Suzanne Pomerantzeff, fondly known by her students as Ms. P., is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director for the Academy. In 1969 Suzanne, along with Lester Jacobsen, founded the Academy and led the classes and summer intensives for the next forty years. ABA is home to the St. Petersburg Ballet Company and the St. Petersburg Folk Ensemble (Russian folk dance). Mrs. P. established a ballet program at St. Petersburg Junior College, (now known as St. Petersburg College), and was responsible for the development of the dance department at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts (PCCA) at Gibbs High School. She served as the Ballet Department Chairperson and was instrumental in bringing about the first annual Florida Dance Assessment, which was hosted for its inaugural year at PCCA.
Suzanne's background and training include the San Francisco School and the University of Utah, where she earned a Bachelor degree in Ballet. She performed with the San Francisco Ballet, Ballet West, Tampa Ballet, and Virginia Ballet.
Many of Ms P.'s students have been chosen to compete in the finals of Youth American Grand Prix, an international ballet competition that has been running since 1999. YAGP awarded her the Best Teacher award (2006 and 2007) and the Best Choreographer award (2006). In 2003, she received a grant from the SURDNA Foundation to travel to Ireland and produce a ballet on Irish history.
Dancers under her instruction have gone on to perform at prestigious ballet companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Met, Cirque de Soleil, Cleveland Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, David Parsons, Frankfort Opera Ballet, Houston Ballet, Kiel Opera Ballet, Lion King (Simba, Broadway Co.), Milwaukee Ballet, Moiseyev Dance Company, Mummenschanz, Pennsylvania Ballet, Repertory Dance Theater, Riverdance, San Diego Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.