W I T H A L E K S A N D R A H R Y H O R I E V A ( U K R A I N E )
My name is Aleksandra Hryhorieva. I am 17 years old. I was born in Donetsk. It is a city in the East of Ukraine. Firstly, at the age of 4 y.o. I had started doing gymnastic, and soon I started visiting a dancing club.
One day, my mom and Grandma saw the application of ballet school in the Opera House in Donetsk. They decided to try. I was nearly eight y.o., when I started to visit the ballet school. At the beginning nothing was interesting, we have been doing different exercises to improve our goals, so it was boring for me, but I enjoyed it.
At the age of 10 y.o we started to do some ballet exercises next to the barre, and the lessons became more interesting. In 2014, because of war, my family moved house to Kyiv, which is the capital of Ukraine, where I entered the Kyiv State Ballet School. Now I’m studying in a graduation class.
"I simply love Ballet. It's my life...."
What is the benefit of dance lessons for kids?
In my opinion, Ballet teaches kids to be disciplined, hardworking and responsible, Ballet and classical music develop outlook and aesthetics. There are essential things for personality formation. For me, the most wonderful is the possibility to be different on the stage, show different characters and feel different emotions. This has its magic.
What kind of personal skills are you going to see in yourself thanks to Ballet?
I don’t have any special physical skills for the Ballet, but the previous experience as doing gymnastic has helped me. I had not wrong goals, but I have had problems with the turnout, balance and I couldn’t hold my legs high enough. But, I’m hard-working, and I simply continued to improve myself.
What has been your proudest moment as a dancer? What has been your most challenging moment?
The proudest moment was one year ago when I became a winner of Grand Prix International Festival in Kyiv. I couldn’t believe in that. I was pleased, of course. What I can say about challenges is that in ballet life, there are a lot of challenging moments. Sometimes I have been feeling myself poorly when I realized that I need to go to the rehearsal or even to the concert. But the challenges moment was when we moved house, and I had to get used to a new city, a new atmosphere around me, new school, new people, new routine problems.
Are you shy? What advice would you give to parents who have a shy child but loves Dance?
We all can be shy sometimes, it usually is. But you must believe in yourself if you want to reach a goal in your life. In my view, parents should support their kids, but at the same time parents ought to give abilities to feel independent and develop self-confidence in their kids.
How often and long you train?
During the school year, we train six times a week. Every day we have a ballet class, two times a week we have a pas-dedeux lesson and character dance. Also, we have a lot of rehearsals. In our school, we combine general education and ballet lessons. For example, let me show you our schedule of Tuesday: A couple of French language lessons Ballet class Ukrainian literature Geography Pas-de-deux lesson Rehearsals The workdays are started at 9:00 am. We finish our workdays differently because it depends on the numbers of rehearsals.
"Winner of Grand Prix International Festival in Kyiv."
Model: Aleksandra Hryhorieva
Photographer: Yevgeniy Repiashenko
Have you some dreams and ambitions? Did your parents teach you to have ambitions and the need to work on them?
I think my parents have taught me since childhood to be ambitious. Like they wanted that I get the best marks at school, for example. But of course, it was my wishes to do my best. As my ballet teacher said: “If you do something, do it as well”. And it’s true. Anyways, you spend time on that, so spend it with benefits for yourself, and soon you will see lots of advantages.
I have a dream to be a professional ballerina, and I have just one thing to do to become her – always improve myself.
Are you happy with your life?
Despite lots of difficulties, I try to be happy, and I think I am. I have my lovely family, which support me, I have a great teacher, which help me to make my dream come true and I have myself.
What can motivate you?
I simply love Ballet. It’s my life. As an average person, sometimes I need motivation, of course. Some music can help me or an exciting film. On Sundays, I usually go somewhere (alone or with my mom) to the cafe to drink and eat something delicious. It is like a reward after a hard week.
I find this communication very interesting, and I hope that we can inspire talented kids to become something more then they think about themselves.
In two weeks we will be able to go to school, and I hope that it won’t be quarantine again. I want to come to our ballet studios, where is enough space, and I want to perform on the stage. I already can’t wait for that!