Our Instructors
We make the most world gold medal winners
Oleksandr Vykhrest
Program School Director
​Ballet Master of Columbia Classical Ballet

Originally from the Ukraine, Oleksandr Vykhrest studied classical ballet and graduated from the Ballet Academy of Ukraine in 2001. He was in the class of Vladimir Denisenko, under the direction of Tatiana Taiakina. From 2001 through 2002, he was a soloist with Classical Ballet of Kiev under the direction of Valeriy Koftun where he danced principal roles from La Bayadere, Giselle, Swan Lake, and Romeo and Juliet. In 2002, he joined the Donetsk Ballet Company under the direction of Vadim Pisarev. While with the Donetsk Ballet Company he toured Japan, United States, China, Greece, Bulgaria, and Levon.

Radenko Pavlovich, a native of Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, began his ballet training at the age of eight, after being selected by Yugoslavian officials for his apparent potential.

He was sent to Sarajevo Opera Ballet School, where he quickly advanced to the top of his class, earning him the privilege to attend the prestigious Vaganova Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. In his final year, Mr. Pavlovich decided to broaden his horizons. He gained acceptance, and a full scholarship, to attend the Royal Ballet School in London, England, becoming the only foreign student in a highly elite graduating class.

Now at the beginning of his professional career, Mr. Pavlovich was distinctive for his striking talent and artistic ability.Grand Ballet Master, Rudolf Nureyev, noticed him immediately, and went on to coach him personally in matters of technique and character. Mr. Pavlovich went on to earn highest honors at the Balkan Ballet Competition under Mr. Nureyev’s tutelage.

Mr. Pavlovich began dancing with the Austrian National Ballet. He became a soloist with the Croatian National Theatre of Yugoslavia and London Festival Ballet, and later became a principal with the Munich State Opera Ballet, Ballet Casa Della Cultura in Equador, and Atlanta Ballet. After retirement, Mr. Pavlovich relocated to Columbia, where he opened the Pavlovich Dance School in Forest Acres. He discovered the need for a sophisticated classical ballet company in the area, so he responded by founding Columbia Classical Ballet.

The company, from its inception, has been comprised of the highest-caliber dancers, qualifying Columbia Classical ballet as one of the most distinctive and reputable companies of its size. Company members have earned accolades at national and international competitions, and have danced as guests and residing artists throughout the world.

Simone Cuttino
​Choreography Instructor

​​​​​​​​​Simone Cuttino, who hails from Koblenz, Germany, studied Ballet at the Academie of Dance in Cologne, Germany. Her teachers were Ursula Bormann and Peter Vondruszka.

​Mrs. ​Cuttino finished her studies at the John Cranko Ballet School in Stuttgart, Germany.Her professional career began in Krefeld/Monchenglabach where she performed well over 1,000 classical and modern ballets, including Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Giselle, The Three Musketeers, Rite of Spring, and The Gershwins.

​Her favorite solo roles include Warenka in Anna Karenina, Venus in Primavera, and the lead in Carmina Burana.

​Mrs. Cuttino performed with Columbia Classical Ballet in the King and I, LifeChance 2000, and Madame Butterfly.

​As Director of the Ballet Department at Stepping Out Studio, her choreographies have won gold and platinum awards.

​She returned to the company as resident choreographer in 2006. During Columbia Classical Ballet’s 2006-2007 season, Mrs. Cuttino choreographed the Nutcracker and Wizard of Oz performances.

​Her Choreographies have included pieces for the yearly Cabaret Night and Life Chance Gala, and the performances of Nutcracker, Wizard of Oz, Robin Hood, Aladdin and Romeo and Juliet.

Koyo Yanagishima

Koyo Yanagishima​​​is from Japan. He has studied at Momoko Ballet Studio in Toyoko, Japan and Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Koyo won first place at the All Japan Ballet Competition – NAGOYO in 2014, third place at YAGP Japan in 2014, first place at NBA All Japan Ballet Competition High School in 2015 and first place at All Japan Ballet Competition – NAGANO in 2015. Koyo recently won the gold medal at the highly competitive Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition in NYC. Columbia Classical Ballet welcomes Koyo back for his second season.

Clement Guillaume


​​Clement Guillaume, 
from France, comes to Columbia Classical Ballet after studying with Olivier Wexcsteen at the Dutch National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He earned bronze in the pre-professional category at Concours International de Danse Classique de Toulouse in 2014 and gold in 2015. We welcome Clement back for his second season.


His principal roles include The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Chipolina, Per Gunt, Don Quixote and Spartacus. Oleksandr joined Sarasota Ballet of Florida in January of 2005 until 2008 as a Soloist. He has danced Soloist roles in Robert de Warren’s Mid Summer Night’s Dream, Carmina Burana, Catasan, La Buetic Fantastic, Diana and Actacon, Firebird, Othello, The Nutcracker and Coppelia. Mr. Vykhrest has been a member of Columbia Classical Ballet since 2008.