Harmony dancers accepted into prestigious ballet academies

Dancing is high on the priorities list for Lili Biglari, 10, (left) and Hannah Foley, 10, (middle) who were accepted into the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Connecticut. Caroline Jamail, 10, (right) was accepted into the Ballet Austin Academy.

By Emily Hilley-Sierzchula
Saying the word “Bolshoi” to a ballet dancer is likely to make a heart flutter and a mind yearn for something magnificent but almost unattainable. Founded in 1776 and based in Moscow, Bolshoi Ballet is the oldest and most renowned classical ballet company in the world.
Three students from Harmony School of Creative Arts’ Academy of Dance in Marble Falls have been accepted into summer classes at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Connecticut, where they will learn from the best ballet dancers in the world.
The director of Harmony’s Academy of Dance said dancers’ success is attributed to countless hours of practice under the tutelage of master dance teachers Randall Marks and Jane Allen, both accomplished, classically-trained dancers. Marks specializes is Russian ballet.
“It’s 80 percent hard work and 20 percent natural talent,” said Kathleen Van Berg, Academy of Dance director, Friday, Feb. 27. “Natural ability is a rare treat.”
Lili Biglari, 10, Amy Foley, 14, and Hannah Foley, 10, competed against dancers from across the nation for the privilege of attending the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. The Foley sisters are on the waiting list.
“I’ve never been to a Russian academy so I’m excited,” Biglari said.
Dancers heading to the Bolshoi Academy might want to brush up on their Russian.
“What’s interesting about Bolshoi is they bring their instructors from Russia, and students learn through interpreters” because classes are conducted entirely in Russian, said Molly Biglari, Lili’s proud mom. “Dancers come from all over the world for that program in Connecticut.”
As if having three students accepted to Bolshoi Academy isn’t exciting enough, 5 more students made it into esteemed ballet academies as well: Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago and Ballet Austin Academy.
For the full story, see Tuesday's Highlander.

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