In September 2009 I enrolled in the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, aged 16. Now, aged 20, I am only 6 months from becoming the first English girl to graduate with a full diploma from the Bolshoi Academy.
Before I gained my place at the Bolshoi I was a student at Watford Grammar School for Girls and a part time student of The Gypsy Booth College and School of Theatre Arts. Gypsy Booth is a member of the Association of Russian Ballet and Theatre Arts and has had various teachers from the Bolshoi come over and give open classes to its members. It was in September 2008 that Svetlana Adyrkhaeva (a former principal dancer for the Bolshoi 1960 – 1980) held such a class where she spotted my potential and encouraged me to apply to the Academy. I submitted an amateur audition video and with disbelief, I was accepted.
The funding for my time at the Bolshoi has been generously sponsored by the Genesis Foundation, who support and nurture young talent. Considering the cost of flights, insurance, phone bills, visas, paperwork, food and wear and tear on ballet/pointe shoes and leotards, I would have struggled without the grant from the Genesis Foundation, and I am very grateful for all the support they have given me so far.
I never had the intention of enrolling into a full time dance Academy, firstly because I was never given the opportunity and secondly, because I honestly didn’t think I had the potential. The past four years have been life changing, not only has it altered my performance in the studio but it has helped shape me as a person and taught me valuable life lessons. I will never forget my time training at the Bolshoi Academy.