Upper School Faculty
Gillian Barton - Principal
A member of the Royal Academy of Dance and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Gillian has danced with companies in the UK, Europe, the Far East and the USA. Born in Glasgow, she has spent many years teaching and dancing in the United States and was the director of the Mira Mesa Ballet Company.
In 1991, she returned to Scotland and founded the Ballet West School and company. She choreographed the early productions of the company. Gillian also has extensive experience working in film and television, on the Michael Caton-Jones film, "Rob Roy" and on "Mrs Brown" a film starring Dame Judi Dench and Ballet West patron, Billy Connolly.
Gillian is the founder of Ballet West and has steered the company through its development from early beginnings to the present day.
Jonathan Barton - Vice Principal
Jonathan Barton was trained at Ballet West and went on to work with English National Ballet and as a guest artist for numerous companies at home and abroad. He is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance (ARAD) and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). During his time as a student at Ballet West he was awarded the Solo Seal of the Royal Academy of Dance and won a medal in the Genée International Ballet Competition.
After English National Ballet, he returned to Ballet West as a senior principal dancer and has danced all the major classical male roles with the company including Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet", the Princes in "The Nutcracker" and "Sleeping Beauty", Siegfried in "Swan Lake" and Franz in "Coppélia". He performed the roles of the Prince & Arabian for the Ballet West tour of China.
Jonathan has also had a number of commercial contracts including an Irn Bru commercial, movement model for a video game and the male dancer in a music video for Slam, shown on MTV and at T in the Park. During 2010 he worked with Richard Eyre and Viviana Durante in creating a brand new ballet based on the film "Truly, Madly, Deeply". He toured as Ballet Master for Vienna Festival Ballet for their production of Sleeping Beauty and performed the role of Siegfried in an open-air production of Swan Lake in Greece.
His reputation as a coach of the RAD Syllabi has increased and he regularly coaches dancers for Genée International Ballet Competitions, he has taught for the RAD on their Senior Awards Day and their Boys Only Day, Scotland's largest gathering of male dancers. Jonathan is also the Glasgow Associate Course Director. In 2010 Jonathan was appointed Vice Principal of the Ballet West school.
Daniel F. Job - Choreographer & Lecturer in Classical Ballet
Daniel F Job has long been associated with the world’s most prominent ballet companies and some of the greatest names in the dance world of the twentieth century.
Born in Belgium, he was educated in Brussels at the Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the 20th Century, in Germany at the Koln International Academy and in the United States at the School of American Ballet Theater. He then began his professional career as a dancer at the Geneva Opera. After three years of residence with the Geneva Opera, Sir Kenneth Mc Millan invited him to join the Deutsche Oper Berlin to dance the lead role in his ballet, Cain and Abel. With the Deutsche Oper Berlin, he became Principal Dancer performing an array of roles from the classical repertoire and others especially created for him. He worked with such dance luminaries as John Cranko, Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Marcia Haydee. He was coached by George Balanchine in his own ballets Apollon Musagete, Symphony in C, Four Temperaments.
Following these engagements, Daniel Job pursued his dancing career in Les Ballets de Marseille, Artistic Director Roland Petit, and with The Royal Danish Ballet. In 1998, he received a Gold Medal in choreographic group competition in South Korea as well as the composer’s prize at the Maya Plisetskaya Competition in Russia for his choreographic version of Anna Karenina.
Sonia Fajardo - Lecturer in Classical Ballet
Sonia Fajardo is a ballet mistress and professional dancer from Venezuela, a graduate of the school of ballet Nina Nikanorova, Venezuela and of the National School of Ballet in Havana . She has been a professor at the University of Carabobo and has coached students in the international ballet competitions across the world.
Sonia has danced as a soloist with the National Guard Youth Ballet of Cuba, National Ballet of Peru and Contemporaneo ballet of Caracas. As a choreographer she has created more than 30 works including adaptions of classics like The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.
Natasha Watson - Lecturer in Classical Ballet
Natasha Watson is a lecturer and principal dancer at Ballet West, Scotland. In 2015, Natasha received a BA in Dance with First Class Honours from Ballet West and was subsequently awarded a full scholarship to pursue a Masters in Education (Learning and Teaching in the Performing Arts) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2016, Natasha performed with English National Ballet in their production of Swan Lake in the round at the Royal Albert Hall and, in 2017, she performed in their touring production of Cinderella.Natasha has received the Solo Seal from the Royal Academy of Dance and a bronze medal at the Genée International Ballet Competition and was the only British dancer selected to compete in the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland in 2015.
