It has been far too long since my last post, so I cannot apologise enough! Over past few months, my time has been strategically reserved for academic work, including as much room for Russian Language Revision as possible. During two days at the start of November, while the rest of the Academy rested, the international students of the graduating course were up early, pen in hand, shaking frantically from their morning coffee overdose, ready to sit the abundance of Russian exams that were laid before us. We had 5 exams in total to conquer, Listening, Reading, Writing, Grammar and Speaking; and I would be lying if I didn’t say I panicked slightly. This morning I was informed that I had passed and successfully obtained my Russian Language Certificate, which would ensure I receive my full diploma providing my dance examinations bless me with as equally pleasing result. I obtained an average score of 91% across the 5 exams, and I am chuffed to pieces, not only that I passed, but that I won’t have to wake as early for Russian classes in the mornings! Now that rehearsals and classes will be more intense and tiring as we build up to the big State exams in April, no price can be put on an extra hour in bed.
The past few months in Moscow have been very enjoyable. I think, knowing that this would be my final year and I would not have to spend another Summer counting down the days until I left my friends and family again, has subconsciously forced myself to relax and just enjoy the remaining months at the Academy. It has made me realise that I am going to miss the training and my life in Russia enormously. The friends I have made and the bonds we have formed are now so strong, that it’s difficult to envision next year without them all being down the corridor for me to run to if I need a DVD, washing up liquid, the answers to a piece of homework or even just a good old chat. I will miss our Sushi Saturdays and Starbucks Sundays and above everything, I will miss getting to dance alongside them every day.
Since being home for Christmas, I have tried to focus on my basic technique again. Due to my hamstring injury, and having my ability to throw my leg into the air taken from me for a while, it gave me the chance to notice how I had become complacent and sloppy in my basic technique. The London Russian Ballet School in Clapham, London, were kind enough to open their arms to me and invited me to attend classes which primarily focused on improving technique. While I am sure I still have a long way to go, the methods of teaching enforced there by Evgeny Goremykin, have aided me in being able to target the muscles that should be working in each individual movement. Placing my positions is becoming easier and I have noticed that the concentrated, and extremely unappealing, look on my face loosening as I am becoming more comfortable with the concept of it all.
It has been a worry for me, for some time now, that the lack of jobs in the ballet industry would cause me to be at a loose end come June; thankfully Evgeny Goremykin has offered me a place at his School in order for me to continue training until I am able to find work. This has relaxed my mind and taken away the worry of job hunting, giving me now complete focus on passing my State exams and receiving my diploma. Evgeny Goremykin, and co founder Harriet Pickering, have also mentioned that whilst there I will be able to teach ballet classes to the younger girls. This definitely put a smile across my face because, even though my first goal is to dance on stage, my second is to become a respected teacher of the art, and practicing my teaching skills under the watchful eye of an ex Bolshoi principal is no better way to do so. Another additional bonus, is that the school and the staff are all fluent in Russian, they even offer lessons in the language and in French also, so I will be able to maintain what I’ve learnt to date and even expand upon it.
Whilst at home, I also have a lot of work from Moscow to occupy myself with. I have pieces from Ballets to learn for my Acting and Character exams; I need to learn the basic movements and concept behind the pieces so that in Moscow I don’t waste rehearsal time learning and can dive straight into cleaning and adapting the piece to suite my style better. On top of this, I have a few tasks from my History of Ballet, Philosophy and Literature teachers, to keep me on my toes and to keep my Russian up to speed.
Of course, I am also going to enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. I always find that it’s important to absorb as much of the important home comforts as possible before returning, not only to get your fill before the months of hard work begin, but also because it makes me happier upon returning and the combination of positive feelings and released endorphins automatically motivate me to work harder.
Another perk of coming home is that I have been asked to model for Hoss Photography. I absolutely love working with Hoss, his creativity and fun attitude makes a shoot fun and he always achieves great results. I highly recommend searching him on facebook or google! http://www.facebook.com/HossPhotography?fref=ts
You will be pleased to hear, that my New Year’s resolution will be to blog more! Considering I no longer have such a broad spectrum of academic classes to run to, I really have no excuse!
I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Particularly the Genesis Foundation and Albion Media, without whom I would have no news or experiences to tell you about. Thank you once again, for another amazing year.