The Ballet Company


Mindi Mende,

Founding Artistic Director           

ECB’s Board of Directors:

    Dr. Ivis Alvarez

    Mr. John Fletcher

    Mrs. Theresa Graham

    Mrs. Mindi Mende

    Mr. Rick Mende

    Mrs. Christine Posey 

    Mrs. Cyndi Sauer

ECB’s Advisory Board:

    Mrs. Kathleen Fannin



Performance & Tickets     The Company    Community Outreach     School of ECB     Contact Us     Summer

East Coast Ballet does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, or national origin.

Copyright © 1997-2015 East Coast Ballet, Inc.. All rights reserved.


East Coast Ballet is committed to enriching the lives of individuals in the Northeast Florida, Southeast Georgia communities, and beyond through the art of dance.  The foundation will foster an appreciation and aesthetic awareness for the arts by providing a high standard of artistic instruction and performance opportunities for artists and students, allowing them to discover and develop their talents for the benefit of their community.

East Coast Ballet’s professional company members inspire others through performances, building relationships with young adults and children in classes and workshops, and reach out to the community through special projects throughout the year.   Scroll to the bottom to meet the company.

ECBF non-profit foundation relies on the generous support of individual giving and corporate sponsorship.  All donations are tax deductible and are 100% dedicated to outreach, scholarships for individuals who otherwise are unable to afford dance training, and the continued development of a professional company.  Our desire is to house a company of dancers which will give our student base future career opportunities as professional dancers.  East Coast Ballet does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, or national origin.

Anton Iakovlev, along with his wife Darli Iakovleva, will be holding workshops periodically throughout the school year & instructing during summer intensives.  Anton graduated from the Vaganova Ballet Academy with Boris Bregvadze from 1992-2000, earning a Bachelor of the Arts. Anton has danced at the St. Petersburg Ballet of Russia, the Vanemuine Ballet of Estonia, New York Theater Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Akjun Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Ballet Theater of Maryland, and Connecticut Ballet. Some of Anton’s favorite roles include performing the Pas de Deux from Le Corsaire, Hilarion in Giselle, Cavalier in The Nutcracker, & principal roles in Le Sylphides, Gerald Arpino's Light Rain, Sleeping Beauty, & Don Quixote.  Anton performed in East Coast Ballet’s 2013-14 Season as Cavalier in The Nutcracker Prince & The Prince Toy in Spellbound.

Darli Iakovleva & her husband will be training ECB students & company apprentices & trainees in workshop classes in ballet, pas de deux, and classical variations.  Darli trained at European Dance Studio in her mother Ilona Nogarr's footsteps, continuing at GSA, Washington Ballet School, Tallinn Ballet School, Kirov Academy in Washington D.C., Kaatspan, and JBS in NY. Darli graduated from N.C. School for the Arts and Tallinn University with a Bachelor's Degree in Dance and Choreography. Darli's professional experience includes dancing principal, soloist, and corps roles with the following companies: Vanemuine Ballet of Estonia, New York Theater Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, Ballet Theater of Maryland, and Connecticut Ballet. She has also performed with the Estonian National Ballet, Washington Ballet and Ajkun Ballet.  She has enjoyed performing Pas de duex-e Corsaire, Sugar Plum Fairy-the Nutcracker, Pas de duex-Gerald Arpino's Light Rain, Prayer, Lead Mazurka and Czardas couple, Lead Waltz of Hours- Coppelia, Lead in Les Sylphides, Pas De Six-Giselle.  Darli performed in East Coast Ballet’s 2013-14 Season as Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker Prince & The Princess Toy in Spellbound.

Rick Mende & Mindi Mende are the founding Directors of the East Coast Ballet.  Mr. Mende is the Executive and Marketing Director.  Mrs. Mende is the Artistic Director. Classically trained by her mother, Katha Bardel, Mrs. Mende has followed a professional dance career path from cords de ballet, principle, ballet mistress, instructor, choreographer, and director over the past 30 years.  She studied in classical ballet along with jazz, tap, and musical theatre under acclaimed instructors including Hilary Cartwright, Edward Villella, Conrad Ludlow, Kelly Brown, Wilhelm Burmann, David Holliday, Olga Kostritsky.  She toured throughout the US, Asia, and South & Central America via secular and Christian platforms.  Mrs. Mende has performed and choreographed for various Theatre, TV, video, industrials, and film productions.  In 1989 she invented and patented the Jazz Pointe Shoe, the design used in the Dance Sneaker.  She developed and patented a tight design, on the market by BodyWrappers.  Her joy is guiding, training, and mentoring students, many of whom have gone on to excel as accomplished performers, choreographers, instructors, and directors in various professional dance endeavors.  She is passionate about directing performances that reach into the heart of both the dancers and audience, challenging and encouraging a deeper relationship with the Lord.

