Final year ballet exam – Bolshoi Ballet Academy 2016

If you’d like to follow my career as a professional classical dancer, go over to my Instagram page here.  Read on to find out more about my life at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy …

Seems some sort of miracle that I’m now able to write in the past tense about my graduating ballet exam; marking the start of the end of four fantastic years at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.  Though I already took my acting exam last month, the completion of my ballet exam has really marked the true turning point in my time here in Moscow.

The ballet exam is always the toughest but this year in particular I found the gravitas of the event a substantial challenge.  My teacher, Natalia Igorevna, always packs our into exam into roughly an hour, which once choreographed we run every day (sometimes twice a day) until the date of the exam.  It is a typical ballet class (barre work, centre-work and jumps) with the addition of a grand adagio after the centre-work and pointe work after jumps.  For the majority of the exam I was in a group of three and I showed hops on pointe as a solo near the end of the exam.  I always extremely prepared by the time the committee assembles to watch us, however, I’ve never felt as nervous for an exam as I did this one.


Luckily, despite this, I managed to perform my best and am beyond happy and relieved that everything went well. After the exam, as the reality started to seep in, one of my classmates who has been here with me since my traineeship days turned to me and reminded me that we’ve been here for four years and that this is finally the end – I surprised myself by tearing up a little!

Tala Lee-Turton Bolshoi Ballet Academy


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