Les Danses Antiques

Alena Shmakova

Alena’s CV

Alena became interested in historical dance in 2006. She learned her first steps from Russian early dance specialists, including Olga Fialko, Ekaterina Mikhaylova-Smolnyakova, and Rostislav Kondratenko, followed by a passionate and tireless dance development, teaching numerous classes, and learning from international early dance professionals including Barbara Segal (UK, Baroque and Renaissance dances), Anne Daye (UK, Renaissance and Scottish dances), Ricky Barros (UK, Baroque dance), Karin Modigh (Sweden/France, Baroque dance), Robert le Nuz (France, Baroque dance), Charlotte Bell (UK/Germany, Baroque dance), Hubert Hazebroucq (France, Early Baroque style), Ellis Rogers (UK, Quadrilles and 19th-century dances of Great Britain), Richard Powers (USA, 19th and early 20th century dances), and Fabio Mollica (Italy, Società di Danza, 19th century dances). Alena has a wide historical dance repertoire and interests covering dances from the 1600s till 1850s.

Since 2019, Alena has actively collaborated with and performed at historical sites in Scotland, such as Georgian House (NTS), Holyrood Palace and Queens’ Gallery (Royal Collections Trust), St Cecilia’s Hall and Music Instrument Museum, Abbotsford House, Bannockburn House, Stirling Castle (HES).

Since 2022, she has been offering historical dance courses at the Adult Education Programme run by Edinburgh Council.

Alena has extensively researched the Scottish dance scene, collecting dance and dance music sources printed or written in Scotland and straining through diaries, memoirs and private letters from the 18th &19th centuries. She studies history at the University of the Highlands and Islands (MLitt in History (part-time)). Alena presented her research at international conferences and as public talks:

Alena started offering classes as Les Danses Antiques in Edinburgh in January 2013. Since then, together with the students, we have organised classes, workshops with invited International historical dance professionals, festivals, open days and balls to bring alive some of the European historical dance heritage in Scotland. 

Recent projects

  • 36th Early Dance Festival in Edinburgh
  • Performances and talk for Royal Collection Trust in the Holyrood Palace “Charles II, James II and Holyrood”, “Easter in the Palace”, “Dances of Scotland and Russia in the time of Princess Dashkova”
  • Dance Performance as part of the “Princess Dashkova, the Woman Who Shook the World” commemoration event at the University of Edinburgh
  • Early Music Forum Scotland Open Days at St Cecilia Hall
  • International Day of Dance at Stirling Castle
  • Dance performance at New Assembly Hall as part of Edinburgh New Town 250 years Anniversary
  • Reconstruction and teaching of dances in Edinburgh for the first Nathaniel Gow Ball in New Assembly Rooms