Radford Alum Leads Youth Dance Program

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Reagan Mihailoff, a Radford University graduate in 2021, made quite an impression on the Dance department during her time on campus. So, when they needed someone to take over the youth program, she sprang to mind quickly. 

The program is called RUBY, short for Radford University Ballet Youth. Initiated by Professor Inessa Plekhanova in 2006, RUBY trains young dancers not just in ballet, but also in contemporary dance, pointe, jazz, and tap.  

Energetic and positive, Mihailoff (who also serves as an apprentice with the Roanoke Ballet and works as a fitness instructor) seems naturally suited to serve as the Artistic Director for this program. 

“I really loved my time at Radford,” she explained. “And, I want to take what I learned over the years and share the things that helped me develop stronger technique.” 

“It is also exceedingly rewarding to watch them process the feedback I give them and apply it to their own technique and make progress with each class.” 

When the position came open, James Robey, the chair of the Dance Department, thought of Mihailoff immediately and feels she is a perfect fit. 

“Reagan not only excels as a dancer,” he said. “Her ability to connect with students and the positive energy she brings to everything makes her ideal for leading the youth program.” 

The job requires exactly those qualities.  

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As the RUBY Director, Mihailoff coordinates and administers offerings for approximately 50 children ranging from three years old to eighteen. She must also manage the teaching staff and work with parents. 

All of this is part of an important mission from Mihailoff’s point of view. 

The RUBY program offers many prospective students a valuable option for formal dance training in the region. It puts young dancers in a university setting and many RUBY students continue their studies after high school and ultimately pursue professional dance careers. 

Making that possible for young people, therefore, requires a sense of long-term vision as well as day to day interaction. 

“As the Director I want to foster an environment of inclusivity and create opportunities for growth and development as our students navigate and discover their love and passion for dance,” she said. 

“I think one of the ways I’ll know I was successful is by having students return each year and advance into higher levels as they grow.” 

Registration for the Radford University Ballet Youth is year-round and performances take place each semester.  

Prospective students and parents can learn more about the program and its opportunities by visiting the RUBY page on the Dance Department’s website or emailing ruby@radford.edu. 



Sep 19, 2022
Sean Kotz