Our Staff

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Alyona Badalova Founder and Director of My Way

Alyona Badalova is the founder, owner and president of My Way Development Center. She graduated Master Combined Bachelor Degree of Arts in Teaching. Alyon a also acts as the child and youth program director for Brooklyn - Baku Friendship Association, a multi - cultural organization that brings communities together through arts, dance and heritage. Along with this she has a deep understanding and knowledge of wor king with children, as a former teacher and assistant principal of many years along with working as a program coordinator for children in orphanages and special needs facilities. She also has extensive experience working in leadership and coordinator posit ions. Alyona uses the knowledge of these two talents to bring people together, serve our community, and to best help children learn and reach their full potential. She has been awarded by several agencies for her outstanding work in this field. Alyona is t he mother of two children whose talents in art and dance have flourished at My Way.

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Elina Khanukov Owner of My Way Development Center

Elina Khanukov is an owner of My Way Development Center. She graduated from Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy o f Long Island University with a doctorate degree. Today, Elina pursues a career as both a pharmacist and a businesswoman. She has been working in this field for over 10 years and puts her full dedication into it. She has received numerous certificates in t he medical field. Since she has always dedicated time into her children's education life, their schools have honored her as parent of the year several times. After donating every month for years to the St. Jude's Children's Cancer Center she has received a n award for that as well. Elina believes that the best way to teach and approach children is with the dedication of your love and warmth. As a very caring mother of three she believes all children should always be in the hands of those who truly care for t hem. As the owner of My Way Development Center she guarantees that this is a safe and caring environment for all children. She holds on to the words of Charles R. Swindell: "Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children."

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Elena Raffloer Vocal Developer

Elena Raffloer is a band - master and vocal developer. She graduated Master's Degree of Arts. Elena thinks that each child is gifted and talented. Using her own methods she helps the children to identify their talents. She expe cts hard work and tremendous effort from her students. She has an experience working with children - choir as well as developing individual vocal performances. The most rewarding thing for her is to see the result of hard work through her students. Elena sta nds by the quote: "Never say never" and teaches those around to do the same.

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Emin Guliyev Art Director

Emin Guliyev is a well known artist and sculptor of Azerbaijan. He graduated college of art named after Azim - Azimzadeh in Baku, Azerbaijan, and later gr aduated from the State Academy of Art in Tibilisi, Georgia. Emin was a member of the USSR Union of Artists which gave him a vast amount of knowledge and experience. His work was featured along Europe and the Middle East as well as in the first and second e xhibition of the Azerbaijani Diaspora Artists in the U.S.A. He received the recognition award for dedication and service to Azerbaijan in New York, U.S.A. He has been teaching at My Way, ever since it's opening. His unique approach allows for each child t o achive and grow as the artists all children are. He begins by teaching his students with geometric shapes and how all forms consist of them. Emin makes sure to give each child the freedom to make creative decisions in their art work as well as guide them in the right direction for improvement. His main goal is to identify and build on strengths of each individual. What inspires Emin throughout his work is to see the result and success of his students. His favorite quote is " Some painters transform the su n into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun". - Pablo Picasso.

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Aaron Arif Zarbailov Soccer Coach

Aaron-Arif Zarbailov is a professional soccer coach. Aaron-Arif graduated the Institute of Physical Education and has an american diploma to teach children from ages 4 to 14. He has recieved the Master of Sport in USSR for soccer. In 1990 he played for the first team of Neftchi Baku in the championship of the USSR. Aaron-Arif played for various professional teams in the first and second league of the USSR championship. He was nominated as one of the best scorers in the second league with 283 goals. From 1994 to 1997, he played in Cosmopolitan League of Russian-Hungarian soccer club. From 2006- 2016, Aaron-Arif was the soccer coach for the veteran team of New York City, as well as a coach of various youth teams. Aaron-Arif is currently the Head of the Department of retired soccer players that were immigrants from the former Soviet Union in New York and the soccer coach-consultant for the My Way Soccer Club in Brooklyn.

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Stephanie Khanukov Early Childhood Educator, Early Special Childhood Educator and Tutor

In My Way Development Center Stephanie is an Educator and Tutor. In 2014, she has graduated Adelphi Academy high school as a Valedictorian of her graduating class. Stephanie is currently a student in Brooklyn college continuing her career in the Education field. She has been working with children for over 6 years and has experience with children between the ages of birth to 14 years old. At My Way Development Center, Stephanie offers a toddler program for children of ages 2 to 4 year olds as well as private tutoring for children in kindergarten to 8th grade. Our toddler program allows young children to learn in a play based form with the inclusion of different arts. Whereas, our tutoring gives your child the extra time and individual attention needed to build and improve knowledge, offering help with homework, projects, reports and preparation for tests.