Lindsay Lynch joinied East Coast Ballet in the 2013-14 season and will be returning for the 2014-15 season.  She has been with ECB school as a choreographer / instructor since Summer 2012.  Lindsay tours and performs with ECB in The Nutcracker Prince as the Mouse King and the Marionette Doll in Spellbound.  Ms. Lynch choreographs for both the Nutcracker Prince and Spellbound, as well as, contemporary ballet works for the ballet company & school. Her training started in Orlando Florida and reaches to Paris, France under Christina Teague Mann.  She has received her A.A. in Dance Performance and her B.F.A. in Dance at Jacksonville University. Her heart is inspiring children of all ages to reach their full potential in the art of dance. 

Vladimir Abremenko has been teaching at East Coast Ballet since 1999.  He is an inspiration as a performer and instructor to all of our students.  His instruction follows the Vaganova method of ballet training.  Vladimir speaks four languages:  English, Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian.  He has choreographed a variety of concerts and group performances in Russia, Ukraine, France, Canada, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the USA. He holds government rewards and diplomas for production and best performance.  His extensive instruction and choreography experience extends 34+ years of art service in ballet, classic and character dancing, stage managing, and production.

Rachael Walker is moving to Jacksonville Beach from Brunswick, Georgia to dance for ECB. She has returned for her fourth year in the professional division.   This year she has been promoted as an apprentice in ECB’s Company, 2014-15 season.  Rachael’s additional summer training includes American Ballet Theatre NYC, Joffrey Chicago, Tampa, & Atlanta Ballet.  She has danced prominent solo roles at ECB including Clara Princess, Snow Queen, Sugar Plum in The Nutcracker Prince, Spanish Dancer & Princess in Spellbound.  In her spare time, Rachael is models. Her passion is sharing her talent for the glory of the Lord.

Stephanie Estcourt joins ECB in her third year in the professional division as an apprentice in ECB’s Company, 2014-15 season..  She trained under Boris Chepelev and Janna Kirova in Melbourne, Florida, along with attending Ballet Magnificat’s summer intensive program. Before relocating to dance for ECB, Stephanie studied at the Storling Dance Theatrer’s Artist Program in Kansas for 2 years. Prominent roles include Chinese in Spellbound and Mirliton, Snow, & Flowers in The Nutcracker.  During this year’s Nutcracker, she will be playing the soloist roles of Snow Queen & Sugar Plum, along with dancing in the Party Scene with her husband, Dan.  Stephanie is the instructor of our little bakers in the 2nd Act.  Her passion is to mentor and use her talents to glorify the Lord. 

Annie Clingman is joining ECB’s 2014-15 season in her 2nd year as a trainee.  She is from Minneapolis, MN.   Annie is excited to use her talents in a Christian professional trainee ballet program. Her previous training experience includes Twin Cities Ballet, St. Paul City Ballet, and Grand Rapids Ballet, as well as, Joffrey Chicago summer program.  Annie has performed dancing roles in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Red Riding Hood, & Snow White.  Prominent roles with ECB include Nurse in Spellbound and Mirliton, Snow, & Flowers in The Nutcracker Prince.  This year, she will be playing the soloist roles of Snow Queen & Sugar Plum.  Annie loves working with children and desires a dance teaching career in her future.

Taraneh Partow joins ECB this year in the company division for our 2014-15 season as a first year trainee.  She trained in ECB’s pre-professional school before joining IHOP (International House of Prayer) ministry in Kansas City.  Along with a full-time dance schedule at ECB, she attends UNF as a Political Science major.  She has played the prominent role of the Spanish Dancer in ECB’s Spellbound and will be playing the roles of a Maid, Snow, Mirliton, and Flowers in The Nutcracker Prince this year.  Taraneh is a wonderful example of God’s love to her peers and inspires young students as a great mentor.  She is beautiful both inside and out and desires to use her dance to bring glory to God.

