16-year old Greenwich Ballet Academy student, Olivia Thurman of Mamaroneck, spent part of her summer at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia. Through the New York-based Russian American Foundation (RAF) and the NSLI FOR YOUTH Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Olivia spent six weeks at the renowned academy studying Russian language, culture and ballet.
“We are extremely proud of Olivia and all of her hard work,” said Yuri Vodolaga, Artistic Director, of the Greenwich Ballet Academy. “She has represented what we aspire to do at Greenwich Ballet Academy with poise and confidence, and her experience will help further her career in both ballet and academics. I can’t believe how well she is now speaking Russian! Olivia inspires our other students, and sharing her experiences with them will help them all in their journeys not only as dancers, but as applied young people.”
Fifteen young dancers were included in the six weeks of training in Moscow. Through the Russian American Foundation (RAF)’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive program, the students participated in three weeks of intensive ballet training in New York City. After the Intensive Program, the students, including Olivia, traveled to Moscow to spend six weeks of training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, while also studying the Russian language four hours a day, history, arts, and culture. The Bolshoi Ballet Academy has a 240-year history and is known as one of the oldest and most established schools for classical ballet training in the world. The Academy has produced numerous world-class dancers, teachers, and choreographers.