“A Day in the Life” with choreographer Tatiana Stepanova 

From a young age Tatiana Stepanova dreamed of being a ballerina. She was a standout student at her local ballet studio in Odessa, Ukraine. Her teacher recognizing her unique talent sent her to audition for the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. At the age of 11 she was accepted into full time study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and moved on her own to Moscow where she spent the next 6 years training to be a ballerina. The Bolshoi Ballet Academy is known around the world as one of the top ballet schools having produced some of the worlds best dancers. Ms. Stepanova , having graduated at the top of her class, moved back to Odessa and joined the famous Odessa State Ballet Company. She was given the opportunity to dance many principal roles and quickly rose to the rank of “Prima Ballerina”, the highest honor a dancer can receive. She was also awarded with “People’s artist of Ukraine”, this decoration was awarded to outstanding performers whose merits were exceptional in the sphere of development of the performing arts.

In 1993 she took an opportunity to move to Toronto, Canada, where she began a new life with her family. Ms. Stepanova began to transition into teaching and choreography. Having taught both in teaching courses and given numerous master classes at Universities and Colleges throughout North America, she quickly established a reputation as a gifted teacher and choreographer. In 2004, she opened her own studio in Thornhill, Stepanova Ballet Academy, and would bring her incredible wealth of International experience to share with her students. In 2007 she started Toronto International Ballet Theatre, with the vision of bringing together young talented dancers and international stars, to perform in professional productions. She seeks to attract and expose our diverse community to the wonder and value of the art form of dance.

In 2012, Tatiana was recognized by the government of Canada with the Queens Diamond Jubilee award, which is handed out to individuals who provided an outstanding contribution to Arts and Culture in Canada. Tatiana continues to work tirelessly to provide the best education to her dancers in the world of classical ballet. Her productions have graced some of the biggest stages in Toronto including the Sony Centre, and continue to provide opportunities for young dancers to showcase their skills and progress in their pursuit of a career in dance. Today she continues to work tirelessly to enrich her community with the wonders and beauty of classical ballet.

Tatiana Stepanova
Rehearsals for The Nutcracker production that I am currently working on at the Sony Centre
Tatiana Stepanova
Leading a class for Toronto International Ballet Theatre’s company dancers.
Tatiana Stepanova
With Bolshoi Ballet Principal dancers, Anastasia Stashkevich and Vyacheslav Lopatin. I’ve personally invited them to be part of our production of The Nutcracker for the past 3 years.
 Tatiana Stepanova
At the Marilyn Denis show prior to doing a Nutcracker performance kicking off the 10 days of giveaways.
 Tatiana Stepanova
Preparing for a live performance on Global Morning.
Tatiana Stepanova
Met with then Prime Minister Stephen Harper and was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Award.
Tatiana Stepanova
With a former student of mine, Shale Wagman, who went on to graduate from the Princess Grace Ballet Academy in Monaco and is pursuing his ballet career at the English National Ballet.
Tatiana Stepanova
Along side my teachers and wonderful students taking our final bows during the year end production of Cinderella.


What ‘hood are you in?
I live in Thornhill.

What do you do? 
I am a teacher, choreographer and director of two ballet companies.

What are you currently working on?
I am preparing for the 11th annual production of the Nutcracker at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Where can we find your work?
The Nutcracker is playing on Saturday December 22 at the Sony Centre.



About Joel Levy 2552 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography