Archive for the ‘January’ Category

Happy New Year to the Genesis Foundation and everyone who supports my time here in Russia and also reads my blog.  ‘Lang May Yer Lum Reek’ … which means in Scottish … ‘Live Long and Happily!’

photo6The Christmas and New Year Season is over and I have returned for my final time to Moscow! It’s crazy how time flew past so quickly in the month of December and I honestly cannot quite get it into my head that I am now in my final hurdle of training in the Bolshoi Academy.  The past three years have gone in a flash and now all that’s left for me to finalise is one academic exam which is History of Ballet (which includes memorising twenty essays and the examiners will choose only two on the day and I will need to recite them perfectly) and also four dance exams which includes Character, Pas De Deux, Acting and finally the most important one… Ballet exam. Then my time and training here will be at an end!

December was a very busy month for me due to many aspects, which included mind blowing exams and preparing for my final hurdle.  But much to my delight, I managed to push past the barriers and achieve my goals.

I do have very mixed emotions… sadness, apprehension, fear, but above all excitement about what the future holds for me.

I landed at Glasgow Airport on the 7th of December to the smiling faces of my mum and dad and before I could even blink it was time to say a few quick hellos to as many family members as possible.  My mummy had to return to work so I thought I would take the opportunity and go to see my cousins and aunts whilst she was gone, and it meant when she finished work at 3 pm, I was able to be with her instead of dashing around.

I also spent my first evening having a mini catch up with my best friend Megan and we went to surprise the other special person in my life, ‘Michael’ as it was his birthday. The look on his photo4face as I entered his house was priceless. We had some dinner and afterwards all went out as a large group to a club in Glasgow to celebrate his birthday in style with champagne! It was a great night and definitely the release and relaxing time with friends that my body had been craving for the past 4 months.

However it was straight back to work a couple of days later, as I had planned to jet off to London to participate in an open class with the English National Ballet Company and also The National Company of Wales. I was very honoured to be in class with the very beautiful and talented ‘Tamara Rojo’ and felt I had to show that I was worthy of being at the barre beside this great lady. I can honestly say I have never been so nervous and it did show. I feel I am in a no-win situation at the moment because most auditions for companies this year are during my graduating exams and I am unable to leave Russia, not even for a weekend, and risk missing important factors which could jeopardise my graduation. This is why I decided to send to many companies in Scotland, London and Wales, to try and participate in as many classes so that their directors could see me dance. Also I thought this would enable me to see how I felt dancing in comparison to professional dancers. Unfortunately, due to the Christmas schedule, most companies were not at home but away on tour… but I was very lucky to be given the opportunity to participate in The English National Ballet Company and The National Dance of Wales.

The experience of open class had many ups and downs, and I felt, due to the short time I had in London, that I had to prove myself. I found I was getting very stressed and uptight with photomyself as I was comparing my dancing to those around me and in turn, of course, getting so worked up that I felt my dancing was not on top form. In fact I was embarrassed to say what school I was representing. My mummy received a teary phone call after my second class, and it just proves that no matter how near or far away I am from her she will always be there to provide that motivational pick up that I require at that moment in time. I will be forever grateful to my mummy for this as no matter where I am or what I do, she will always be there to give her words of comfort and wisdom! After a good night’s sleep I walked into my final class with ENB with a positive outlook on life and I have to say it made all the difference… the change in my performance in class and my technique was amazing and I felt so much more confident within myself which was a great note to leave on!

From London I took a 3 hour train journey to Wales and then another small train to Cardiff and arrived late afternoon on 17th December. Wales is very quiet and quaint in comparison to the hustle and bustle of London and I enjoyed walking around and taking a few photos of the scenery. An early night photo5was just what I needed before class the next day and I arrived at the National Dance Company of Wales’s front door at 9am. I had put my usual ballet bun in my hair, leotard, tights and ballet skirt on, and ballet shoes on my feet and finally made my way along to the studio / performance area where I was told the class was being taken that day. I was warming up with my iPod in my ears, playing my music, and to be honest I went into my own little world, when I eventually looked up. In complete panic before my eyes all the dancers were in loose trousers with baggy tops and their hair down… yes, you guessed correctly, this was a contemporary class not a ballet class. I have to admit I enjoyed the classes because although I feel my contemporary is no longer on top form it was a great release from the constant pulling up and tension that ballet puts on my body. I enjoyed my time in Wales very much and I am glad I travelled there not only to see this wonderful family-based company but also to see the beautiful country. My time in London and Wales was well spent and I am now really looking forward to auditions in summer. I feel taking part in these classes has given me more confidence to leap forward and be seen and take chances… which is a great feeling as I had feared that I had lost a little confidence, but this has shown me I can be all I want to be.