Natasha has developed a keen interest in choreography at Ballet West under the tutelage of Daniel F. Job. She has produced original works for the Genée International Ballet Competition, the Molly Lake Award and BBC Young Dancer. In 2017, she was awarded both the Phyllis Bedells Choreographic Award and the Genée Dance Challenge Choreographic Award by the Royal Academy of Dance.
Olga Savenko - Lecturer in Classical Ballet
Olga Savenko was for ten years, a soloist dancer of classical roles with the opera house at St. Petersburg, having trained at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet. She also holds a masters degree from the University of Rome and is a professor of the theory , history and drama of ballet.
She has been a classical ballet teacher and choreographer in Italy, at the ballet studio in Padova and at the Studio Danza, Verona , coaching students and preparing them for dance competitions.
Indra Reinholde - Lecturer in Contemporary Dance
Latvian choreographer, Indra Reinholde, was trained at the St. Petersburg State Academy of Culture and the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music.
She has produced a work Reflections to music by Chopin which was performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and The Black Monk with music by Shostakovich and Prokofiev at the Russian Ballet Theatre in Moscow, as well as numerous works with other ballet theatres in Russia and with her own company in Riga as well. She has won prizes for her choreography at the Maya Plisetskaya's International Ballet Competition in 1998 and the finalist diploma at the Paris International Contemporary and Urban Dance Choreographic Competition in 2013.
Jordi Guitart - Lecturer in Jazz
Jordi came to England from Barcelona in 1990 and trained as a Dancer at Bodywork and The Urdang Academy. His professional career has taken him all over the World both as a Dancer and Choreographer. As well as a whole string of Cabaret Shows, Cruises, Fashion and Trade Shows, Pop Videos, Film and TV, Jordi has also had the privilege of working in the “West End” in Hit Shows such as “Saturday Night Fever”(Jorge /Cesar) and “La Cava”(Ensemble /Tariq). In 1999 he played to an audience of over 8000 people every night at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway in one of the largest productions of “Fame” ever to hit the stage ( Ensemble/Joe Vegas). He's also toured as Bernardo in " West Side Story" and as Judas in " Jesus Christ Superstar" and many other Musicals.
He has been involved , both as Director and Choreographer in many workshops for West End Musicals in the making such as Hell Sing , Stars Falling , The Golden Voice and Best of Friends ( last seen at Vauxhall). He choreographed the European premiere of " Happy Ending" at the Arcola Theatre , London last Year and the World premiere of “ Reeds Sway At Water’s Edge”as well last Year , as well as choreographing the Opening Gala of the 1st Middle East Youth Festival for the King of Bahrain at Bahrain.
He’s directed and choreographed some new Pop artistes UK Tours like Jessica Steele ( X Factor) , Lydia Lucy ( The Voice) , and has just choreographed the UK Tour of United Vibe ( X Factor) , which opened at The Factory , Manchester , on the 9th February and keeps working with them as we speak on their World Tour and their ne single , Esta Noche . In the last Year he’s choreographed Shows at Her Majesty’s Theatre , Sadlers Wells , O2 and Royal Albert Hall in London plus review Shows in Paris. Just back from Paris for the opening of “ UTOPIA” , a brand new Show .
Jordi has worked as a Guest Teacher and Choreographer for many of the main Dance and Performing Arts Colleges in this Country and abroad, including Ballet West ( Scotland) , where he has been working on and off for the last 27 years and EPA , where he is Head of Dance.
Jordi loves to pass on a wealth of knowledge of dance and “Showbiz” through his teaching and is extremely passionate and thorough in his methods. Anyone who experiences a “Jordi dance class” is sure to be inspired, pushed, nurtured and helped.
Gabriella Molnar - Accompanist
Gabriella Molnar was born in Budapest, Hungary and is a graduate in Piano Chamber Music Performance from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. She completed her studies after completing a Masters degree at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and also studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria for a year. As a soloist Gabriella Molnar has given numerous recitals at prestigious Hungarian festivals. Her international appearances performing piano chamber music include recitals in European centres such as Graz, Vienna and Rome, as well as in Wellington and Christchurch, New Zealand. She is noted for performing contemporary Hungarian pieces including her own compositions.
Gabriella's CD 'Piano Transcriptions' (with Erika Rezmuves) has been released by Naxos and features famous works by Wagner, Brahms, Schubert and Liszt. Their two-piano performance of the 'Rakoczi March' is included in Naxos' compilation of 50 of the best Liszt recordings. Gabriella became interested in dance accompaniment during her career and, for five years, she was based at the Hungarian Dance Academy. After moving to Scotland she started to play for Scottish Ballet, The Dance School of Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Gabriella Molnar has been full-time accompanist at Ballet West since 2016.