• You can now apply for Skinny Gossip membership online. Click here to begin.
  • We are getting a lot more membership applications than we expected. Be patient while we work through the pile. DO NOT submit a second application!!

Vaganova Girls

lux

Rookie
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
316
Reaction score
74
I just found out/realized she's the girl from the Vaganova documentary who was waitlisted for being too short because her height was stunted by gymnastics or something. I'm so so glad she got in (I can't remember if they told us in the documentary or not?) and is doing so well!

I remember she worked crazy hard. :luvluv:
I think you got her mixed up with https://www.instagram.com/_olga.ballet_/ this girl named Olga- I think she was the girl that didn't get accepted at Vaganovas first- but eventually she did :) (I also felt so sorry for her because she seemed so dedicated.)
 

Alya

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
373
Reaction score
526
vaganovapostexam.PNG
Daria Ionova, Maria Khoreva, and Anastasia (don't know last name but has appeared on this thread before)
After their classical exam
 
  • Love
Reactions: lechatnoir

bingeonvogue

Deputy Head Bitch
Staff member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
3,160
Reaction score
10,824
Oh they're so inspirational to me. :luvluv:

"just stretch every single day for about an hour, mostly when I do my homework"

"during the lunch break"

:bow:
 

bingeonvogue

Deputy Head Bitch
Staff member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
3,160
Reaction score
10,824
Can we make this the Vaganova and Bolshoi thread? :shy:

https://aballeteducation.com/tag/vaganova-school/
I always use to say, “When I grow up, I want to be a Russian girl.” Or, “In my next life, I hope I am a Vaganova girl.” There is a reason why, and we all know it. Ballerinas from Russia seem to have it all. The French codified ballet, but the Russians have mastered it. Dancing Russian ballet or the Vaganova style might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we all are mind blown we watch their graduation videos on youtube. So, in this edition of signs that distinguish your training, we are dedicating to those crazy little girls at the Vaganova School, and those who are trying to replicate that training.

Ahh yes, you know trained Russian if…

1. Your port de bras is always curved, and at barre it always looks like you are dancing Swan Lake.

2. Your extension is everything.

Screen-shot-2012-05-08-at-3.00.03-PM

3. Your turn out is beyond 180…

4. In class your teacher made some reference back to the Soviet Era, these stories usually involved snow, a cane, or some other teacher smoking in class.

5. You have an unbelievably high passé, like literally heel to your crotch.

That was a fun five… but here are some others that are just kind of funny.

You know you trained Russian if your fouettés are a little spazzy because you only open a la seconde.

You know you trained Russian because you were over stretched as a child.

You know you trained Russian if your developpé side goes behind your ear.

You know you trained Russian if your combre back is lower than the barre.

You know you trained Russian if in variations class you always add an extra arch forward in B+

You know you are pretending to be Russian when you are in the studio pretending to be wacked out (flexible), with little bird arms.
:lol:

Blog of a student that trained at the VBA
Since then, I feel like I am now a part of the academy. First, I was super grateful that everyone was really kind and willing and eager to help me. Unlike my past experiences, there really is MINIMAL english speaking here (there are only 5 of us in the whole school; 2 are Russian)! My roommate is from Canada, but she is Russian, and was/is so helpful! The girls in my class were all very welcoming and helpful as well, and I am happy that I became friends quickly with them! I study under the first course of grade 6. It is very confusing, and take a lot of explaining to understand the courses here, but I am extremely EXTREMELY happy with my class. My teacher, Mme. Udalenkova, has been a teacher at the academy for many years, and was the teacher of many greats, including Ekaterina Kondaurova. Her class is very difficult, but I enjoy it every day, and am so happy to have such a caring, but tough teacher!
My days here are long but rewarding. My schedule consist of ballet "classika" everyday (including pointe class), and a rotating schedule of partnering, acting, modern, and character. Before that begins, however, I also take a Russian language class. There are only two of us in this class, so I hope that I will be fluent soon!.. or at least close! Usually, my day starts at 10:45 and ends around 8:30, although that differs everyday (once we finished at almost 10:30... 12 hours straight of dancing). Everyday, after all of my classes are done, I am still smiling. It feels great to work hard and be doing what I love, and although I do not have the typical "teenage" life anymore, I am where I want to be, and I would not trade my life for anything!
Another post
Even though it has been over two months, I often I find myself still surprised at the level of training and dancing of the students here! Their talent, their flexibility, their stage presence, their technique... it is hardly believable. There are things that happen here that I SWEAR just would not happen anywhere else. I do not think any other students are this dedicated or hard-working. Last week, our teacher had to watch and grade ballet exams, along with the other teachers, while we were supposed to be having class. You know that you are in an exceptional school when the students STILL take a full ballet class by themselves, even though there is no teacher, and no one to catch you if you decide just to skip. I am not talking about doing combinations at barre, changing exercises to fit your needs, wearing warm ups...it was a class exactly like any other day. Where else but Vaganova do the girls repeat the lesson from the day before, with a pianist, and in full exam ballet uniform, trying our hardest, even without a teacher. Where else but Vaganova can you pull-off running a performance for the first time as a whole on the Mariinsky stage, and somehow it still looks nearly flawless. (And where else but Vaganova do even the construction workers know how to dance ;D [:lol:] If you havent already, check out my video on Facebook, and get a preview into one of the school's studios!)
and what a lovely, grateful, unentitled attitude. :luvluv:


Q&A on Bolshoi

What is the training like?
Classes take place Monday to Saturday with Sunday free. The week consists of: daily 1.5 hr ballet classes, 2 x 1.5 character classes, 2 x 1.5 hr rep classes, 1 x 1.5 hr duet class. 1 x 1.5 modern class, 2 x 1.5 hr acting class and 2 x 45 min gym class. On the Traineeship we also had a make up class each week. You are examined in each area at the end of each year and given a mark from one to five.

