Hey everyone! I am so sorry I haven’t blogged sooner! It has been a very busy couple of months for me. I’m back in Moscow. First I want to thank my sponsor because without him I wouldn’t be here. He is an angel! I feel so truly blessed for the opportunity to complete my traineeship this June here at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy thanks to his support and the support of my mom. Let me tell you time is flying by already!
I came back to the Bolshoi Academy on August 31st. It took some time to truly feel settled in. I am going to complete the 3rd and final year of my traineeship in June 2014 and I am so glad I have the opportunity to be part of the Russian course this year. To be placed in this class with the fellow Russian girls who have trained here for many years has been such an honor and privilege. I am excited but I am also nervous because the first 2 months have very hard already. Wish me luck!
So there are a few changes this year. My roommates from last year decided not to return this year so now I have two great new roommates Remy and Alex. These girls are very focused like me and we have really bonded.
A few days after we arrived back to the Academy the school held its opening day ceremony in the school theater. At the ceremony, on the stage, each third course graduating student hands a pair of pointe shoes and flat shoes to one of the new incoming little kids who are just starting their school career. It was a very special ceremony and I felt so proud and honored to be part of this tradition.
That day after the ceremony everyone had off from their classes expect for my class. My teacher didn’t waste any time. I have been in class all day, every day since. This year is a little different. We take ballet class on stage so that we are prepared for our final exams which will take place on the stage, in the theater. We started working on our duet exam, as well as our character and acting exam. In acting we must choose a piece to act out. I will tell you more about that in my next blog post.
The past 2 months have been very busy. On top of my daily ballet classes I have also been in rehearsals every night. So far I was given the opportunity to perform 4 times this year, in 3 different pieces. In the first performance, which was a school performance for a charity, my class performed our usual Seganski piece. This was a familiar character piece for us as we performed this last year. The Academy started new rep this year. The school is doing The Waltz from Sleeping Beauty. After rehearsing for 3 weeks, at the costume fitting, I was told that my body isn’t the right fit for the piece because I have a chest and they took me out. Like in the 240 yrs the school has existed they never had a ballet dancer with a chest? I was very upset but I just acted professional and went about my business. Then a few weeks passed and I was called back to rehearsals and put back into the Waltz. I didn’t ask why, I just went with it. I am not going to lie I was so happy. You have to take every little opportunity to perform here as an international student since all major performing opportunities go to the Russian students, even if the international students are stronger dancers. It is all politics here. Anyway I was also placed in a new character piece called Rhapsody as well. We performed on Nov. 1st at the school theater and then on November 6th and 7th we performed both new pieces at the Kremlin Palace Theater for the Bolshoi Ballet Academy 240th Anniversary celebration. Our school invited the other top ballet schools from around the world to perform with us. We had the privilege of performing with students from The Vaganova Academy, Hamburg Ballet School, Theatre Opera Rome, La Scala, the JKO school and more. Most of the schools performed contemporary/neo classical pieces. It was nice to meet other students from around the world as well as a few school directors. The performance on the 7th included famous professionals which was nice. To dance on the Kremlin stage was an honor and an amazing experience that I will treasure forever. The theater seats 6000 people and it was almost full. It isn’t the Bolshoi Theatre but it was my first time performing on a stage, here in Russia, and somewhere other than the school theater stage. I am thankful and grateful that I did get to perform in the corp of both a classical ballet piece and a character piece and I am proud that I was able to represent the Bolshoi Academy in this gala event. I hope to perform more before my time at the Academy comes to an end.
So right now I am tired. We had a nice 3 day weekend off to rest our heads and bodies after the Kremlin performances. I needed the break because my foot has been hurting lately and my body was very tired. Now we are back to class. I am working harder and harder in class. Right now my hardest class is duet because my teacher is on me all the time and it’s tough. Sometimes I just want to cry but I have to stay strong.
I will be spending the next few months of my time of resting my body, staying in shape, watching movies to fill the long cold days, and most importantly looking for jobs. I have a lot of preparation to do for audition season which will be here soon. I am really excited to get life started. Auditioning will be hard for me given I will have to travel and I am not sure how much traveling I can afford to do in order to audition for a job. Hopefully I can find the money to at least audition for a few companies. Please pray for me!!! I wish I could just know where I will be next year, if anywhere, so that I can focus on my exams which are in 5 months. I am a little nervous for my exams and I am pretty sure my teacher is nervous for us too. We haven’t started preparing and we missed two weeks of our practice time on stage because of the rehearsals for the Kremlin show. My teacher has told us it is time to focus! No staying up late, no boys, no goofing off, etc… So the next few months I will focus hardcore.
I just want to thank everyone who supported me over the past year. Your support and words of encouragement have meant so much to me. I am looking forward to whatever comes my way next. Stay tuned for more…my next blog post won’t take 2 months! I promise!
Love, Nicole xoxo
If you would like to donate to help get me to auditions please click below. I am forever grateful <3