Meet our Team


Ekaterina Vaganova-Yachmennikova

WDA Coordinator of Operations

MCBT Artistic Director

WDA Ballroom Program Director

Ekaterina is the Coordinator of Operations of MCDC. She is one of MCDC's most beloved beloved team members, well respected by her fellow instructors and students alike. She graduated from the Moscow University of Culture with a degree in Promotion and Production of Cultural Public Programs. She is the great-grand daughter of the world-famous ballerina, Agrippina Vaganova, who created the well-known method of professional training for ballet dancers all around the world. Ekaterina herself is a three-time World Champion ballroom dancer, WDC European champion,  and has been awarded the title of multiple champion in Russia, Italy, Ukraine and Spain. She won her first World Cup at the Under 21 age category in Los Angeles, USA in 2006. She has been a pro teacher on Dancing With The Stars in Italy for five seasons and choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance in Russia.


Alexa Lucente

Tap Kids, Broadway Jazz, Ballet Level 1 & Adult Ballet classes. 


Alexa Lucente is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There she trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet studying under Margarita DeSaá and John White (Cuban National Ballet). Alexa furthered her training and education at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania under the direction of Department Chair Tauna Hunter (Ballet West). Alexa graduated with honors in 2015 earning a B.A in Dance with a concentration in Pedagogy. Upon graduation, Alexa danced professionally for four seasons at Florida Dance Theatre in Lakeland, Florida under founding director Carol Krajacic Erkes (Cincinnati Ballet). Alexa was also an FDT faculty member for the training academy affiliated with the company at that time. Alexa was then invited to join The Florida Ballet in Jacksonville, Florida under the direction of Roberto Forleo (Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo) as a studio company and faculty member. Alexa trained dancers throughout the Jacksonville region and served as an outreach dance educator for the public school system. Alexa is also currently a seasonal performer at Universal Studios Orlando and dances the role of a Beauxbaton at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Alexa has performed numerous featured roles in professional full-length classical productions as well as many notable contemporary works. Her repertoire includes Peter Pan (Mermaid Queen), The Nutcracker (Snow Queen, Dew Drop), Esmeralda (Soloist), Sleeping Beauty (Princess Florine), Cinderella (Soloist) Don Quixote (Soloist), Paquita (Pas de trois), Swan Lake (Little Swans), Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliette, The Night Before Christmas (Soloist). In addition to classical ballet, Alexa is qualified in modern, contemporary, jazz, and tap. Her mission as a dancer and educator is to be a catalyst in exposing the transcendence of the arts to the world.

WDA Melbourne Teacher since 2019.


Artem Yachmennikov

WDA owner

WDA Artistic Director

MCBT Artistic Director

WDA Ballet Master

Mr. Yachmennikov graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was the first soloist with the world famous Bolshoi Theater in Moscow; a soloist at The Mariinsky Theater (Kirov) in St.Petersburg; and a principal dancer at the Dutch National Ballet, which is one of the most prestigious European theaters. He was also a principal dancer at San Francisco Ballet, one of the largest and long lived professional ballet companies in the United States. He performed on the most prestigious ballet stages in the world such as Covent Garden in London, Grand Opera in Paris, Metropolitan Opera in New-York, The London Coliseum Theater, and Champs-Elysees Theater in Paris. Mr. Yachnmennikov enjoyed the honor of receiving an invitation from Her Royal Majesty Queen Beatrix of Netherlands to attend an official ceremony recognizing his artistic accomplishments. As an experienced and professional Ballet Master, Artem has been an integral part of our team since the beginning.

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Nadezhda Rudovich


Intermediate & Advanced Ballroom, Social Ballroom, Wedding Dance Choreographer, Lady's DanceShape.

Professional Ballroom & Latin Dancer, Master of Sports of Republic of Belarus in ballroom & latin dancing since 2006!

Nadezhda is finalist and prize winner of numerous national and international ballroom dance competitions (Latin and Standard) in Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Austria in 1998-2008.

She is the Finalist of the National Championship of Belarus (Latin and Standard), Member of National Formation team of Belarus “Mara” (Latin and Standard), multiple finalist and prize winner of World and European Championships.

From 2007 to 2009 Dance instructor at ballroom dance studio “Step”, Minsk, Belarus (teaching kids of 4-17 years,Latina solo and couples )

From season 2019 Nadezhda is the ballroom teacher at WDA Melbourne.

WDA Viera Teacher since 2021.


Jakki Kenney

Contemporary/ Jazz, all ages

Leaps & Turns class


Jakki is a teacher/choreographer born and raised in central Florida.  She started dancing when she was three years old at Raskin Dance Studio where she regularly attended dance conventions, traveled during the summers to study in LA and NYC, and received the best training possible.  Before graduating High School Jakki was flown to Los Angeles to do a photo shoot with a top photographer for her title as Dancer Of the Year for Urban Jamm Dance Convention.  After graduating high school she moved to New York City and entered the Professional Dance Program at Broadway Dance Center ran by Wes Veldink to continue her studies. Jakki has danced for Aaron Carter, was in a movie with Tom Seleck, and has assisted a number of dance teachers at conventions including Jeff Amsden who teaches for Tremaine Dance Convention.  She has since then been teaching all styles of dance for the past sixteen years all over Central Florida.  Her choreography has received many awards from all over the US. Currently she is the Artistic Director at Raskin Dance Studio and a judge with Revolution Talent Competition. While still creating and evolving into the choreographer she has become and is still becoming she spends a lot of her time with young dancers coaching them on technique, performance, and team building.

WDA Melbourne Teacher since 2019

WDA Viera Teacher since 2021


Tara Palsha Moats

Mommy & Me class

Tara is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She had a professional dance career that spanned almost 2 decades after completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance at Kent State University. She danced with the company, “Philadanco II” in Philadelphia, PA before heading West. She performed in many of the successful shows on the Las Vegas Strip including; Jubilee!" at Bally's, original role; "Cat" in "Bite!" at The Stratosphere, featured dancer in "Fantasy" at Luxor, "Red Riding Hood" in Jerry Mitchell's "Peepshow" at Planet Hollywood, and Principal Dancer in "Vegas! The Show" directed and choreographed by Tiger Martina, in which she was recognized by Broadway World as "Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.” In her “spare time” she found other passions including learning and competing in Ballroom Dance and singing. 

She met her “soon to be” husband and made her way to New York City landing a principal role in the the Off Broadway show, "Trip of Love" at Stage 42  as "Crystal.”


During her 5 years spent in NYC she began instructing Barre/Precision Training fitness and eventually began mentoring new instructor trainees. Teaching indoor cycling was added into the mix soon after her daughter was born that spurred on a move to Florida. Tara has experience teaching dance to children through adults and is so excited to get back to her creative side and roots, in a dance studio and a part of the WDA team!

WDA Viera teacher since 2021