The Russian training focuses a lot on flexibility and turn out. It really is the best training I have had. My technique and flexibility have improved so much since I came here – I would recommend it to anyone considering a career as a ballet dancer.

The other, most important point, is that the teachers here really help you to believe in yourself. They are very direct but everyone is given the best opportunity and is nurtured; if you work hard, you can really develop yourself and your confidence here.
I am so curious what "character" classes are if anyone knows!

Is there a guide on weight?
There is a height and weight chart in the contract that you will be asked to sign. It’s true that here in Russia they like you to be slim – and they will tell you if you are too big – often in front of everyone in the class! :lol: It’s part of the directness that you just need to get used to.
 
  • Love
Reactions: lux and Alya

Alya

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
373
Reaction score
526
Can we make this the Vaganova and Bolshoi thread? :shy:
That sounds great to me if everyone else would be good with that! Bolshoi girls work just as hard as the Vaganova ones :)

I am so curious what "character" classes are if anyone knows!
Character classes are more like folk dancing of different styles. There are a lot of character roles in ballets (for ex. Gypsy in Don Quixote, Spanish and Neapolitan dances in Swan Lake)
Here is a video of the character exam of the 5th class at Vaganova:
 
Last edited:
  • Useful
Reactions: bingeonvogue

bingeonvogue

Deputy Head Bitch
Staff member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
3,160
Reaction score
10,824
@Alya I was looking through the skinny finishing school thread and saw that you'd had ballet training too! I was wondering if you saw any differences with Russian ballet and what (I'm assuming?) American ballet training is like? I had some ballet training in primary and middle school (forgotten a lot :cry: but at least finally am getting my splits back!) but it was in Korea so I'm very interested in what American training would have been like. Maybe this is not the right thread though? :nervous:
 

Alya

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
373
Reaction score
526
@Alya I was looking through the skinny finishing school thread and saw that you'd had ballet training too! I was wondering if you saw any differences with Russian ballet and what (I'm assuming?) American ballet training is like? I had some ballet training in primary and middle school (forgotten a lot :cry: but at least finally am getting my splits back!) but it was in Korea so I'm very interested in what American training would have been like. Maybe this is not the right thread though? :nervous:
It really depends who your teachers are/what school you're trained in. Stylistically there is no overarching "American" school of ballet, but rather different schools have different training curriculum as opposed to in Russia (and Europe) there are more distinct methods of teaching (ex. Vaganova (Russian), French school, Bournonville). So depending on who you learn from the style of your dancing and various positions may look slightly different. Russian ballet especially is known for being very expressive.
In terms of how the teachers treat you and the kinds of schools, in America a much smaller percentage of the schools have their students living there and dancing as much as in schools in Russia. Even those that do exist here are normally in high school (so ages 14 and up) whereas in Russia they start much younger. Maybe it comes from a culture with less emphasis of the arts and ballet seen as not so serious a profession? The teachers here also do not tend to be as strict and straightforward as the Russian ones. I'm guessing this is because many people here will get really mad if a teacher said they were too larger or not cut out for ballet, etc. Of course very strict teachers do exist here, its just not quite the norm. In general those who go through good Russian schools tend to turn out better (in my opinion) than those who go through good American schools. In my experience here, it can be quite frustrating to be in a class with people who simply don't want to try very hard and the teacher doesn't push them or enforce a lot of etiquette.
Overall, I'd mainly say the time commitment from such a young age and the strictness and bluntness of the teachers and the passion to succeed in all the students.
I'm not sure what thread this would go in either, but feel free to message me if you like. I could probably go on about it for too long :)
 
  • Love
Reactions: bingeonvogue

Alya

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
373
Reaction score
526
Maria Khoreva was the soloist in Classical Symphony in their graduation performance this year and she looked absolutely gorgeous :luvluv: She was also a soloist in Paquita and lovely in that as well. I'm completely in awe of how delicately she moves in Classical Symphony :bow:
 
Last edited:
  • Useful
Reactions: gracilis

RoyalSylph

Rookie
Joined
Jun 20, 2017
Messages
22
Reaction score
32
Age
20
Location
Istanbul
Maria Khoreva
IMG_1932.jpg IMG_1933.jpg IMG_1934.jpg
All the Vaganova girls are amazing and admirable. They all work extremely hard and they're humble. My favorites are Maria Khoreva and Yana Cherepanova :) As a ballet dancer myself I can say that Russians are the best. I had the chance to study at the Academy for three weeks thanks to my ballet teacher. The girls there trained 7+ hours a day. When they had a break (like lunch breaks etc) they would do exercises and stretch.
 

elle_w00ds

Grand Dame
Joined
Jun 16, 2017
Messages
564
Reaction score
2,885

I saw the YouTube channel who did the 'Dance of The Little Swans' documentary also has a series on life at the Vaganova Ballet. Granted, I am absolutely fascinated by everything relating to the academy and the discipline and would watch anything even tangentially related, so I might be biased, but I found it an interesting watch. Attaching it here as I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere on SG.
 

Alya

Rising Star
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Messages
373
Reaction score
526
Debora Davis graduated VBA in 2014 and now dances with the Mikhailovsky Ballet. She's gorgeously long and lean. One of my friends studied with her for a bit when she trained in the US and said she's even more lovely and long limbed in person. Her instagram is @debora_tenchikova (her mom is Elena Tenchikova)

ddavis1.PNG ddavis2.PNG ddavis3.PNG