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Medina Alisultanova Caucasus Dance Instructor

Medina Alisultanova is the Caucasus dance instructor at “My Way” Development Center . She had been studying dance for over 10 years before she began teaching newer generations. Along with working as an employee, she developed her skill in the visual arts through the teaching of Emin Guliyev, at the “My Way” art studio, ever since it opene d. Medina believes that there is potential in every one of her students and knows that as long as they are willing to work hard, she is willing to do everything in her power to get them where they want to be as dancers. All she asks from her students is to see that they are trying. She says that there is no such thing as failure if you do not try. What inspires her most about her job is her students and their constant eager attitude to learn as much as they can. Medina also admires how warm and friendly all her students are; not only to her but towards each other and says that “My Way” has become her home away from home and that she’s been welcomed into a really wonderful family here. Her favorite quote is “People need to be believed in - told they are brave , and smart, and capable of accomplishing all the dreams they dream” - Stacey Jean Speer

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Teymur Alisultanov Caucasian Dance Instructor

Teymur Alisultanov has studied dance for as long as 10 years and is a professional caucasus dance instructor for over 5 years. He won numerous regional dance awards including the Big Apple Music Awards and other acknowledgments in performances such as Worldwide Cultural Day in Borough Hall. While studying dance Teymur was also involved in choreographing and performing in d ance recitals. His teaching approach with the children is different and special. Teymur's goal is to keep his students connected with their culture and heritage. In order to succeed he believes it is vital for all individuals to be willing to learn from th eir mistakes and put effort into bettering themselves. Teymur thinks that practice is everything. This is often misquoted as practice makes perfect.

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Vladimer Goderidze Caucasian Dance Instructor

Vladimer Goderidze is a Caucasus Dance instructor. He was wo rking in State Ensemble of Georgia. Teaching in My Way Development Center for two years, he participated with the ensemble in many international competitions. His approach finds a way to teach every student with the best method for them to learn. As an ins tructor he makes sure to instill a love of dance into his students. His advice to success is to be obedient, hardworking and willing to practice.

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Denys Drozdyuk Dance Instructor, Chareographer

Denys is a professional dancer. He has competed in ballroom da nce competitions throughout the world. He has performed in many ballroom shows, theatrical productions, and Galas all over the world. Apart from Ballroom Dance, Denys has received professional training in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, and other styles. He has performed contemporary works on stages throughout the United States and Germany. Denys’ versatility in many different styles was shown when he won So You Think You Can Dance Show in Canada. Denys is also talented and experienced in choreographing. H e has created many showcases and competition choreographies for Ballroom dance couples as well contemporary dancers. Denys is a 2 - Time USA National Ballroom Dance Champion 3 - Time World Ballroom Dance Champion, 7 - Time German National Ballroom Dance Champion and 3 - Time Canadian National Ballroom Dance Champion. Denys’s main idea of teaching is to ensure that his students receive knowledge and training in the basic principles of the dance form and understand how to apply it to a wider vocabulary of movement. A part from the technical training, Denys teaches how to cultivate the body and the mind into instruments that bring out individual’s expression, creativity, vibrancy, musicality, spontaneity, and artistry. Denys’ approach with the children is based on the b elief that children need a mixture of discipline and creativity. Denys believes that it is very important to develop in children a right approach and attitude towards dance training on which the children will be able to rely in their future. Children need to be taught the value of hard work, training, discipline, respect, and artistry. Creation is that which inspires Denys in what he does. He believes that through art it is possible to create something from nothing. Through dance it is possible to create mo ments in time, which speak to the human soul and possibly encourage it to become better. It is the creation of something greater than the physical world that inspires and fascinates Denys in his journey as a dancer and as a dance teacher. Denys's favourite quote: “ Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration .” Thomas Alva Edison.

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Antonina Skobina Dance Instructor, Chareographer

