In addition to Kirov, her education and training includes the School of American Ballet, Sunhwa Arts School, La Roche University, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  She has also trained with experts in her discipline to include a Master Class with the Paris Opera Ballet, and Suzanne Farrell at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Miss. Maria earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts from La Roche University, with her area of specialization in Dance. The Pittsburgh Ballet Guild recognized Miss Maria as a young talented dancer, and she was selected for an award and scholarship during her years of study at La Roche.

Miss Maria trained intensively with Kirov Ballet’s famous ballerina, Alla Sizova and she has had the honor to work with such great ballet leaders and Artistic Directors as Oleg Vinogradov, Yelena Vinogradova, Alla Sizova, Nikolai Morozov, Ludmilla Morkovina, Rudolph Kharatian, Melissa Hayden, and Vladimir Djoulouhadze.

Miss Maria has performed in many professional roles. Her experience as a performer and choreographer has spanned the globe through ballet companies such as Colorado Ballet, Ballet Theatre National, Buffalo City Ballet, and Universal Ballet Company. She has danced with the Kirov Ballet for their Nutcracker and toured throughout the United States and internationally (New York, Florida, Mexico, and New Orleans). Throughout her professional career, Miss Maria has adapted her style to both classical and contemporary production of Swan Lake, Giselle, Nutcracker. Paquita, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, La Sylphide. Romeo and Juliet, Serenade, and Stars and Stripes. Miss Maria has performed in many leading roles such as Clara, Snow Queen, and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, and Odette- Odile in Swan Lake.

Maria-Monica Koo is Founder Artistic Director of Gainesville Ballet School and Company 2005-2013 in Gainesville, Virginia. Miss Maria has instructed aspiring dancers at Gainesville Ballet School, the Washington School of Ballet in Washington D.C., and as an Associate School Director at Buffalo City Ballet in Buffalo, New York. She has taught as a guest teacher at National Taiwan University of the Arts.

On May 6, 2012, Maria-Monica Koo was honored as Outstanding Arts Organization during the 2012 Seefeldt Awards for Arts Excellence.  The ceremony was in the Hylton Performing Arts Center with special guest emcees, Bob Madigan of WTOP and Tracee Wilkins of NBC4.

Miss Maria choreographed and staged the full length of the Nutcracker (for 12 years), Coppélia, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Dancing in the Woods, Flowers on the Grass, The Win of the Sun, The Little Bird, The Fairy, The Song of an Oriole, The Little Star, The Wind of the Night, Ave Maria, and Turn To the Lord.

Maria-Monica Koo was selected by world famous Mariinsky Ballet's artistic director, Oleg Vinogradov to study at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. Miss. Koo is a graduate of the famed Russian school, the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., where she received full scholarship during a six year program study (1991-1997). 

Artistic Director, Maria-Monica Koo

​​​​Ave Maria Academy of Ballet

Russian Vaganova Training School