Olga Smoak

President of the New Orleans International Ballet Conference, and Artistic Advisor to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Panama, in the field of ballet. Studied dance under Ballets Russes and Royal Ballet masters, holds a License es Lettres from Vassar College in New York, has done academic graduate work in France. Actively involved in productions and ballet exchanges for over thirty years, she pioneered courses for North American ballet pedagogues in the former Soviet Union and arranged for the first official production of a Balanchine choreography in that area through the Balanchine Trust, while bringing to North and South America distinguished dancers, teachers and choreographers.

In the 1990’s she worked as English Editor for the Russian journal Ballet, and organized Gala performances at the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow for the Russian benefiT organization “Diamonds of World Ballet”. These Galas introduced to the Russian public Fernando Bujones, Angel Corella, Carlos Acosta, Ethen Steifel and other world stars. In 2000 Ms. Guardia de Smoak founded the New Orleans International Ballet Conference (NOIBC) which organized the “Ballet Russes” Conference and the Louisiana Bicentennial Conference “Dancing through History: the Roots of Dance in Louisiana 1750-1830”, hosted concurrently with a CID/UNESCO Congress.

She has served as Artistic Advisor to Belgium, Luxemburg and Prague Dance Organizations, to the Youth America Grand Prix, and to the California Ballet. She has written and lectured on ballet history in Russia, the USA, Panama and the Czech Republic. In 2011 she headed the Artistic Advisory Committee for Boston International Ballet Competition and received its Terpsychore Prize. Ms. Guardia de Smoak has been the USA Juror in Estonia, Budapest and twice in Korea, where in 2010 she also served on the Organizing Committee. In 2011 she was an alternate Juror at the 2010 First Boston Ballet competition, and a member of the Jury at the International Awards of the Open Dance Festival of St. Petersburg, Russia. From 1999 to 2003 Ms. Guardia de Smoak served as Secretaire Generale to CID/UNESCO/ USA. Since 2000 Ms. Smoak has been on the faculty of Loyola University of New Orleans, College of Music, and Fine Arts, where she teaches History of Dance.