Elysabeth Muscat Hegab, Managing Director
Ms. Muscat Hegab, Co-Founder of Gainesville Ballet Company, has devoted her entire career to the arts, as a performer, teacher, and administrator. Before coming to 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 opera singer who performed leading roles at the Zürich Opera, Staatsoper Prague, Vienna Kammeroper, Theater der Stadt Koblenz, L’Opéra Français, and more. She is the Chair of the Preparatory Voice Department at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she has been on the faculty since 2001, and offers private voice and piano lessons in Gainesville. 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. She is currently a board member of the Prince William Arts Council.
Rafik Hegab, Artistic Director, is the Co-Founder of Gainesville Ballet Company. 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, Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Siegfried in Swan Lake, the principal dancer in Carmina Burana, and the Cavalier in The Nutcracker. He was guest dancer for the USA Ballet Company (Cavalier in The Nutcracker) and was also a company member of Baltimore Ballet. Mr. Hegab is an accomplished choreographer. He was the Ballet Master and Choreographer for the Mystic Ballet, where he created The Nutcracker, Moulin Rouge, Under Control, and Moon Light, among others. Mr. Hegab is an experienced teacher and coach. 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. Mr. Hegab has choreographed Carmina Burana, Carmen, Collection, and restaged The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Le Corsaire, and Giselle for Gainesville Ballet.