Ildiko Pongor – Life Story of a Ballerina (Part 1)

I had the pleasure of taking class from Ildiko Pongor all last summer in SIBA. Ildiko was one of my favorite teachers there and I really made a connection with her as she had also experienced going to Russia to study ballet as a foreigner. Ildiko is from Hungary, but she finished her education at the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg. While I was at SIBA last summer, she would often give me advice for my upcoming departure to Perm – at that point, my acceptance into the school was fresh on my mind as it had happened just a week prior to the start of the summer program, and I was in the middle of arranging the necessary documents for Russia; needless to say, I was flooded with emotions of both excitement and, naturally, a bit of nervousness. Being used to the Vaganova technique, Ildiko’s classes were a really nice fit for me as they allowed me to explore some different movements and perspectives while allowing me the comfort of staying within the realm of Vaganova technique. Outside of class, Ildiko showed me all kinds of exercises not only to stretch and calm my body, but to stretch and calm my mind; and the advice she offered me throughout the summer stayed with me in Russia and was invaluable.

Every single teacher at SIBA had something great to offer; I am only singling out Ildiko in this post for two reasons. First of all, there is a wonderful video about her that I recommend to watch (part of it was shows to us during SIBA as well – we had regular presentations in the evenings that were very educational and interesting and, most of all, inspiring)! Second, as I said above, I found myself looking to Ildiko’s classes and my rehearsal periods with her more than any of the other classes, and I wanted to share with all of you the opportunity to take her classes also!

I realize I am incredibly lucky to have studied with the best of the best in the world of ballet. Natalia Shevchenko, Lidiya G. Ulanova, Ildiko Pongor…the list goes on and on. Every single one of them has had at least one thing to offer from their classes, and in many cases it was more than one thing! Not many people will have the opportunity to study under such teachers.

Ildiko Pongor will be back at SIBA this summer, as well as the handful of other fabulous teachers. Knowing how difficult it can be to find a quality teacher, and knowing the difference it makes (and it does make all the difference; eight years after meeting the teacher that got me where I am, I am still taking her classes and never for a moment take it for granted that I have her to guide me), I always try to take hold of any opportunity to study under an excellent teacher, even if only for a master class, and recommend aspiring ballerinas to do the same.

If any of you are interested in going to SIBA this summer, you can go ahead and get in touch with me or go to the SIBA website where they have all of the details.

I myself plan on going back to SIBA this summer, and I would be happy to meet those that will be going as well! Don’t hesitate to let me know if you are going!

P.S. It came to my attention only this last weekend that there was a problem with the ‘contact me’ forms on my blog – I’m not sure what was going on, but all at once I received a bunch of emails from those of you that contacted me! I never received notification of them before, so I was not even aware I might be not answering some people’s questions! The weird thing is that I did receive some of the contact requests, just apparently not all. Anyway, it appears to be fixed and working now. I do intend to answer all those emails I got from you guys, but it might take a bit of time to get through them all as there are actually quite a lot! And of course, I apologize if it seemed that I was ignoring you all! I assure you I wasn’t and it is frustrating that I didn’t get the emails until now!


Winter Break at MCB; Big Decisions Ahead

Wowowowowow!! Major apologies for the huge delay in sharing my exciting winter break at home with my family. I’ve been kept busy with some personal issues and, of course, my return to Russia.

Personal issues aside (I’ll touch on those later), I hope you are all enjoying the new year as we get ready to see January off in only a week and half’s time! 

Playing catch up with blogging has it’s consequences, as I suppose it should…it’s punishment for not keeping up with my duties! Haha. Probably the consequence I’ve come to dread most, other than keeping my readers waiting, is that so much happens every day and by the time I finally get around to blogging, I don’t even know where to begin since I have so much to share!

In light of this overwhelming predicament, I’ve decided to share with you what I consider to be the highlight of my winter break back at home (at least in so far as ballet is concerned). Funnily enough, I wasn’t actually at home for this – my family was visiting in Miami. But same thing anyway, isn’t it? Ha!  


Some of you may know Dance_Reader from twitter. If not, I’ll tell you now – she’s a lovely, very kind, very caring, and extremely friendly lady! She heard I would be in Miami after we got in touch on Twitter, and very generously arranged a visit at Miami City Ballet for me while I was there! Not only that, but I had the opportunity to actually join the company in class the day I visited! Can you say WOW?!

