDAA) where she teaches mainly ballet and coaches all styles of dance extensively. LDAA is celebrating its 3rd decade of service to hundreds of families in our community. Ilka has a strong desire to develop the talent of willful students and share her vast knowledge and expertise in classical ballet, the foundation of all dance. Ilka and her husband Tom Fox (retired opera singer), have been integrated in the cultural fabric of the Low Country, collaborating with other professional arts organizations like Long Bay Symphony Orchestra and Pawleys Island Festival of Music. Ilka organized the Pawleys Island Youth Arts for nearly a decade which provided thousands of dollars in musical scholarships to talented youth in the region. 

 

“It is my passion to inspire dance students to love and to develop a solid foundation to open doors for a future that will serve them. The education the student learns at LDAA will help them to know how to perform in a professional world, whether that be in dance or another career of their choice.”

Kristina Vensko Shively

Company Manager

Kristina Vensko Shively grew up a competitive dancer studying ballet, lyrical, jazz, contemporary, pointe, tap, acro, and hip hop in Alexandria, VA. Kristina has won numerous titles including, Miss Dance America. While competing she also trained at The Washington School of Ballet and The Kirov Academy in Washington D. C. She then went on to train at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. She danced in many productions at these schools, her favorite being The Nutcracker. After attending Joffrey, she followed her dream and became a Radio City Rockette where she danced in their Christmas Spectacular. Kristina has learned and worked with choreographers around the world including; Shannon Mather, Ade Obayomi, Mollee Gray, and more! Kristina was a principal in the film, Iron Jawed Angels, starring Patrick Dempsey and Hilary Swank. She has also appeared in national commercials for UNICEF and CBS. Kristina has been teaching and choreographing for over ten years. Kristina’s choreography has won numerous regional and national awards. Her talent is showcased in every routine she creates. She hopes to inspire the next generation by showing that with hard work and a positive mindset, anything is possible! Her greatest joy is being a mom to her two daughters, Hanalei and Kollyns.

Sam Picart

Instructor

Sam Picart began his dance training in urban street styles at the age of 15 and began ballet training at 18 under his aunt Jennifer Picart-Branner, formerly of the Frankfurt Ballet. Sam received a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in 2013 and in 2016 he was the chosen winner of Ellen's Dance Off competition and was a featured guest on the show. Sam's training also includes the Joffrey Ballet Summer Program in NYC, Boulder Jazz Dance Festival, and the summer program at the Académie du Domaine Forget with Rubberband Dance. He has worked with notable choreographers such as Mandy Moore, Camille A Brown, Victor Quijada and Iyun Ashani Harrison. He continues to perform many solo pieces and has been featured at multiple Seattle Mariners baseball games, The Harlem Globetrotters halftime show, and has done commercial work for Microsoft. Currently, Sam hosts and teaches conventions for Showstopper Dance competition and works internationally. 

Kayla Suda

Instructor 

Kayla Suda took her first dance lesson at the age of 4 and has trained in various styles of dance including the Royal Academy of Dance under Ilka Doubek at LDAA. Kayla was the inaugural founding coach of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans cheer and dance team. Besides having taught conditioning, jazz, lyricial/contemporary, tumble, open ballet, & preschool combo classes, Kayla is also an award winning choreographer.

Mackenzie Russell

Instructor

Mackenzie Russell was born and raised in Pawleys Island, SC, where her love for dance first started. She began taking dance classes at the age of 3 at Litchfield Dance Arts Academy. She was part of the first ever mini company at LDAA, taking all forms of dance and competing, which continued until graduating high school. She has trained in assorted styles of dance including contemporary, lyrical, jazz, acro, hip hop, tap, improve and composition, pointe, and ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance under Ilka Doubek. Mackenzie just graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Public Health and a minor in Dance. Mackenzie loves all styles of dance, but contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and tap are some of her favorites. 

Kayci Sheridan

Instructor

Kayci was born and raised in Georgetown, SC, and began dancing when she was 5 years old. She has trained in various styles of dance including the Royal Academy Of Dance under Ilka Doubek. Kayci was a member of LDAA’s company until she graduated high school and then went on to become an instructor at LDAA. Her favorite styles of dance are jazz, lyrical and contemporary. Kayci is currently pursuing a degree in physical therapy where she plans to graduate as a PTA this December. She hopes to incorporate her passion and knowledge of exercise, injury prevention and recovery into the dance world to better equip dancers. Her goal is to educate dancers on how to care for bodies while also providing them the opportunity to express themselves through their craft.

Sammi Lester

Instructor

Sammi was born and raised in Long Island, NY. She began tumble at the age of two in Mommy and Me classes. Sammi grew up competing as a USAG gymnast until she went to college. Sammi has an associates degrees in Liberal Arts and a bachelors degree in Science of Nutrition. Sammi has been teaching throughout the east coast for over 10 years. Her favorite thing about teaching tumble is helping others realize their strength and capabilities. 

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