Inessa Plekhanova


Professor, Director of Ballet Program
B122 Peters Hall
Box 6966
(540) 831-6337


Inessa Plekhanova is an internationally recognized artist, educator, and an expert in the Vaganova method of classical ballet technique. Her recognition by the national and international ballet community is clearly reflectedin the strong demand for her expertise in the United States and abroad. She is yearly invited as a guest master teacher, choreographer and judge to numerous ballet events in United States, Russia, Japan and South Korea.  

Russian-born Inessa Plekhanova graduated from the world-renown State Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia receiving her Master of Fine Arts. Ms. Plekhanova has danced as a soloist with the Estonian National Ballet and Colorado Ballet companies. During 15 years of her stage career she has performed principal and solo roles in The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, La Sylphide, Raymonda, Giselle, La Bayadere, Theme and Variations, Serenade, Apollo, Concerto Barocco, Sleeping Beauty, Rubies, Configurations, and many others.

Ms. Plekhanova’s teaching career started in 1986 at the Vaganova Ballet Academy where she taught on an assistantship for two years, then at the State College of Dance and Choreography in Tallinn, Estonia (the official school of the Estonian National Ballet) for three years, and at the Academy of Colorado Ballet from 1991-2005 where she also has served as the Artistic Director of the Academy, and Colorado Ballet-II from 1999-2005. For Colorado Ballet-II Ms. Plekhanova has produced scenes from La Bayadere, Paquita, ChopinianaDon Quixote, Le Corsair, and other excerpts from classical ballet Masterpieces. 

In 2001, 2002, 2003, and in 2016 Ms. Plekhanova was awarded the “Outstanding Teacher Award” from the Youth America Grand Prix International Ballet Competition.  

In 2005 Ms. Plekhanova accepted a professorship with the Radford University’s Department of Dance as Director of the Ballet Program and Artistic Director of RU Ballet Theatre where she has staged and produced 18 full-length ballet productions including the “Nutcracker”. In 2006, Ms. Plekhanova founded the Radford University Ballet Youth program known as RUBY, and in 2007 she established the International Summer Dance Intensive for aspiring young dancers from the United States, Japan and other countries.  

In 2014 Ms. Plekhanova was awarded prestigious Radford University Foundation’s Distinguished Creative Scholar Award for her consistent record of creative contributions to her academic discipline. 

In 2020 Ms. Plekhanova was named a recipient of the university’s most prestigious award - The Dalton Eminent Scholar Award. This award goes to faculty members with distinguished national and/or international reputations in their fields. The annual awards provide these faculty members the opportunities they deserve to go above and beyond in their respective disciplines.

Every year Ms. Plekhanova is Invited as a judge to numerous Ballet Competitions and Festivals in the United States, Japan and South Korea.