Nadja Tikhonova was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and graduated in classical ballet from the Vaganova Choreographic Institute in St. Petersburg. After receiving diplomas in pedagogy for classical ballet and as a classical ballet repertory coach, she joined the Maly State Opera Ballet where she danced all roles from the classical ballet repertory for 22 years.
Following her performing career, Ms. Tikhonova returned to St. Petersburg and joined the faculty of the Vaganova Institute where she taught classical ballet for 24 years. Among her many students was international prima ballerina assoluta, Natalia Makarova. Ms. Tikhonova also has taught in Russia, Estonia, Kasachstan, Egypt and Japan among others.
After Mikhail Baryshnikov invited her to teach in the United States, Ms. Tiknhonova spent a number of years at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Colorado Ballet with many guest engagements throughout the world. She has prepared students for international ballet competitions where they have won gold and other medals.
In 1996, Natalia Makarova recommended Ms. Tikhonova to the Vienna State Opera Ballet School where she taught for ten years. Ms. Tikhonova was a regular guest teacher with Canton Ballet between 1994 and 2004.