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To match a face to the name, see Faculty


Founder and Artistic Director | Advanced Ballet 


Ms. Tchernychev began her training in the Vaganova method under Marius Zirra. Ms. Tchernychev, from San Diego, has performed the principal roles of the classical repertoire as a principal dancer and as a guest artist with ballet and opera companies across the United States. Her principal roles include Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Coppelia, Paquita, Carmen, Carmina Burana, Serenade, Concerto Barocco, and others. Critics have praised her Giselle for its “purity” and her dancing for “poise and grace.” Her graceful elegance and solid technique made her a San Diego favorite. Ms. Tchernychev was one of three Americans chosen to represent the United States in the International Ballet Competition in Helsinki, Finland. She appeared on national television including an Emmy Awards program and the American Dance Honors. Ms. Tchernychev has staged and coached ballets and taught master classes throughout the United States and co-founded SDAB is 2001. 


Focused exclusively on pre-professional, professional and advanced dancers, Ms. Tchernychev has trained countless YAGP winners, two Tony award winners, and has also coached dancers in to professional careers around the world. 


Director of Operations | Instructor   


As a child, Simone trained exclusively with California Ballet under the tutelage of Sylvia. Simone quit ballet at seventeen to attend college and received two degrees. Once SDAB was founded in 2001, Simone returned to San Diego to perform and train with the Tchernychevs. Over the years, Simone has traveled and danced all over the world, including New York, London, Boston, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Chicago and Portland, Oregon. 


Guest Principal Artist


Ms. Hernández is originally from San Diego, California.  She received her pre-professional training at the San Diego Academy of Ballet under the direction of Sylvia Tchernychev. She has had the opportunity to perform multiple principal roles from ballets such as The Nutcracker, Paquita, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Coppelia, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. She has participated in the Youth American Grand Prix for five consecutive years and attended numerous summer intensives around the United States. She has danced professionally with Ballet Arizona and Oklahoma City Ballet. She continues to dance professionally while also taking on the role of Director of Administration at SDAB


Instructor | Guest Principal Artist


Brian Heil, a native San Diegan, received his early training at the San Diego Academy of Ballet under Max and Sylvia Tchernychev. In May 2014, he graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he trained under John Meehan. Then he danced two years as an apprentice in the Ballet Austin II program which included a repertoire of works by George Balanchine, Nick Kepley and Stephen Mills. Since joining City Ballet of San Diego in 2016, Brian has performed in numerous productions and has been featured in Geoff Gonzalez’s Seasons and Carmina Burana, as well as and Elizabeth Wistrich’s Samuel Barber Adagio. Mr. Heil teaches the intermediate and advanced class at SDAB.


Instructor | Guest Principal Artist


Born in Fairbanks, AK, and raised in San Diego, CA, Marshall was a nationally ranked ice hockey player by the age of 9. While attending the San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts, he developed his interest in theatrical and innovative works. At the age of 13, he began training at the San Diego Academy of Ballet. He later trained and performed for two years at the Dmitri Kulev Classical Ballet Academy in Orange County before moving to the Washington School of Ballet in D.C. on scholarship. 

After working his way up through TWB Studio Company, Marshall had the opportunity to audition for and later join American Ballet Theater (ABT), in New York.

During his time with ABT, he performed in classics such as Don Quixote, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, and La Bayadere. He also helped create/was featured in neoclassical ballets like Whipped Cream, Songs of Bukovina, The Firebird, and Daphnis and Chloe. His performances have taken him all over the United States, through Canada and South America. He has also toured overseas: from Paris to Oman, Hong Kong to Singapore, and to Cape Town, South Africa.

In the future, Marshall hopes to invite fresh audiences to our ballet culture by broadening the genre palette, and at present strives to bring a sense of joy to every class he teaches or takes.


Instructor | Guest Principal Artist

Kelsey began her ballet training at the age of 3 in her hometown at the San Angelo Civic Ballet in San Angelo, Texas. She attended many summer intensives including the School of American Ballet at New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, Kansas City and Ballet Austin.


At  seventeen, Kelsey moved to Seattle to dance with Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Professional Division program. Kelsey later joined Grand Rapids Ballet as an apprentice under Patricia Barker, herself a former principal of Pacific Northwest Ballet. The following year she joined Ballet Austin’s second company. And in 2019, Kelsey joined Ballet Tucson’s company where she danced for three years before moving to San Diego in the spring of 2023.

Kelsey's danced in many Balanchine ballets and some of her favorites include Serenade, Concerto Barocco, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Kelsey’s standout favorite roles include include Swan Lake, Giselle, Firebird, and Christoper Wheeldon’s West Side Story and Scènes de Ballet. She also has had the chance to closely work with many contemporary choreographers such as Gina Patterson and Penny Saunders where her growth as an artist excelled.

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