‘I feel like it’s my mission’: Moscow Ballet soloists fly in to teach in the metro

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GLADSTONE, Mo. — This summer, a unique camp that takes the show on the road is only stopping in nine cities across the country, and one of them is in the metro.

Some students have flown in from Washington, Texas and Colorado to take the week long intensive program at Ballet North in Gladstone taught by professionals form the Ukraine.

“It’s the chance to share our experience, knowledge, passion our soul to them it just, I just love it,” Yuriy Kuzo said.

Students like Kinsley Davis, are taking advantage of this rare opportunity to dance, jump and learn with these decorated professionals.

“We’re learning the Russian way and stuff,” Davis said. “We do all kinds of jumps and stuff in our character shoes.”

Turns out the students, now friends, have taught the teachers something, too.

“We have that vice versa they help us with our English, we help them to improve their dance skills,” Kuzo said. “So it’s fun.”

“It’s really fun,” Davis said. “We’re writing stuff down and we’re spelling stuff. It’s kind of like a quiz kind of and we’re the teachers, kind of, instead of them.”

While school’s out, Braden McDonald went from too much screen time to loving the stage. He’s been perfecting his art three years now.

“My mom said you’re not going to sit and play video games all day you’re going to try something,” McDonald said. “So then I tried ballet and I was like hey I kind of like this.”

McDonald has a favorite part about ballet.

“The live performance part where anything could mess up and you have to fix it.”

You have to be on your toes – and improvise. Moscow Ballet instructor and performer Alisa Bolotnikova said ballet teaches real world lessons that go beyond the studio.

“Because they have something good in their heart in their soul,” Bolotnikova said. “They know how to work hard because ballet is not easy.”

Kuzo agrees and said it helps them to express their deep emotion, their feelings and help them to obtain a confidence.

The instructors will be back in metro come September to audition dancers for “The Great Nutcracker”. Anyone is welcome to tryout to get to dance with professionals at the midland theatre. For more information about auditions click here.



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