Anastasia Markova 13 ~ Fred Kelly Scholarship
Anastasia Demitria Markova says her name is long, hard to pronounce and very very Russian— a good thing, because she hopes to someday be a prima ballerina, perhaps even dancing at American Ballet Theatre, Bolshoi or Kirov. As she just turned 13, her mother says: "right now she should just focus on working working working, dancing dancing dancing and perfecting her technique if she wants to make her dream come true".
Last year, Anastasia was invited to attend the Kirov Academy of Ballet summer intensive in Washington DC and was also accepted into the school for their year around program. After much thought, she and her mother moved from Colorado to the East Coast so she could attend; moving all of their "stuff", including "Oliver" their huge dog and 2 parakeets. Anastasia signed up for a public home school program called K12 and juggles her studies at home and ballet at Kirov. She says it is a wonderful opportunity to study at such a great school with the best of teachers and be surrounded and inspired everyday by fabulous older dancers.
Thank you Dance Council and the Fred Kelly Scholarship Fund for giving me the opportunity to have an amazing summer by attending the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Orange County, California. It was a thrill and inspiration to work with a variety of superbly talented teachers and choreographers and be surrounded by other amazing dancers. And although my three weeks there just whizzed by, I feel it was an incredible experience that helped me to grow and be more well rounded as a dancer. The critiques I was given, I will take home and treasure. Sometimes they are tough to hear but I like to think they are like nuggets of gold that I can reflect, ponder and work on as I continue in my quest to become the best that I can be.
While at the intensive, I had the opportunity to work with a variety of teachers, but my main teacher was Madame Susan Jones who taught our ballet and repertory class, as well as, put together my classes ballet variation from Sleeping Beauty which we showcased at the end of the intensive. Although the first couple of days, I was extremely frightened of her by the end, that fright just turned to great respect and awe. She gave me wonderful critiques on turnout, placement and urged everyone in class to make our movements look effortless and clean even though they may be hard. I enjoyed hearing about her own experiences in the ballet world and looked forward to working with her everyday. Character, jazz, modern and even hip hop classes were a joy. I had the opportunity to learn other types of dance besides ballet which helped me to become a much more free, adaptable and versatile dancer. The facilities and food were wonderful but even more importantly was I was surrounded by amazing counselors, students and teachers all who loved to dance and who supported and inspired and helped me every step of the day. My experience was incredible. I learned a lot, felt tired but deeply satisfied and even got to visit Disneyland on a Sunday day off to visit “Goofy“. I feel extremely grateful for this amazing support and opportunity and hope to continue to expand and excel my dancing abilities at home. Looking forward to even more hard work this year and perhaps the opportunity to revisit the ABT program next year. Thank you Dance Council! Thank you to the Fred Kelly Foundation! Without your support, this experience I would not have been able to have and I am so honored you gave it to me.
With Deepest Respect and Gratitude,
~ Anastasia Markova