While on my return journey home to Scotland, I received a very exciting phone call from Karin (a very good friend of mine from the academy). She called to tell me that they had all been summoned to class to receive the results of our state Russian Language Exam. This sentence alone made my stomach sink! I listened intently as she told me the number of people who had photo8been given their pass certificates and I sat in Cardiff train station with every part of my body crossed hoping that she would also eventually tell me that I had passed. Finally I heard her say the words, “okay, I have left you waiting long enough … YES… you also have your certificate in Russian language!” I have never felt such a feeling of relief and happiness my life! I cannot stress this to you all enough! On top of this I am very pleased to tell you all that I not only received my certificate but also a mark of 83% which I am over the moon with! The amount of studying I undertook, and extra time and effort I put in for preparation for this exam was crazy and I can safely say I have never felt such academic stress in my life. I knew how important this exam was to my continuation of studies at Bolshoi Ballet Academy and to be told that my efforts had paid off was the most amazing feeling in the world!

I can’t thank everyone who helped me with my preparations for this exam,  I honestly feel without your constant support I wouldn’t have achieved this much needed certificate. I will be forever grateful to my great friends at the academy.

After all of the travelling over the last couple of weeks I decided it was most definitely time to hang up my ballet shoes for a little bit and enjoy my time with family and friends.

photo2During my time at home I celebrated my 19th birthday and after of course Christmas and then Boxing Day. My mum had to work over the Christmas holidays and this was very hard for me because my mum and I are very close and to be told that I was unable to spend time with her at times such as Christmas morning was very difficult for me. However all was not bad as she finished work at 5pm on the 25th December and my lovely Aunty Lesley was more than willing to have Christmas dinner a little later in the evening. So it turned out to be a really nice day! After the meal my mum and I still had our presents to look forward to when we got home, so I felt like quite a big kid because I had little butterflies in my tummy all day wondering what the guy in the red suit had got me this year. We also had a Boxing Day family dinner a day later as my mum was working again. She was finally able to fully relax (although she was cooking) and had a wee glass of wine with my auntie, and had some well deserved relaxing time.

This year was the first year I have ever spent New Year away from my family but the reasoning behind this was that my poor mummy was working over the New Year festivities and she would not be at home… so I would have possibly spent the bells alone as she had to be up early the next day for photo3another day of work! I have a lot to thank my mum for because the heights she climbs just to keep me in Russia is much more than I believe any other mother would do. My mummy (to me) is one in a million… she would sacrifice things for herself in order to keep me where I am and to help finish what I came here to do. I love my mummy with all my heart and I hope and pray everyday that I am able to walk out of The Bolshoi Ballet Academy with my diploma held tightly in my hands so that she can have the satisfaction that all the tears, hard work and sweat have been worth it! Hopefully then she will hang up all of her extra jobs and have the well deserved rest that she needs. I hope to make my mummy the proudest woman in the world and I will do everything in my power to make that happen!

On New Year’s Eve I travelled up to a place in Scotland called Ballater with Michael and his family. I spent three days there having some wine and enjoying the new year celebrations and being introduced to many crazy characters which was an absolute delight. It was great to spend some quality time with Michael, and in between the parties, the hills, the nature and the all round cosy feeling that Ballater entails I had a fabulous few days. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive straight back up there again for another visit.

photo7I had a truly amazing time at home with my family and friends and enjoyed the countless catch ups and gossip that my friends had for me, whether it was over lunch or a feeble attempt to hear their words over the loud club music. As the end of my holiday drew near I admit I shed only a couple of tears because this time I knew within myself that it was time to return back to Russia to finish my journey which started in August 2010. It’s rather overwhelming how soon everything will be over!

I have recently on my return been informed that all of my dance exams will be complete by the end of April which means I will travel back to Scotland for possibly a month and undertake as many auditions as I can. Then I will return back to Moscow for my final time in June to sit my last academic exam and receive my diploma…. Scary Stuff!

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