Elysabeth Muscat Hegab, Managing Director
Ms. Muscat Hegab is the Founder of Virginia National Ballet, and has devoted her entire career to the arts, as a performer, teacher, and administrator. Under her leadership, Virginia National Ballet has quickly become an important cultural institution in Northern Virginia. The School was voted Best of NOVA 2017 in Northern Virginia Magazine, and offers outstanding instruction with excellent faculty in many dance forms as well as music, and students have the advantage of performing annually at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in The Nutcracker and the Spring Recital, alongside professional dancers and famous guest artists. Virginia National Ballet’s professional company performs a full season each year at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, and has been a member of the Virginia Commission for the Arts Touring Directory since 2017-18. The company is also a two-time Seefeldt Award Finalist. Ms. Muscat Hegab has brought world famous stars to perform with the company including stars from American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet: Daniil Simkin, James Whiteside, Ask la Cour, Aaron Smyth, Isabella Boylston, Ashley Bouder, and Teresa Reichlen. She has invited up and coming stars such as Sara Michelle Murawski to present Master Classes for the students. Before coming to Virginia National Ballet (formerly Gainesville Ballet), she was the Founder and Managing Director of Baltimore Ballet Company and School, where she worked for twelve years. Under her direction, the school grew to 300 students, and she established a professional nonprofit company which hosted such stars as Evgenia Obraztsova of the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet, and ABT Principals and Soloists Michele Wiles, Stella Abrera, and Veronika Part, among others. She is a former professional opera singer who performed leading roles at the Zürich Opera, Staatsoper Prague, Vienna Kammeroper, Theater der Stadt Koblenz, L’Opéra Français, and more. She was the Chair of the Preparatory Voice Department at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she was on the faculty from 2001 to 2016, and she offers private voice and piano lessons in Manassas. She was a board member for seven years of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, MD-DC Chapter, where she served as State Governor, President, and Vice President. Ms. Muscat Hegab has a Master of Music in Voice from the Mannes College of Music and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Tulane University. She has won numerous awards for voice, has given Master Classes and served as a judge for many vocal competitions. Her students have been accepted to all the top conservatories including Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music with scholarships, and many are now singing professionally, including National Broadway tours. She has been on the Board of the Prince William Arts Council since 2014. For more details about student accomplishments, visit http://www.elysabethmuscat.com.
Rafik Hegab is the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Virginia National Ballet, where he has been leading the company since 2013. He is a prolific choreographer who creates at least one original World Premiere each season. Mr. Hegab was named the 2019 Seefeldt Award winner for Outstanding Individual Artist. He has choreographed Carmina Burana, Carmen, Cinderella, Collection, Snow White, the world premieres of Aladdin, La Boheme, Bohemian Rhapsody, Bolero, Life in the Fast Lane, and Aida, and re-staged The Nutcracker and acts from Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, and Giselle for Virginia National Ballet. He was also a guest choreographer for the Regional Emmy Award Winning production of “The Circle of Life: The Music of Time Rice” at the Music Center at Strathmore by Young Artists of America, which was televised on PBS. His work has been performed at the International Ballet Festival in Managua, Nicaragua, and he is in demand as a choreographer for students needing original choreography for YAGP, etc. He was a 2017 and 2018 Finalist in the Seefeldt Awards for Outstanding Individual Artist, and his work has received great reviews on Broadwayworld.com, DCMetroTheatreArts.com, Inside NOVA, Bull Run Observer, and more. His former students have gone on to dance with the Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, Gelsey Kirkland Ballet, and the Stara Opera Zagora Ballet in Bulgaria. Originally from Egypt, he received his Diploma from the Higher Institute of Ballet in 2000, and his Bachelor Degree in Dance Pedagogy (Vaganova Syllabus) and Choreography from the Academy of Arts in Cairo in 2009. He joined the Cairo Opera Ballet Company in 1999, won 1st place in the Egyptian National Ballet Competition in 2000, became Soloist in 2002, and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2004. As a Principal Dancer, Mr. Hegab toured with the company in China, Lebanon, the Czech Republic, Jordan, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, India, Greece, and Russia. He danced the Matador in Don Quixote with Julio Bocca, John in Zorba the Greek, Ali in Le Corsaire, Siegfried in Swan Lake, the principal dancer in Carmina Burana, and the Cavalier in The Nutcracker. He was a teacher and trainer with many private ballet schools in Cairo, and coached award winning ballet dancers who won first place in the Egyptian National Ballet competition. He is fluent in Arabic, Russian, and English.