Vaganova later as a teacherVaganova later as a teacher Agrippina Vaganova in the pas de trios from Paquita. Saint Petersburg, Russia, circa 1910.Agrippina Vaganova in the pas de trios from Paquita. Saint Petersburg, Russia, circa 1910. Agrippina Yakovlevna VAGANOVA (July 6, 1879–November 5, 1951) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. She graduated from the Saint Petersburg Imperial Ballet School in 1897 and became a ballerina of the Maryinsky Theater. In 1916, Vaganova retired from dancing and furthered her career as a ballet teacher. She began teaching at the State School of Ballet in Leningrad in 1919. As a teacher she created her own method of classical ballet training where she fused elements of French, Italian, and other ballet methods.

Vaganova redefined the Russian system of teaching ballet. The Vaganova method was based upon the teachings of the Imperial Ballet School, under the direction of Marius Petipa, her teacher Enrico Cecchetti, and the more vigorous traditional dancing styles developed in the Soviet Union at that time. In 1930, Vaganova became artistic director of the Kirov Ballet Company. In 1934, she became Director of the Leningrad Choreographic Technicum, and published
her world-famous textbook, Fundamentals of the Classic Dance. Later in her career, Vaganova received the title 'Honored Artist of the Republic'. In Russia, she was regarded as the chief architect of the Soviet Ballet School and the Soviet ballet style. The Vaganova Method of dance became known worldwide, and is still one of the most popular ballet training techniques used in the
world today.

Some of Vaganova's pupils were distinguished Soviet ballerinas: Galina Ulanova, Olga Lepeshinskaya, Marina Semenova, Natalia Dudinskaya, and Maya Plisetskaya.

Famous graduates of the Vaganova Ballet Academy who became internationally renowned: Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova, Yuri Soloviev, Galina Mezentseva, Svetlana Zakharova, Ulyana Lopatkina, and many others.