After dancing with Portland Ballet for ten years, Nell Shipman became the Artistic Director and School Director. She holds a B.F.A. in Dance Performance with High Honors from Butler University, and has performed and shown choreography in Portland, New York, Chicago, Boulder, Indianapolis, and Tbilisi.
Nell has taught and choreographed throughout the country. She has also appeared as a guest artist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, The Good Theater, 2008 Best of Broadway, PORTOpera as both dancer and choreographer, and with Ballet Conservatory of South Texas. Her choreography for Portland Ballet includes The Victorian Nutcracker, Jack the Ripper, Halloween Spooktacular, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, Dance for the Cure, Spoke of the Wheel, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and works for the 2004-2008 Portland Dances! Choreographers showcase. In addition to artistic leadership, Nell will take over the role of Executive Director for the 2018-2019 season.
Sabir Yapparov received his academic and ballet training at the Perm Ballet Academy in Russia and studied with some of the finest teachers. He was a soloist with the Sverdlovsk Academic Theatre of Opera & Ballet and with the Bolshoi Theater in Uzbekistan and was a principal with the Odessa Academic Theater of the Opera and Ballet in the Ukraine. He danced leading roles in classical, neo-classical, and contemporary ballets, and was invited as a guest principal throughout the former Soviet Union, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Finland, India, Spain, and Canada. Mr. Yapparov worked as a ballet master with the Sarasota Ballet for eleven years, serving one year as Associate Artistic Director. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance, and was part of the guest faculty at North Carolina School of the Arts. Mr. Yapparov recently was the Assistant to the Artistic Director at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and served as Principal at the School of Cincinnati Ballet.
Amy Baxter began working with costumes at Portland Ballet ten years ago when her children performed in their first Victorian Nutcracker. After several years as a volunteer, she stepped into the role of costuming assistant. In 2014, she assumed the role of Costume Manager/Mistress, working with both the company and the school to ensure that the dancers have costumes that are visually pleasing, easy to dance in and serve as an important part of the storytelling.