Gala Chair Spotlight: Yelena Epova & Kimberlyn Daniel
We speak to the chairs of the coveted BLACK & WHITE Ball benefiting the Atlanta Ballet.
The coveted Black and White Ball benefits the Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. This year’s ball promises to align with the namesake black and white theme while paying homage to The Atlanta Ballet’s highly anticipated performance Coco Chanel, which debuts on February 9.
Introducing the Co-Chairs
Yelena Epova says she considers it an honor to work to promote the Atlanta Ballet, while juggling the demands as a top-level executive at Aprio, a global business advisory firm.
Epova attributes her love and appreciation for ballet to her upbringing in Saint Petersburg, Russia, known for its world-class ballet and opera productions and education.
Before serving as co-chair, Epova served on the board of The Atlanta Ballet for several years. When fellow Russian Gennadi Nedvigin – a former dancer at the famed Bolshoi Ballet – took the helm Artistic Director of the ballet, Epova noticed the quality of the ballet productions improved tremendously and she was inspired to become more involved.
“My biggest passion is to spread the word about what we have here in Atlanta because a lot of people do not look at us as a cultural center for ballet and music,” Epova explains.
Although taking on the role as co-chair proves a challenge with her busy professional life, Epova says it’s worth it if she can inspire others to get involved and promote quality programming and education for Atlantans of all socio-economic backgrounds.
Kimberlyn Daniel, who holds a role as Chief People Officer for Interior Architects, has served on the board for The Atlanta Ballet for 3 years.
Daniel was tapped to be co-chair of this year’s event because of her stalwart dedication to the Atlanta Ballet, and her ongoing leadership with Corps de Ballet – the community guild for The Atlanta Ballet.
The former dancer was introduced at the young age of 4 in her hometown of Sparta, Georgia, and attributes her love of ballet and the arts to grants provided by The Centre for Dance Education, which enables children from all socio-economic backgrounds to have exposure to the arts.
“I was presented with the opportunity to dance at an early age, and it opened my eyes very early on to the arts, and immediately grew an appreciation for it,” explains Daniel.
“Being able to dance and see other cultures gave me a sense of poise and confidence, and this is what early exposure can do for a child. It was game changing for me and all of these years later I still hold (the early education) very near and dear to my heart.”