Unfortunately I was unable to take part in the class myself, as my hip was really acting up and I wanted to give it as much rest as possible before going back to Russia. But the visit was wonderful nevertheless, from the behind-the-scenes look at the costume workshop as they prepared last-minute costumes for their upcoming premier, to meeting the Delgado sisters and also Kara, a friend of Dance_Reader who is also a ballerina with MCB, to getting a new perspective on the Balanchine influence in ballet (and admittedly learning to appreciate it much, much more). 



I am not too familiar with the Balanchine style at MCB, NYCB, SAB, so on and so forth; I’ll admit that up until now I’ve been rather narrow-minded about my preferences in ballet, dedicating my attention almost exclusively to – you guessed it – Russian ballet and the Vaganova schooling system. I’m really happy that I gained this desire to be a little more open-minded in how I look at ballet; I most certainly credit this new-found open-mindedness to my visit at MCB, and I profusely thank Dance_Reader, her family (after visiting MCB, my family and I met her father for lunch), and all the people at MCB who made my visit possible!  

Now, I said I would address some personal issues. As you all know, my winter break has ended and I am now back in Russia. I’ve been here a week tonight, but already I’ve been facing some major decision-making as a result of several big issues that have popped up, or that were already existing but have increased in magnitude as of late. The first is my hip – both hips, actually, although my left one in particular – which has been bothering me for a long time now; recently it has gotten to the point where I feel unable to do much in class; or, at least, what I am capable of doing is nowhere near my potential, and it’s aggravating to not be able to push harder when I know “I can”. There are some other factors at hand that are playing into my dilemma-of-sorts as well. Going home over the winter break and then coming back to Russia revealed a side of me that I was completely blinded to before! This break was really a new experience for me; until now, I dreaded school breaks – a break meant that there would be no ballet classes, and I would have to just wait until the break ended. On top of that, since I was really trying to get myself ready for this school (in Perm, I mean), I felt like I did not have permission to rest, anyway. So while ‘patiently’ waiting for ballet, I also felt like I absolutely, no-questions-asked, no exceptions, had to do stuff on my own each and every day of my break. And not just floor barre or just some cross-training or just some stretching every day – no, I had to do all of it, every single day! Of course, such ambition is good, but the tasks I had set up for myself were impractical given that they also clashed with the nature of the break itself, and with my body’s desire to take advantage of the break and rest; this left me feeling guilty each time I didn’t do what I had planned, or didn’t do it fully. As a result, breaks were never something I particularly looked forward to, which is a real shame! 

This time, I was relaxed. I was already a student here: dream accomplished, goal check-marked off my bucket list; I was tired and my body was more than ready for a rest and my mind was, too, and I was more than willing to give it that rest, since I felt like I had already achieved what I had set myself up to do from the very beginning. And so, I came back home for the break with no intention of doing anything other than enjoying myself and enjoying my time with my family – and this is exactly what I did. And it was wonderful! 

And as it turns out, I have a lot more on my bucket list than I was aware of before. Ballet – studying at a Russian ballet school – was always at the top of the list, so big and in bold and with neon flashing lights around it; it was so dominating that it almost ‘distracted’ me from everything else I want in my life! But distracted feels like the wrong word. It was legitimately dominant, and I would never had wanted it to be anything less, because…hey, look at me! I’m in a Russian ballet school. I’m living my dream. 

And all of a sudden, I started finding other dreams I have, other goals I want to accomplish; one of the things I realized I want, for the first time in my life, is family. That might sound like a given, but I honestly never thought about it to this degree before! Going home and then coming back to Russia made me really feel the weight of being without a family by my side; and some day, I want a family of my own, as well. 

Anyway, it just got me thinking. My hip has left me thinking about what else I want to experience in my life. I feel like I have accomplished so much already – I feel successful! – but I am not satisfied yet, I still want to accomplish so much more. The recent events, and the realization that I have accomplished my dream, have woken up my appetite and I am now hungry to explore more, to learn more, to do more. 

And so I’m weighing my options now and preparing to make a big decision. It seems that the condition of my hip might warrant more than just ‘going easy’ during class if I want it to get better. And I might just take hold of that opportunity to see what else life has to offer. 

A Birthday of Firsts and The Best Parents Ever

A Birthday of Firsts and The Best Parents Ever

Good morning to all those on my side of the world, good night to those on the other! This morning I woke up 20 years old – my first day as a not-teenager and my first day in my new … Continue reading

Holiday Gift for Dancers

The day-to-day happenings of the last few weeks here in Perm have been interlaced with holiday preparations – everything from decorating our dorm rooms and the school itself, to putting suggestions for foods we want for a holiday meal during the last week of school in a box they put up, to buying gifts for friends and family.

