Most ballet lovers are familiar with the Nutcracker, but what makes the Great Russian Nutcracker the most unique ballet experience of all? Moscow Ballet’s Dance-with-Us program offers dance students across North America the chance to perform alongside the professional Russian Vaganova-trained ballerinas! Learn more about auditions in your city.
Right now you can e-meet these amazing ballerinas/instructors, who leave their homes for the five- month tour for the opportunity to tour and teach and train children across North America to dance alongside them in The Great Russian Nutcracker.
Here’s a sneak-peak and some snapshots of what it’s like to be a professional ballerina:
Romana Dumanska, recently won First Prize performing a solo from Napoli at the International Ballet and Contemporary Dance Competition in Lecce, Italy. Learn more about Ramona
What she loves about working with young dancers: “I love their positivity and inspiration. I love when I can teach something new that they’ve never learned before.”
Hardest thing about being a professional ballerina: “It takes constant training to be a professional, but nothing is impossible if you love your job.”
What she misses most about home: “My family – my parents, sister, and brother. They support me every time.”
Olena Pedan was invited to audition for resident choreographer Erik Othelius Sörensen at Paris’ famous dance theatre, Moulin Rouge in 2016. Learn more about Olena
What she loves about working with young dancers: “Giving students the possibilities to realize themselves and see all their potential!”
Hardest thing about being a professional ballerina? “Perfection of yourself as an individual, as a ballerina, and as a person is a difficult task and only truly motivated people will be able to achieve the heights they set.”
What she misses most about home: “My family, friends, and my dog. I spend as much as possible with them as soon as I come home.”
Anastasiya Hnatyshyn began studying ballet when she was just 7 years old and was invited to perform at the Lviv Opera House, when she was just 16 years old! Learn more about Anastasiya
What she loves about working with young dancers: “I can always offer them something new and inspiring and teach them how to love dance when they are on stage and not be afraid.”
Hardest thing about being a professional ballerina: “You must always practice and be prepared to perform every day, and always improve yourself.”
What she misses most about home: “When I’m away, I miss my friends and family, but I’m also inspired by everyone I meet when I tour.”
Maria Morari tours the world performing the classic Russian ballet repertoire. After college Maria worked with children teaching aesthetic gymnastics and ballet while also performing in the National Theater. from my town.” Learn more about Maria
What she loves about working with young dancers: “Working with children makes me feel like a child and full of life!”
Hardest thing about being a professional ballerina: “It’s a hard life, but it’s even harder if you ever have to stop for a period, because ballet is also the thing you love most.”
What she misses most about home: “My mom, my friends, and Russian Moldavian-style food.
Mariia Skoruk, at just 10 years old, was invited to attend the famous ballet school of the Kiev State Opera and Ballet Theater and was was awarded “Honorable Mention” at the Fifth Serge Lifar International Ballet Competition in Kiev. Learn more about Mariia
What she loves about working with young dancers: “I love the rehearsal period, where I can watch young dancers have a professional experience. The most rewarding part is seeing the results on stage.”
Hardest thing about being a professional ballerina: Ballet is not just a job for me, it’s a way of life! I love performing all around the world, but the travel can also be challenging.
What she misses most about home: I always miss my family and friends.
Anna Radik joined the Caracalla Dance Theatre in Lebanon upon graduating from the National University and a year later she joined the Compania de Dansa de Lisbon in Portugal. Learn more about Anna
What she loves about working with young dancers: “I love witnessing how hard the children work on stage and seeing the results of all their rehearsal.”
Hardest thing about being a professional ballerina: “Self-discipline. Ballet is just not a beautiful art, but very hard work. You must love what you do.”
What she misses most about home: “The one and only thing I miss is my family.”
Alisa Bolotnikova, who was accepted at the Kharkov Children’s Music, Ballet and Choreographic School at just 5 years old, attended the Kharkov National Academy of Municipal Economy, graduating with a degree as engineer economist in 2002. And she most recently graduated from Kharkov State Academy of Culture, with a Masters of Choreography. Learn more about Alisa
What she loves about working with young dancers: “To see their smiles when they are dancing and know that I had a part in making their experience happen.”
The hardest thing about being a professional ballerina: “Keeping yourself in strong, physical shape and to watch what I eat, and to always make sure I have enough rest.”
What she misses most about home: “My family. When I am performing on tour, I always keep up with them on Skype.”
Moscow Ballet’s Audition Directors and the Dance-with-Us program have brought over 70,000 children on stage with the professionals over the past 25 years providing a once in a lifetime opportunity for local children to audition for ancillary roles in the Great Russian Nutcracker and other classic Russian story ballets.