About Us

About Us


DIRECTOR jeanette
Jeanette Makaroff is a former dancer with the Milwaukee Ballet and the North Carolina Dance Theater. She has served as Ballet Mistress for the Milwaukee Ballet, company teacher for the PM Ballet and the North Carolina Dance Theater, and served as a Resident Faculty of Milwaukee Ballet School from 1983 until 2000. She received her training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the School of American Ballet in New York City. Jeanette began her training in Appleton at the Makaroff School of Ballet.


Juanita Makaroff received her principal training at the School of American Ballet in New York City. Other teachers include Beverly Lemke, Bernice Holmes, Irina Fedotowa, and Vincenzo Celli. She performed professionally in concert engagements with Dimitri Fokine and toured with the Manhattan Rockets. She has taught at the Brooklyn Conservatory, and the Boro-Park YM-YWHA, and, since 1960, at the Makaroff School of Ballet.


Excerpts from an article published in The Post Crescent, April 29, 1962, By James Auer. “The American and Russian Traditions of Ballet are United in the Fox Cities”

Nikolai Makaroff began his ballet training in the Soviet Union at the age of seven. Because of his exceptional talent, he was transferred to the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, and at age thirteen, was awarded the opportunity to make a four-month performance tour of Russia and China.

When he graduated from high school, Makaroff wanted to study medicine, but instead, he was drafted and sent to Finland during the Russo-Finnish war of 1939. Following that conflict, he was assigned to a military academy, from which he was graduated as a lieutenant. In the meantime, Germany had invaded Russia, and Makaroff was sent to the front. One day he stepped on a mine, and when he regained consciousness, he was in German hands.

The dancer spent the next five years in a succession of German prison camps. After being freed by American troops, he worked for the United Service Organizations, Inc. (USO) with Bob Hope, and then joined the renowned Don Cossack chorus, appearing both as a singer and a dancer.

Nikolai Makaroff traveled to the United States in 1953 and participated in four cross-country tours. During these tours, Makaroff met and then married Juanita Hartjes, an ambitious and talented young dancer, originally from Wisconsin.

Eventually the Makaroffs made the Fox Cities their home and in 1960, they founded the area’s first and only classical ballet school at its current location in Appleton.

Today, their daughter, Jeanette Makaroff, continues the family legacy of excellence in classical ballet instruction as Director of the Makaroff School of Ballet. Students of the school continue to dance professionally around the world.