Except, ok, I haven’t really gotten too far with that last one! Buying gifts is always such a complicated process for me! I want the gifts to be perfect, but this perfectionist tendency in me always leaves me closer to reaching the deadline without a present at all [due to not being able to choose] than having a 98% perfect present [as opposed to the 100% I strive for]. This has lead me to make several outings [in the bitter cold, I might add!] to look for gifts and coming back empty handed the majority of the time (luckily, I have at least made some progress, albeit very minimal). Factor in the fact that I spent almost all of this week locked up in Isolation after catching a virus that was going around, and the harsh reality sets in at once: I am way behind on my holiday shopping!

The thing is, I shouldn’t complain. At least I am buying presents for normal people. But what do people buy a dancer? That can be tricky. Gift cards are always good – I have received gift cards to dance stores before and those were always a treat! But what about a different type of gift card…?

Most [every?] serious dancer wants to attend a summer intensive in the summer, and the majority of the young ballet world is currently refining and narrowing down long lists of summer intensive auditions they will start attending next month. But there is something else all these students have in common: the awareness that they may not be able to attend a summer intensive at all, even if they did get in. 

This, my friends, is where this holiday gift idea comes into play! SIBA, the program I attended last summer and highly recommend, has come up with a wonderful idea for dancers and their relations alike. For the first time, people can buy gift cards to go toward the summer intensive program and gift them to dancers. If that isn’t a good idea, I don’t know what is! 


So, dancers! Put this gift card on your holiday wishlist and you could find yourself ever so much closer to attending a summer program this year! I know I would certainly find great use of this – I am hoping to return to SIBA this year once again because I liked it so much last year! What with still being involved in the search for funding my year-round education here in Perm, a summer program is going to be tough to afford, if at all affordable (flights are a biggie!) I am well aware that my concerns are similar or the same to those held by other dancers, so I figured that if I thought this was a good solution for me, that it might be a good solution for you, as well!

If you’re looking to buy a present for a dancer, take note

Happy holidays everyone 🙂

Winter is Coming. No, Wait – Winter has Come!

The snow began a few weeks ago, although I’m quite surprised at how little snow there is on the ground. I probably shouldn’t be too ‘worried’, though, as the weather forecast has us preparing to expect temperatures  of “feels like” … Continue reading

MIA? Not Really!!

Hi all,

I announced some time ago that I would try out blogging through Tumblr instead, as I felt the simpler post formatting might make for a more constructive use of my time – thereby allowing me to post more frequently and with better content. 

Unfortunately, I seemed to have announced this everywhere but here! So sorry if I left some of you hanging! It was most certainly unintentional, and I suppose it slipped my mind what with everything that was going on.

Excuses aside, I’ve been using the Tumblr platform for a good two months now, and I’m pretty sure I’d like to come back to WordPress. It’s just…better. At least, for what I’m doing. 

Stay tuned for more as I finally decide on which blog I will actually use! 

In the meantime, feel free to check out the posts I’ve published over the last two months on my Tumblr blog

“On my way home from ballet…”

You know you’re becoming well-adjusted to your new life when you say that kind of thing to your mom on the phone! When you start referring to the dorms as “home”, it really starts to feel that way, and even though nothing will ever compare to the home with a family to go along with it, who’s to say a person can’t have more than one true home? I’ve started to feel that I’m becoming more comfortable with life as it is here, with the flow of my schedule, with the surrounding area, with the people I’m living with – and it’s really great! it’s starting to feel like normal life and I couldn’t be more happy about that 🙂

After the exams last Friday, classes reverted back to being more like what I had expected them to be. I mean, up until the exam, we were working on actually setting a class to perform for the exam, and it took me a while to realize that, during which I was wondering why the classes seemed somewhat strange! It made sense once I realized we were doing an exam, though. 

Class is so much nicer now, though, now that it’s flowing like an actual class! My teacher has been giving me more and more personal corrections, and each and every time this happens it makes me feel like I’ve made one more little step forward on the ladder to success: I’m not kidding when I say that I get so excited every time that I want to jump up in the air and give a “whoop-whoop!” I regret to inform you all that I do not, in fact, do this during class, as I have a sneaking suspicion it might get me thrown out of the school. But that’s ok, I can do it on here! “Whoop-whoop!”

