Our Faculty

Natalya Vyashenko

Natalya is the director and owner of The Turning Pointe School of Dance. Natalya was born in 1982, in the Russian Federation, the city of Irkutsk. At the age of 5 Natalya and her parents moved to Tashkent City. At the age of 10 Natalya was accepted into the Department of Classical Ballet Artistry at the only National Academy of Ballet and Choreography in Tashkent. With this honor Natalya began her professional dance training. She was introduced to a multitude of highly enriched classes, such as: the main ballet technique, national dances of the world, duet – classical dance, and character dance. The complex educational system of the Academy required students to pass several severe examinations every six months in order to filter out the less capable ones and give an advantage to the students with greater potential to proceed on.

Upon her successful graduation from the National Academy, Natalya began her professional performing career as a dancer with Alisher Navoi Great Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Tashkent in the capital of Uzbekistan. She remained a performing company member for fours years having the opportunity to dance many classical roles. In 2002 Natalya was accepted into Tashkent University where she received her degree in Choreography, Director-Ballet-Master and Teacher of Classical Ballet. During her intense years of study at the university she was privileged to be taught by many great professors from Moscow, and she also continued to perform in The Great Theatre.

Natalya’s teaching career was launched in 2003 when her school accepted her for the position of pedagogue of classical ballet for the age group of 10 -15 years olds. Some of Natalya’s notable accomplishments include teaching stage technique for the Opera Department of The State Conservatory and composing choreography for independent dance groups. She also acquired a seven-year-long musical education, developing a passion for piano, thus creating another bond with classical music.

Natalya moved to the USA in 2005. Natalya is enjoying teaching ballet and character dance throughout Northeast Ohio.

In 2015 Natalya became The ABT Affiliate Teacher. The ABT Affiliate Teacher is a level of distinction for ABT Certified Teachers that successfully present their students for examinations. 
In 2017 Natalya became ABT NTC Fellow. ABT Affiliate Teachers who have maintained their status and have presented three consecutive successful sessions will achieve the level of distinction of ABT NTC Fellow.
As of 2018 Natalya is the only ABT NTC Fellow in the Midwest.

Nurzhan Kulybaev

Ballet Master

Nurzhan Kulybaev is a recipient of the highest theatrical award in St. Petersburg, Russia “Golden Sofit”. Nurzhan won the prize for the best male ballet performance of 2009 for his role as Gogi in the ballet “The Color of Pomegranates”.

Natalya’s Turning Pointe School of Dance offers ballet dancers in Northeast Ohio a rare opportunity to be taught by an award-winning ballet master with a high-caliber of talent that has stood up around the globe.

Nurzhan Kulybaev is a recipient of the highest theater award of St. Petersburg, Russia, and more recently was a principal dancer with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet during the 2011-2012 season. Nurzhan was born in 1984 in the city of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. In 1994, Nurzhan was accepted to the Tashkent State Academy of Dance, and at the young age of 16, he joined the Alisher Navoi Great Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Tashkent. In 2001, while still a student at the Tashkent State Academy of Dance, he was awarded an Honorary Diploma of The International Ballet in Kiev, Ukraine. In 2003, Nurzhan became a Principal dancer with the Alisher Navoi Great Academic Opera and Ballet Theater and stayed with this company for four seasons. While dancing at the Alisher Navoi Great Academic Opera and Ballet Theater, Nurzhan danced the lead parts in the ballets: “Coppelia”, “Don Quixote”, “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai”, “Raymonda” and “Sleeping Beauty”.

In 2007, Nurzhan joined as a principal dancer Yacobson’s State Academic Theater of St. Petersburg, Russia and stayed with this company for four seasons. At the Yacobson Ballet, he danced the lead parts of: Harmodius in the ballet “Spartacus”, Idol in “Choreographic miniatures” by Leonid Yacobson, Count Albert in “Giselle”, Prince Seigfried in “Swan Lake”, Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet”, Paris in “Romeo and Juliet”, the Prince in “Nutcracker”, Nur in “Scheherezade”, The Poet in “Les Sylphides”, and Gogi in “The Color of Pomegranates”.

Also in 2007, Nurzhan became a Laureate at the prestigious International Ballet Competition in Rieti, Italy. In 2009, he became a Laureate of the highest theater award of St. Petersburg, Russia known as the “Golden Sofit”. Nurzhan won the prize for the best male ballet performance of 2009 for his role as Gogi in the ballet “The Color of Pomegranates”. In 2010, Nurzhan was awarded an honorary diploma for his participation in the finale of the XI International Ballet Competition “Arabesque” inPerm, Russia. His contribution also received a Special Jury Prix called “Inspiration” for outstanding acting.

In October 2010, Nurzhan was invited to be a part of the Gala Concert in Donetsk, Ukrainecalled “International Stars of Ballet” where he performed along with principal dancers of the National Ballet of Cuba and Paris Opera.

Michelle Walker

Michelle received her early ballet training from the Canton Ballet. Coursework concentrated on Ballet Technique, Pointe, and Dance Physical Analysis. Performance background included the yearly Christmas production of “The Nutcracker” and the spring performance of “Swan Lake.”

