Russian dancer trains mini Turkish ballerinas

Russian dancer trains mini Turkish ballerinas

Russian dancer trains mini Turkish ballerinas

Forty Turkish girls, who attend ballet classes in the western province of Afyonkarahisar’s Dinar district, are trained by Russian ballet dancer Nataliya Gorelova

A graduate of the Moscow State University Choreography and Ballet Pedagogy Department, Gorelova has danced in her country for many years. She came to Turkey in 2000 for Children’s Day on April 23 and loved the country, so she moved to the Mediterranean province of Antalya in 2006. 

In 2009, Gorelova opened a ballet school in Antalya and then moved the school to Isparta. Families from Dinar became impressed with the performances by her students and upon demand, she began teaching ballet to children there as well. 

The ballet classes are provided through the support of the Dinar Municipality. Forty tiny dancers not only increase their flexibility through ballet training, they also have the opportunity to socialize during ballet recitals. 

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, the Russian dancer said she has taught classical ballet for two years as an academic at the Antalya State Conservatory Performance Arts Department. 

Afterward, Gorelova moved to Isparta and opened a school there due to the high demand. “I have been teaching classical ballet and choreography in Isparta for nearly 10 years. Many of our students have been admitted to conservatories and ballet departments,” she said. 

Many students enroll in the ballet school from Dinar too, as it is close to Isparta, Gorelova said. 

“Families want us to open a school here as well. Dinar Mayor Saffet Acar has given us much support. Our students and their families see ballet education as a serious and academic field. Ballet education takes approximately eight years. Our goal is for these girls to be accepted in fine arts and ballet departments at universities,” she said. 

The Russian dancer also said she has been very pleased with her students and has tried to give them a full ballet education, despite limited opportunities. 

“We plan to put on recitals during festivals in the spring and summer. Our students are really little but ballet training should start at a very young age. They become used to the discipline in ballet education. When they fail or become bored, they stop. Not everyone can do ballet, it’s a practice that requires a lot of patience,” she said. 

“With our education, they learn responsibility and discipline at a young age. This reflects onto their behavior, academic life and personal life. At the same time, they start a healthy lifestyle. A ballet dancer’s figure is an indicator of health. We are lean but we are actually very strong. Ballerinas do not gain much weight and they are flexible. We have great posture. With the proper exercises, they gain healthy shoulder and back posture. The discipline they gain is also reflected in their personality,” said Gorelova. 

 When it comes to classical ballet, France and Russia are popular countries, she said. 

“Classical ballet and piano are the most difficult branches of art. Turkish children begin ballet at the ages of four and five. Family is a very important factor in ballet education. Parents in Dinar place a high importance on ballet. Before registration for classes, I have serious talks with them because the training is very hard and requires long-term dedication,” said the Russian dancer. 

“This branch of art is different from the others. Parents help their children at home too. We have great student-parent support. Most parents are considering ballet education for their children’s future in ballet departments,” said Gorelova. 

The Dinar mayor said ballet teaches children teamwork. 

“Our teacher Nataliya did not let us down and came to Dinar. Although we are a small district, the ballet course draws great interest. We have nearly 40 students and this number increases every day. If a child has had ballet training, it is evident in their every move, from walking to sitting, because they are very careful due to their disciplined training. Our children and their families are very happy with this education,” said Acar.