Getting more personal attention has been exactly the motivator I needed to reassure me that I do belong here and that I can go very far during my studies here. I’ve gotten such a burst of confidence in the last week – and don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I was lacking confidence – but I just feel like it’s even more justified now, and I really like that. 

I even stood on the middle barre all this week! I don’t want to get overly excited about it because my spot can change at any minute if Lydia Grigorevna decides I’m not worthy enough of the honor to take up a coveted middle barre spot…but I can’t help but be happy about it! Just the fact that I took a chance and stood on the middle barre, and she didn’t move me back or yell at me – well, I think I deserve to celebrate that as more progress. 

The girls in my class…well, maybe I need to give it more time. It’s understandable that they we wouldn’t click together as the best of friends immediately. What with the language barrier, it’s really not a simple task to communicate. I know Russian quite well already, but somehow when they start talking I find it really difficult to keep up and answer like I know to answer! Still, I wish they were a little more friendly and helpful rather than as distant and cold as they are. Ok, that made it sound so much worse than it is – they are nice sometimes! I noticed that when it’s just me and one of the Russian girls, they act completely sweet and they answer my questions and are genuinely kind to me. It’s when they are together as a class that it feels like they would rather talk about me instead of with me and don’t make an effort to get to know me. This little thing I noticed makes me sure that it’s just ‘fear’ they have of one another, and not really of me. Soon enough my Russian will improve and they will be able to actually talk with me and find out that I’m not so scary after all!! Hahaha!

Meanwhile, though, I’ve really gotten to be friends with the rest of the international boarders – and that’s really important as well! It’s a lot of fun to be with them all and they are all so friendly and helpful!

Really, though, I’ve been trying hard not to let any of whatever goes on with the other girls influence how my classes go. And, honestly, I hardly think about it once I’m in class; of course there are occasions here and there, but overall I’m focused on class. I’m here to become a ballerina, first and foremost, and I have no plans to derail from my mission of making the most of this experience, perfecting my dancing, and showing them what I’m made of!

So, I have been working really hard in classes, trying to make progress each and every time the opportunity presents itself; funnily enough, I realized that if you look hard enough, opportunity for progress presents itself quite frequently; it’s only left up to me to grasp that moment and take that chance, whatever it may be, and give it my absolute fullest and best in order to make that step forward and be a little closer (or a lot closer) to the ultimate goal. 

I was hoping that by now I would have found an ideal way for this post to seamlessly flow into a description of what my classes are actually like and how they compare to what I’m used to, but I just can’t seem to do that today! It’s Sunday, it’s my day off, give me a break! So, I’ll just go into it like this 😉

Classes here are pretty close to what I’m used to. That’s not surprising since I’ve always been taught according to the Vaganova syllabus by my teacher at home. There are still slight differences, of course, as you would expect when going from teacher to teacher and school to school and, most certainly, country to country! We start every class – not just Classical, classes like gymnastics, too – with Поклон [said as “paklon”], which is the bow, reverence, curtsy, whatever you are accustomed to referring to it as. It’s slightly different for Classical (where it is a simple curtsy to both sides) than it is for Historical (where it is slightly more involved, with an added temps lie and whatnot) and Character (where there is an emphasis on a flourish of the arms in addition to the added steps in between) – but always, this is how class begins, and how it ends, as well. Note: aside from the Поклон we do at the beginning and end of every class, we are also expected to curtsy to both sides whenever out teacher or the pianist walks in, or some other person of importance enters the room.

One of the other differences is that my teacher here likes to repeat combinations a couple times. I haven’t yet picked up on how often we actually do that, but I think it’s about every other day; meaning, she’ll show us the combinations on Monday, and we repeat the class on Tuesday, maybe slightly more complicated, but on Wednesday she might show us different combinations. But honestly, I might be totally off on this – I haven’t been here long enough to learn any definite pattern! 

We are assigned spots at the barre and in center, which we kind of did at home but not quite to the same degree. 

What else? Well, I’m used to getting more hands-on corrections at home, which is funny because you would think it would be the opposite; I’m not sure if it’s just Lydia Grigorevna’s style to yell corrections more often than actually place your body in certain positions, but I’m pretty sure it’s just that she hasn’t done so to me personally yet because I’m still new. I say that because she most certainly has been quite hands-on and physical with the other girls, varying in intensity from placing a girls foot in the correct position so that she feels how it should be done, to slapping an arm into place, to pushing a girl to the side of the room so hard she almost fell over! It might sound strange for me to say this, but I can’t wait until I start getting the same level of corrections. 

