Commentary by Tetyana Martyanova, former student of Joy Victor

VIDEO: Male Ballet Student Earns Prestigious Dance Honor

Joy taught as guest master instructor at Western Michigan University for two years, including being hired for an entire semester during the dance director's sabbatical. Here are the students' evaluations submitted to WMU Administration:

I have learned more in one semester than I have in all my ballet training.

Thank you so much for being so incisive and seeing right into my soul! I have never had a more intuitive teacher. I love you!

The approach you have in teaching is rare. You have love spilling out of you all over!!! And it spreads! Thank you for being the genuine person that you are and encouraging us all to do better, but more importantly, feel better about ourselves. You are truly a Godsend!

I really could go on forever about the individual things you have helped me change inside and out, but really I just want to say that as a whole person and a dancer you have changed my life and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

Highest quality of any ballet instructor I’ve had.

I feel I have improved 100% in this course. She put a new perspective on dancing for me.

She is an amazing teacher. She has an overpowering amount of enthusiasm and encouragement that spills into all of us. I really appreciate as a student, that she is always staying positive and giving us good feedback. It makes me want to dance even more.

Very high quality. Joy explains the execution of the steps and the theory behind doing them in a way the students can use and understand.

Quality of instruction very high. Instructor is very knowledgeable and explains technique in an understandable way.

J.B., Associate Professor of Dance, Western Michigan University

Joy is extremely bright, experienced & personable. She is in remarkable physical condition herself, enabling her to demonstrate clearly & serve as an excellent example for her students. She provides excellent individual & group feedback to her students.

Musical Director/ Professor / Conductor of Andrews University Orchestra, Michigan

One day I talked to Joy about my questions and curiosity on how conditioning of the body, using ballet and yoga principles would impact my conducting technique and expression. She accepted the challenge to work with me and we started dance and yoga lessons during the years 2005-2006. A few years later I could say without reservation, that thanks to that work, I became more aware of my conducting space and its projection towards the musicians and audience by gaining more confidence on the conducting podium. Moreover, I could say that after my experience with Joy, I became more conscious of the possibilities of my body to accomplish complex tasks of communication and with an increment of personal well being.” To Joy: 'You simply marked my life as a musician. Whatever I have said in my attached testimony does not express what I owe you.'

Longtime Chicago Student

Her classes are so uplifting and engaging because her unique passion for the music & classical repertoire is so contagious! She leads a packed studio with ease & grace while simultaneously connecting to & offering corrections for individual students.

S.A., Salsa Performance, Competitive Champion, NYC

In my dance career I have been to a myriad of dance schools & taken classes with many teachers but I have yet to come across someone as special as Joy. I cherish the times we spent together & I really wish I could have her here with me in New York.

Marge Biggers, AAUW of Oregon Program V.P.

You are truly a magnificent teacher incorporating music history, public ovation, exposure to wonderful music and excellent training in the art of ballet. I love attending your recitals and last Saturday evening's performance was thrilling for me. But one of the best parts of Saturday's performance was your narration. Your humor. Your obvious love of this art form. And tailoring it to our mission of 'empowering women and girls'. Thank you for agreeing to bring seven of your students to the AAUW of Oregon State Convention. The wonderful new knowledge many of us received was most valuable. And thank you for impacting so many young people in Central Oregon.

Joydonquixote ae762b17cdbe4be18f85aa35ea962960d52441f796543e1184826ab0effd7702 Joy Victor in Don Quixote Pas de Deux