Ilya holds a master's degree in physical education from Astrakhan State Technical University, Russia (2007). He attended the school on a scholarship as the best athlete in that country awarded by the Mayor of Astrakhan in 1997. Prior to a career as an artistic gymnastics coach, he was part of Russia’s national artistic gymnastics team from 1996 to 2000, with which on several occasions he won gold, silver and bronze medals. Ilya also took first place at the European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2000. He has worked with Cirque du Soleil, first as a coach in 2005 and then as a barre artist with the Alegria touring show in 2011. Since 2012, he has taught several subjects at the École nationale de cirque, including acrobatics, Russian cradle, aerial straps and trampoline.