On one hand, classes here are slower, in that we really repeat a movement or a combination over and over until it’s perfect before moving on to something more challenging; this is a pretty big characteristic of the Russian school, which is afforded by the setup of 8 years of strict, calculated training and a syllabus to go along with it. On the other hand, we’re doing movements that I’ve never done before!

One of the more difficult things for me is wearing de-shanked pointe shoes in class instead of flat shoes. It’s not the whole school that does this, most of the girls wear normal slippers. But Lydia Grigorevna wants us in soft pointe shoes – she made that very clear to me on my first day here when I wore my usual ballet slippers! And I just find it harder to work my feet in them, but especially difficult is adagio in center where the different shape of the shoe, compared to flats, make balancing on flat or demi-pointe a completely different experience, one that increases the difficulty of the exercise tenfold! 

I think those are the main differences…at least, it’s what I can come up with to describe to you all at the moment! If there are any questions you’d like answered in more specifics, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m glad to tell everyone about what it’s like here, I just need to know what people want to hear 🙂

Well – I need to go now! Today is Sunday, which is my one day off every week and believe me when I say I cherish it and try to make the most of it because I find it much more difficult to have only one day off instead of two. Later today Daria is taking us to do a photoshoot around Perm, on the theme of “Perm Through the Eyes of a Foreigner”, so that should be really fun! 

I hope the rest of you have a nice weekend, too! 

^By the way, you know how ballet is so ingrained in the Russian culture, right? Walk into the local supermarket and you’re sure to find at least one type of chocolate with some ballet theme to it! I wanted to buy this just for the box, but I don’t trust myself with all that chocolate. So I took a picture, instead! Enjoy 😀

‎”Молодец, Ноачка, моя дорогая.”

Excellent, Noachka, my dear.

Did she really say that to me

Class yesterday was good! My teacher paid me more attention and gave me more corrections than she had been giving until now, which is a relief and a huge motivator to keep going and keep improving and be the absolute best I can be! One of the things I found was the biggest struggle for me thus far was the lack of corrections/personal attention/explanation of movements compared to what I get at home. Well, that’s not entirely true – Lidiya Grigorevna does explain the movements and she does give corrections – it is due to my not-yet-developed proficiency in Russian language that I have a hard time following and understanding every detail; still, I try to understand the main points of what she says, and to apply them to myself. I know that, with time, it will improve greatly! But it is true that I found it difficult to cope with getting less personal attention and corrections than I do at home; naturally, I expected this. Being the new kid at school, a foreigner at that, and joining into a Second Course class [that had already been taught by L.G. Ulanova for a year prior], it was something I prepared ahead for and it didn’t catch me by surprise. Still, it certainly brought about feelings of “in-adequateness” [did I just make up a word?], even though I knew that it’s too early to start worrying that I’m not getting the attention I’m used to because my teacher is not happy with me. 

And yesterday, I was pleased to have been given reassurance that my teacher is happy with me after all! Ok, maybe it was more like a little hint; but I got corrected and I got several personal comments from her and at one sublime point in class, as I was trying to apply a correction she gave me, I got that sweet taste of a compliment from her [ok, compliment is not the best word, but it was a positive remark from her nevertheless!]: ‎”Молодец, Ноачка, моя дорогая.” 

I was cheerful about that for the rest of the day, but when night came and then this morning arrived, I was feeling somewhat sad and I don’t know why. It’s been happening often lately, that I seem to get sad for no clear reason at all. I’m doing well here, I’m making more friends each day, improving my Russian one word at a time, my ankle even feels significantly better than it did upon my arrival here – and really, I’m very happy! I mean, I’m doing exactly what I’d always dreamed of doing. So it can’t be real sadness! And yet, when it hits, however momentarily, it still hurts. 

But! I’m going to make an effort to stop those periods of being down in the dumps because I want to enjoy my happiness in full! And I’m really excited to tell you guys about what happened today that made me happier than ever, extremely motivated, and very confident in both my potential in ballet and my ability to do away with the periodic negative emotions. 

You see, today we had an exam in Classical! Ok, I lied, sort of. We don’t have our actual exams until June. But last June, one of the girls in my class sprained her ankle and was unable to do her exam; therefore, today our class did an exam, although only that one girl would be getting graded. I wasn’t nervous, just thrilled at the prospect of being able to get a feel for what my real exam in June would be like before actually doing it; I’ve never had an exam in ballet before, after all. I’ve watched the videos on YouTube…and that’s about the extent to which I was familiar with ballet exams in Russia! 