Antonina Skobina is professional dancer and choreographer. She started ballroom dancing at the age of 7 years old . Antonina was very fortunate to learn from some of the best teachers in the ballroom world. Her sincerest gratitude goes to Viktor and Marina Yushin (Ukraine), Brigitte Kluckes - Findeis (Germany), June McMurdo (England), Janet Marmulla (Germany), and to he r main teachers, mentors and inspiration Donnie Burns M.B.E. and Gaynor Fairweather M.B.E.. All these great teachers gave Antonina the most precious knowledge, skill and helped to shape her into the person and dancer she is today. At the age of 14, Antonin a was accepted into one of the most prestigious Ballet Schools in Ukraine, the Pisarev School of Ballet, where she studied Vaganova Ballet Technique, where she learned essential dancing skills, which she continues to use in her dancing and teaching everyda y. Antonina is also a proud graduate of the prestigious New York Film Academy where she studied the art of Acting. Acting education gives her a unique approach and tools in helping her students to discover themselves and mold them into true performers and artists. Some of Antonina’s achievements include: 2 - Time USA National Latin Champion, World Championship Finalist, Blackpool Dance Festival Rising Stars Latin Winner, Recipient of the Bill and Bobby Irvine Award, Winner of all most prestigious competitions in the United States and etc. Antonina has a very individual and soulful approach in teaching her students. She believes in giving her students a strong technical base, opening their individuality, and helping them to find their personal style and voice i n their dancing. Her unique combination of ballroom dancing, ballet, and acting education including many years of competitive experience gives her a very broad and one of a kind approach to her dancing and teaching. Antonina accepts students from the age o f 6 years old. Favorite Quote: “ Never, never, never Give Up .”

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Ryan Raffloer Ballroom Dance Instructor and Zumba Instructor

Ryan Raffloer is a professional ballroom dance and zumba instructor. He has been dancing ballroom for 13 years and continues to do s o. Ballroom consists of 10 dances: waltz, tango, viennese waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, cha cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, and jive. During his dancing career he has acquired many titles such as Manhattan Amateur Classic Finalist, City Dancesport Challenge Fi nalist, World Masters Yankee Classic Finalist, 2 time USA Dance National Finalist, North American Imperial Show Dance Champion, Tri State Challenge Finalist, Mid - Atlantic Championship Finalist, Northeastern Open Invitational Dancesport Champion, NJ Dance C lassic Finalist, Golden Star champion, and Empire State Dancesport Championship Finalist. Although Ryan is friendly, his method of teaching is strict and requires a lot of work. Even after the lesson is over he expects his students to practice what they ha ve learned before entering his next lesson in order for the improvement to increase at a faster rate. The most inspiring thing for Ryan, is to see the work that he put into his students visible. His method of teaching is transforming his students, making t hem better dancers. Ryan always keeps using a quote by A. Lincoln "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

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Marc Zhadan Ballroom Dance Instructor

Marc Zhadan is a professional ballroom dancer. Marc has been dancing since 7 years old. He was a finalist in Summer Sizzler, Manhattan Amateur Classic, Boston Dancesport, as well as a semifinalist in U.S Amateur Dancesport Championships, and 1 time USA DANCE National Champion. He believes that when you teach you need to connect with the children so they can gain an interest in what they are doing. He loves to make jokes and have fun with the kids but is always doing his best to accomplish the task that needs to be focused on, whether it's technique, presentation, or timing, the task will always come first. Marc’s main focus is to make his students progress not just in dancing but also in believing that they can do whatever they want if they put the time and effort in it and the sky's the limit. To this day he lives by this saying.

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Anastasiia Rychkova Ballet and Gymnastics Instructor

Anastasiia Rychkova , born in Kiev ,Ukraine began her performing and teaching career in 2006 at The Ukraine Ballet and Russian Ballet. She was worked on STB - Television and participated as a dancer and choreographer in the Ukrainian TV show “X Factor” in 2 011. She is experienced in a variety of dance styles: jazz, modern, hip - hop, folk, ballroom and ballet. Background dancer of Russian singer, Alla Pugacheva, the shooting of film, “Mademoiselle Zhivago” with Lara Fabian, and the TV show “Star Factory”.She w as a contestant in Season 4 on the Ukrainian version of “So You Think You Can Dance” and ended up being amongst the top 20 finalists. Anastasiia has performed all sorts of ballet numbers such as “Corsar”, “Paquite”, “Giselle”, “Don Quichotte”, “La Bayadere ”, “Swan Lake”, and “Carmen Suite”. She is a member of the American Guild of Musical Artists since 2013 and has participated in New York Fashion Week for Thom Brown for his 2013 line.

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Maija Rutkovska Latvian Dancer/Choreographer/Instructor

She received BFA in Dance and Pedagogy in Latvia, also graduated from Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance from Professional Training Program and Teacher Training Program. Maija has performed with multiple companies and choreographers internationa lly, such as Maggie Boogaart (France), Maher Benham’s “Coyote Dancers” (USA) and currently dancing for Samer Alfares Troupe (Syria/USA). She is also a choreographer at National Restaurant and several solo projects, performed in NYC and Latvia. Maija is tea ching Martha Graham modern dance technique in multiple studios and performing art schools in NYC. (My Way Development Center, Basic Ballroom, Dance Passion, Luki Kids, Bronx Dance Academy, Talent Unlimited). She has also successfully prepared students to a udition for Mark Twain, La Guardia and Bay Academy.