Ballerinas Learn From Pro

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

June 22, 2006

Ballet is stylish and graceful and it takes a lot of hard work especially if you're just 8- or 9-years-old, but one special guest traveled thousands of miles to teach our local children.

Local ballerinas had a special instructor who came all the way Moscow to teach them a new style of dance.

Boris Baskakov graduated from a prestigious dance school and is now apart of the Moscow Ballet. He is currently traveling around the U.S. teaching children and performing.

"I like to teach children because it's my job," said Baskakov.

The children are loving it too

"It's a little scary, but then I made friends and then I was happy and now I think I'm doing really good," said 8-year-old Kathryn Grant.

In Charlottesville the girls are age 8 to 13. They are learning everything from classic ballet to European folk dance.

"I can do arabesques. I can do things [over my head]...whatever those are called," laughed Grant as she demonstrated.

This is a week long intensive class where children dance seven hours day.

"It's a way to let out energy and you work hard and it's really fun," said Emily Huddleston who is 13 years old.

Ballet isn't just about working your body, but your mind as well.

"It's kind of a combination of math and science and art and french and English. Everything all together," said Margaret Engle of The Ballet School.

The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker will have auditions for local children Oct. 22nd 1:00-3:30 p.m. at The Ballet School. You can register for tickets at

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