Destiny’s Darling: Indiana Ballet Conservatory founder Alyona Yakovleva-Randall finds her home


By Mark Ambrogi

Alyona Yakovleva-Randall is convinced destiny brought her to Indianapolis.

In 2001, the Russian-born ballerina’s connections brought her to Indianapolis to begin teaching at Clara R. Noyes Academy of Ballet International. Soon after, she met her future husband Daryl Randall.

When Ballet International closed, she became artistic director of the Russia Ballet Academy of Indiana and the Indiana Ballet Academy in 2005. In 2010, she formed Carmel-based Indiana Ballet Conservatory and serves as artistic director and master teacher and coach of the nonprofit.

“Indianapolis was the perfect place for my future job and opportunities,” said Alyona, who lives in Geist.

Alyona, 39, had come to Indianapolis after being a professor at Dong Duk’s Women’s Academy in Seoul, Korea.

“In Korea, I was very inspired by students and we created so many productions,” Alyona said. “I didn’t know what to expect here from teaching. I was pleasantly surprised about people working hard. They love ballet. It made me stay and not think about going different places.”

Alyona first began ballet at about 5 years old.

“My dad was a weightlifter and my mother was an ice skater,” she said. “My dad assumed I was going to be a gymnast and my mother thought I would be an ice skater, so they compromised and decide to send me to ballet.”

Alyona graduated from St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Art in Russia in 1999, with a degree in professional ballet dance performance, choreography and ballet, character and historical dance instruction.

IBC has captured “Outstanding School” honors at the Youth American Grand Prix Regional in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

“I dedicated my life and my education to students because students want this knowledge from me,” Alyona said. “They’ve taken it to totally different level.”

Alyona said she is surrounded by so many talented people at IBC. Alexei Moskalenko, director of day program and master teacher and coach, is a former dancer with the famed Bolshoi Ballet. Tatiana Pali, the academy principal and ballet mistress, achieved stardom as Prima Ballerina with Moscow Classical Ballet. Sergey Sergiev serves as gentleman’s and contemporary instructor and choreographer.

“I’m proud of our students’ accomplishments,” Alyona said. “We’ve had students that have been recognized internationally and it’s because of the faculty.”

Alyona views her students almost like children.

“They make me cry,” Alyona said of them growing up so fast. “They’re my babies.”

Alyona still performs herself when time allows.

“I love to watch her perform,” Daryl said. “I always ask if she is dancing and sometimes she said she is just too busy.”

She didn’t dance in IBC’s “The Nutcracker” for the first time in December, partly because of back issues.

Four years ago, Daryl started wearing a Nutcracker outfit and drumming and interacts with the audience members before the show, during the intermissions and after the show.

“I think it brings a lot to the show,” said Daryl, who poses for pictures in costume as well. “I’m greeting people. The kids love it.”

Alyona was inspired by Daryl’s drumming to create “Pulse: Dancing to the Beat of our own Drummer” about four years ago. Daryl performs a couple of solos in the production.

“The show is about us,” Alyona said. “It’s about a little boy dreaming to become a musician and it’s about a little girl dreaming to become a ballerina. If you have a passion and love for something, you have to never give up.”

About Alyona and Darryl Yakovleva-Randall

Personal: Darryl owns AmerRuss Property Group and D&D Construction/Design. Daryl plays the drums and also sings. Alyona’s mother, father and stepfather live in Russia, but visit Indianapolis often.

What is your favorite pastime? The couple loves boating on Geist Reservoir. “It’s very beautiful and very relaxing,” Alyona said, and the couple also enjoys skiing and dancing.

What is your favorite Geist restaurant? Bella Vita Lakeside at the Marina. It’s the place Daryl and Alyona first met.

Hidden talent: “Alyona is an amazing cook,” Daryl said “I love her borscht and fish tacos, I can go on and on. I think people use us to come to our parties for her cooking.”

On Deck

Alyona will serve as the instructor for Ballet Mime from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Tarkington in Carmel. The instruction is part of the Dance Discovery series. The Moscow Festival Ballet will be at the Palladium Jan. 15-17, with Giselle at 8 p.m. Jan. 15, “Cinderella” at 8 p.m. Jan. 16 and at 3 p.m. on Jan. 17.

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