Michelle continued her dance training at The University of Akron, receiving her B.A. degree from the College of Fine and Applied Arts in 1996. Coursework included Ballet Technique VIII, Pointe, Pas de deux, Modern, Jazz, Choreography, Dance Notation and Pilates. Performance background included the Repertory Company, Touring Ensemble, and Shakespeare & Company at Stan Hywet.

Michelle has been with Turning Point since 2008, teaching ballet, jazz, and musical theatre. She believes in a strong foundation in ballet and emphasizes proper body alignment. Her classes are focused, stimulating and challenging. As is her custom, she will develop close relationships with the students; receive cooperation from the parents; and act as liaison between the parents and school owner.

Michelle previously taught ballet, jazz and modern at Michelle’s Dance & Twirl in North Canton. For nearly a decade, she was teacher and confidant to many girls, watching them grow from fidgety, little girls into graceful college-bound young women.

Michelle and her husband, Michael, and their two daughters, Emma and Sarah, reside in Jackson Township.


Melissa Bertolone

Melissa Bertolone is a choreographer and performer in the Cleveland/Akron/Canton Area. Performing since age four, Melissa is trained in dance fundamentals, music theory, vocal performance, choreography, tap, jazz and ballet. She began pursuing her love of hip hop in 2004 and has continued training and teaching under industry professionals in both New York and LA in hip hop specific styles such as house, waacking, street jazz and jazz funk. As a dancer she has been featured on BET’s Wild Out Wednesday, Best of the Best and Revamped, along with many stage productions throughout greater Cleveland. She continues to train at Broadway Dance Center and loves expanding her knowledge of the ever-evolving hip-hop genre.

Melissa remains involved in the theatre community, choreographing for and performing with many theatres both near and far. Her work has most recently been seen at Virginia Musical Theatre, Olmstead Performing Arts, Mercury Theatre Company and Caryl Crane Youth Theatre.

In addition to serving as the hip hop instructor at Turning Pointe School of Dance, Melissa proudly serves as Artistic Director for the studio’s hip hop performance crew, UniverSoul Beat. She is grateful for the ongoing opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated group of instructors and students!

Nadeen Green

Nadeen began her dance training in ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D), and had further classes in the Vaganova technique as well as the Balanchine style. She has had extensive experience in modern dance, immersing herself in the Graham, Horton, and Muller technique.

She attended Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts High School, North Carolina School of the Arts summer program, Breaking Ground Toronto Dance Workshop, and the Muller/The Works Summer Workshop. Nadeen Green received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance from The University of Akron in 2002. Mrs. Green has performed with the Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts Dance Ensemble, Toronto Ballet Ensemble, and the University of Akron Dance Company.

Former co-founder of Nadeen O’Connor Dance Theatre, Nadeen choreographed several dances including: bEdHeAd, Classical Uppity, Pao Pao, D.A.B.D.A, Aaaand..Repeat, Pleasant Man-errs, TOTEM, Bottled Up, Recolhimento em Alegria, Embracement of the Intangible, and Mirror, mirror…. Her pieces have been performed in the University of Akron Dance Company, the Ohio Dance Festival, the University of Akron: Friends, Faculty, and Alumni concert, in the University of Akron Jazzfest, Daum Theatre, and at Jackson School for the Arts.  Mrs. Green’s work,  Bottled Up and Embracement of the Intangible were selected to represent the University of Akron at The American College Dance Festival in Ohio and in Maryland. Her work has also premiered at several charitable community events such as Dance Institute’s Pointe to the Future, The Cleveland Jewish Community Center, and Cleveland Public Theatre’s 6th annual Food for Thought.

Nadeen Green was a faculty member of the University of Akron’s Dance Institute (2001-2008) where she taught children 3-18,  ballet and modern, served as  rehearsal director for school productions such as Snow Maiden, and was an office administrator. Mrs. Green has been a teacher for the dance department at Jackson School for the Arts (2008-2016) where she has taught grades 9 through 12, ballet, modern, choreography, and set works for their annual JSA Brown Bag, Arts Extravaganza, and Dance Showcase performances. In addition to JSA, she has taught ballet and modern at Briana’s Elite Dance Institute as well as Fairytale Dance and Pre-Ballet at the Paul David YMCA in Jackson Township.

Nadeen Green currently resides in Jackson Township, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Katelyn Cassidy

Katelyn Cassidy is a senior musical theatre major at Kent State University with minors in dance and marketing. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where she studied dance under Broadway veterans including Lenora Nemetz and Karen Prunzik at Broadway Dance Studio and Performing Arts. She is trained in tap, various styles of jazz, ballet, lyrical, vocal performance, music theory, and acting. She has performed at various theaters throughout Northeast Ohio including Porthouse Theatre (Hairspray!), Mercury Theatre Company (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), and Chagrin Valley Little Theatre (A Chorus Line) as well as in many productions at Kent State University. She was also recently the assistant choreographer for Kent State’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie and the choreographer for Kent State’s production of Iolanthe.

Katelyn loves teaching tap and lyrical and is thrilled to be working with the dedicated, passionate dancers at Turning Pointe School of Dance!