Jasmine Beasley joins ECB this year in the company division for ECB’s  2014-15 season as a first year trainee.  She has been training in ECB’s pre-professional school since 2012.  Jasmine is a young 16 year old, finishing her senior year of high-school through virtual school.  She has played the prominent role as the Clown in ECB’s Spellbound and will be playing the roles of a Maid, Soldier, Snow, Mirliton, and Flowers in The Nutcracker Prince this year.  In addition to being a strong technical dancer, Jasmine is known amongst her peers as being a wonderful dance actress. She enjoys spreading the love of God with her dance.

Daryl Munn has been teaching at East Coast Ballet since 2000.  Ms. Munn has a B.F.A. in Dance from Oklahoma University under the tutelage of the famous Jo Rowan.  She is an inspiration as a performer and instructor to all of our students.  She offers diverse training instruction and serves ECB as a tap and classical ballet instructor. She is famous for her role as “The Baker/Mother Ginger” in ECB’s Nutcracker Prince.  Her enthusiasm on stage is widely spoken about and well-known in ECB circles.  Her passion is to use her gifts for the Lord.

Brian Alford has been with ECB’s School since he was eight years old.  He has danced with ECB in many productions.  His notable roles include: The Nutcracker Prince, Toymaker’s Son, & Adam in “Hands.”  Brian has toured with ECB to Oklahoma and New York City.  Brian inspires tappers with his teaching contributions in Ms. Daryl’s tap classes.  Along with being a wonderful dancer, Brian is a jazz trombonist and drum major at Providence High School.  He has appeared in FSCJ Summer Musical Theatre Experience productions as well as Providence spring musicals.  Brian enjoys entertaining others and demonstrating the love of God through the many roles he has performed with ECB.

Braden Mende is a born and raised East Coast Ballet dancer.  In addition to training at ECB, Braden has been the recipient of several full-scholarships to train around the Country including: American Ballet Theatre in NYC, Harid Conservatory, Ballet Magnificat, and Miami City Ballet.  At age twelve, Braden was chosen as the Nutcracker Prince for Miami City Ballet's 2009 production of George Balanchine's The NutcrackerTM directed by Edward Villela in a tour of 18 performances in Naples, Miami, and Ft Lauderdale.  He will be dancing with ECB’s professional company as The Toymaker in Spellbound and God in “Hands.”  Braden loves using dance as a tool to spread the Gospel.

Monet Mende began dancing at East Coast Ballet at the age of three.  She has been summer trained at well-known institutions, such as American Ballet Theatre NYC, Miami City Ballet, and Joffrey Chicago.  She joins ECB as an apprentice during her fourth year with the professional company. Her roles have included Clara Princess, Snow Queen, & Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker Prince, & Clown, Princess, & Evil Magician in Spellbound.  From February to May 2014, Monet trained at Ellison Ballet in NYC in their advanced program. Monet’s love of dance stems from doing what she loves to do, sharing the love of Jesus in a powerful way.

Dan Doherty has been performing as a guest artist with ECB since Nutcracker 2013. He has played the role of a parent in the Party Scene, The Pirate in Spellbound and is now looking forward to adding the role of the Mouse King to his list of performing roles. He has extensive training in college cheer-leading and is acquainted with some

ballet, partnering, mime and ballroom technique. He is also a professional 3d artist and volunteers for a homeless ministry in his spare time.


Kathyrn Pitre joins ECB this year in the company division for our 2014-15 season as a first year trainee.  Additionally, she has trained in summer intensives with Joffrey Ballet School in NYC and Miami.  She studies daily in ECB’s dance classes, as well as, a sophomore at FSCJ as a dance major with a full ride scholarship.  Kathryn danced in Spellbound’s corps de ballet last year and will be playing a toy in the Spring 2015. Today, she will be playing the roles of a Soldier, Snow, Spanish, Mirliton, and Flowers in The Nutcracker Prince 2014.  Kathryn loves using her gifts for the Lord and thanks Him for her talents.