The only thing that made me a bit apprehensive was that I was caught more or less off-guard, and only understood that we would be having the exam a couple days ago; and that meant that we were expected to memorize the class we had ‘set’ and do it in full, almost without stop, during the exam. I don’t have trouble remembering combinations even the next day, but the reason I was a little anxious was because by the time I realized we were doing the exam, I had only one day to learn the whole class; and also, I was scared that I might not have understood my teacher correctly as far as what combinations we’re doing for the actual exam, since she was changing some stuff here and there. [Note: that’s why I put the word ‘set’ in single quotation marks.]

Apart from that, I really had nothing to fear, and by the time I had finished my usual warm up, that sad feeling from earlier in the morning had dissipated completely and I felt eager to experience an exam for the first time!

The exam came and went – quickly! And I really do mean that it was quick. We did our entire barre in the span of about 15 minutes, and the class in its entirety lasted no more than 45 or 50 minutes. But it felt so good to go from combination to combination without stop, save for a few moments to catch our breath here and there [I say that now, but during class I think I was more concerned about the cramping in my feet and being out of breath than I am willing to admit now, hehehe.] I worked really hard and I was absolutely drenched in sweat and I love that! Moreover, I felt that I did a good job executing all the combinations, and I was rather pleased with myself 🙂 I stumbled on one combination, but that’s normal, and I saw some of the other girls have a few mishaps, so it didn’t worry me one bit. I felt good! And what my teacher told me later made me feel even better

Before we would hear the comments from the committee that was watching us (and grading the one girl), however, we had to wait patiently in the room for several minutes while the teachers all went into another room to deliberate. We passed the time by stretching and sitting and talking and just not doing anything! I have a feeling that in June, this period of waiting will be less relaxed and significantly more tense, though, seeing as we’ll be minutes away from getting our ever-so-important grade then! 

Finally, they came back in, and gave everyone their corrections and comments and whatnot. My teacher told me that I have a smart head, and that I know what I need to work on and that I am working very well in class! She seemed really happy with my progress so far and mentioned a couple key points I need to really think about during class. FINALLY I got some feedback from her, and not just feedback, but good feedback! I am so happy about that, that I can’t imagine anything stopping me now! I feel refreshed and so absolutely ready to take things by the reins and steer my way to the top. I’m going to apply my corrections, and make her even happier, and I will be the best I possibly can be! No, wait – I’ll be better than that 😉

Now, last week, after my last blog post, I got so many supportive and motivating comments from the awesome people over at DDN (shout-out!), and with that I got some requests for the next installment of my blog:

a detailed story about a ballet class. About the differences with classes here, about the corrections you get, how you get corrected, the atmosphere in class, the teacher, the music, the floors, anything.

More info on your technique classes please!

First of all, a sincere apology – I said that my next post would most certainly be about the technique classes, and instead I’ve gone and written all about our exam! Oops! Blame it on the excitement 🙂

And second, I was hesitant to write about our technique classes so soon, but I couldn’t put my finger on the reason why; it’s only now that I can pinpoint the reason, and that is because I think our classes have been run slightly differently these last couple weeks than how they usually are laid out. And I believe this is because my class was preparing for the exam (although I did not know that all that time). I didn’t understand/was somewhat surprised that we were repeating combinations from day to day (at home, I’m used to my teacher giving new combinations almost every time), and also found myself tilting my head in curiosity about other such aspects. Now I understand that it was for the exam, and now that the exam is done with, I too am curious to see how classes usually go here! 

With that said, I don’t know how accurate it would be to compare my classes thus far with my normal classes at home. For example, we have had set places at the barre (and the places are determined by how good you are, the center barre being exclusively assigned for the best students), but I’m not sure now if that was just for the exam, or if every day in normal class we are expected to stand in those assigned spots as well. And for that reason, once I get a better picture of the average, day-to-day class here, I will share it here without hesitation and in the most detailed way I can! 

Until next time – which I won’t promise when it will be, as I’m still adjusting to my schedule (which is still changing a bit – I just got piano lessons added, wahoo!!!) and still figuring out when I actually have free time, when is the best time to blog, and when must my free time be put toward some other use – до свидания! 

*Note: I made a post a few days ago with many pictures, but it seems to have not worked so well, because as far as I can tell, only one picture shoes up, and everything I wrote disappeared along with the rest of the pictures I had meant to include. Tonight or this weekend I will try to fix it or re-post the pictures. Does everyone else only see one picture too, or can you see the post in full?