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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Bolshoi Ballet Academy--Moscow, Russia

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Wow! :) Your daughter is studying in the Bolshoi Academy? That's amazing! *O* All the luck to her! She'll be famous one day!


I just have a question regarding the audition process at the school. Do you happen to know the maximum age for auditioning? 18? 19? 20?


Thank you! :) And good luck to your DD!

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Hi! I have a question: Does anyone know the maximum age to enroll in year round training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy? I think it's 18. The age is 20, in Vaganova Academy.


Thanks! :)

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  • 10 months later...

Hi. Can anyone tell me about the Bolshoi's year round training program in Moscow for the younger dancer? My 12 year old daughter has been invited to attend and I would really like to hear from any others out there whose children have been and what their experiences have been like. If she were to decide to attend, I would go to Moscow along with her so that she would not be on her own. We are looking for any first hand knowledge of the program itself and anyone's personal experiences there would be wonderful to have and would greatly assist us in helping to make this decision as it is not an easy one to make. She worries that if she turns them down now she may not be presented with the opportunity in the future. She greatly admires the dancers that the Bolshoi has produced throughout history and strives to be among their caliber one day...

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I have had two students attend in the past. A fourteen year old and a twelve year old. Both loved it and really became much stronger from the training. They were in classes with Russian students and really had to work hard. Nothing is sugar coated and they learned how to deal with criticism in the "Russian" way.

Neither of them had academics (that is a separate program that students can potentially be invited into in the future). One tried to do online school work but the internet is sketchy at best. The other student was advanced here in the US and took a year off of school. My twelve year old danced in two Bolshoi Ballet productions in the Bolshoi Theatre this past year.

As a twelve year old, your daughter will have classes that are very fundamental and strength building.

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A little more detail into the program as described by my 12 yr old student. They had class every day, pointe three or so times a week. Historical Dance (Character starts in 4th year), gymnastics (Basically stretching, Ab work). Add in rehearsals if chosen to perform. Sometimes she said she didn't get to bed until 9 or 10pm. Exams in December and May.

My 14 yr old on the other hand did not perform as much and had more free time. Her class danced in a June performance but not in any Bolshoi Ballet productions.

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Thank you Solnishka79. Did your students stay in the Bolshoi dormitory or did they have friends or family over in Moscow with whom they stayed with? Also was it difficult obtaining the visa's and getting all the paperwork done? I have read some posts from 2009 which made it seem very difficult to accomplish all that. I wasn't sure if the Bolshoi has now improved in its ability to help facilitate the foreign students paperwork process. Finally did your students have any Russian language or history classes to help them better understand their surroundings, or were they expected to do that on their own?

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I am assuming that you are participating in BBA summer intensive and have received a letter? If so, there are number of students from that program who have been asked to do what you are proposing. Ask RAF to help you connect with those families? If I am wrong, feel free to retract my post.


Also. they tell you to keep it really hush hush but you really don't have to. People don't emigrate their children at the drop of a hat in the US. Seek out information.

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My daughter is not participating in the BBA summer intensive and no one has told us that an invitation to study at the Bolshoi was to be kept hush, hush. I have so far only been able to find information from 2009 about the program so I am hoping to hear more from anyone who has been there in the past year. I also found a series of post about the raked floors and wondered if the students from the US had difficulty adjusting?

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Both of my students lived in the dormitories and had Russian language classes. One of the girls is half Russian and had a good command of the language to begin with. She also had family in the city so she spent the holidays with them. She told me that most of the Americans picked up enough Russian through the classes and immersion to make it around. She did also mention that they tended to stick together. Neither one liked the food and often went to the local grocery stores to purchase items.


Both girls really enjoyed exploring the cities and the sights.


It seemed that the paperwork was long and drawn out in both cases. Complete physicals, transcripts. But the visa help came through the Bolshoi Academy as they were the sponsors. I can't say it was complicated. More like time consuming.

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Hi, My daughter is a yr round student at the Academy. She is older and will complete her final yr there this year. I can tell you that I have never heard about keeping the invitation hush hush. There were several Americans invited last year. I can tell you that there are two other American kids there around 11/12 living in the dorms (1 boy/ 1 girl). I cant speak for every older kid there but I do know my daughter did look out for the 2 younger Americans. My daughter does take Russian language class there and although it is very difficult she is progressing and can communicate well enough to manage daily life. The area is generally safe. All the kids go out when the weather is nice. The dorm moms look after the kids well. The food is not that great, they do go tot the grocery store often, which is only a very short walk. The floors are raked and yes it was difficult in the beginning but my daughter adjusted. The winter is long and cold. Internet is terrible. It was not difficult to get the visa for my daughter. The difficult part was the paperwork that you need to provide the Academy upon arrival. You have to have all paperwork written in English translated into Russian for them. The first time it was overwhelming, wanting to make sure everything was completed properly, but now it isn't that big of a deal. I hope this little bit of info helps you.

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  • 4 weeks later...

letter just arrived with invitation for DD 16. Have no details yet. My most immediate questions are: Has anyone had experience deferring for one year. How many of these invitations are made? Are many scholarships offered? How many Americans attended last year? Was the training worth the inconveniences?

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nikki94, how old will your daughter be when she graduates and how many years has she attended. What level did she start at. How many Americans will be in her level, how many per class. Is she in a class with other international students? How many International graduates this last year, how many were able to go professional. Do companies come to Moscow for auditions?


would love to hear any info you could share

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