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Great Immigrants

Valentina Kozlova
Former Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet
Born in:
Russia

“I grew up with great teachers and fantastic personal coaches. In Russia, star dancers, in general, became coaches and they passed their knowledge about classical technique and artistry. This is my calling," Valentina Kozlova told Ballethub in 2013. Kozlova was a principal dancer with the famed Bolshoi Ballet in Russia before her defection to the U.S. in 1979. She became a principal dancer with New York City Ballet in 1983 and performed with the company until 1995. Now the director of the Dance Conservatory of New York in Manhattan, which she founded in 2003, she passes on to the next generation the training she received at the elite Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. In 2016 she established Valentina Kozlova Dance Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supporting dancers and choreographers. Updated July 2018