Inspiration: Natalia Osipova

Happy New Year, dancers! You’ll be getting back to class soon and preparing for spring shows and recitals, so here’s some inspiration for your busy New Year. Remember that this year will be whatever you make of it!

Natalia Osipova graduated from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in 2004 and was given a position in the Bolshoi’s corp. While still a student, Natalia won the Grand Prix IBC in Luxemburg. As a young professional she was granted soloist roles from the start and won a bronze medal at the Moscow IBC at the end of her first pro year.

Noted for her exceptional allegro, Natalia was highly praised by critics for her attack and brilliance. She was becoming well-known while still just a member of the corps. Her steady ascent has been punctuated by prestigious awards and critically acclaimed debuts. Natalia was promoted to lead soloist in fall of 2008 and finally to principal in May of this year. Check out amazing action photos of Osipova and more inspiring details about her journey to stardom at her website.

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Pirouette Perfection with 24 Tips & a Vertiginous Video!

Pirouette help just in time for audition season! You might have noticed that I added a blogroll a few weeks back so you could have access to even more dance articles and resources. (It’s on the side of every page.) I add good new blogs as I find them, but my latest fave is Dance Advantage, which you will recognize from my below post on their Top Dance Blogs competition.

Dance Advantage takes a fun approach to dance student topics like technique, dance programs, performance/competition preparation, dance history, and even professional companies. You’ll love their technique section, which has neat, bullet-pointed summaries of basic and classic technical tips. Their 9 perfect pirouette improvement tips and 15 fantastic turn corrections are sure to help you to understand and stay focused on proper movement quality in a basic pirouette. You have probably heard these tips often from your dance teacher, but it’s great to have a quick reference in print!

Need pirouette inspiration and some more help? I found an excellent video for you from Anaheim Ballet which highlights my absolute favorite theories for achieving your balance point and, thereby, accomplish gorgeous turns:

2011 Summer Intensive Updates!

If you haven’t been regularly checking my recent post on the best SIs, click back over to look for newly added quality regional programs (at the bottom of the post) and additional updated info on individual programs.

Also, Pointe Magazine has posted online two good articles on preparing for this audition season. “Rejected” is one dancer’s story of turning a potentially crushing letter into a motivational tool, and “The August Advantage” is a look into summer intensive extension and add-on programs for advanced, vocational students.

You can vote for BalletScoop for Top Dance Blogs of 2010!

Your CBT has entered BalletScoop for DanceAdvantage.net’s Top Dance Blogs of 2010. BalletScoop is only five months old – and you all are a very stealthy and quiet group of readers! – but you if you enjoy this blog, I would love to have your vote.

To vote for BalletScoop, simply leave a comment below on this post. (Multiple comments would be like multiple votes, so they are not allowed!)  As always, I would be thrilled to hear feedback from you guys as well. And thank you for reading BalletScoop!!

Update: I should mention that the rules of this competition prevent me from responding to the comments/votes, but I sincerely appreciate them! Thank you!!

Dancewear en l’air: The Long-Sleeve Turtleneck Leo

A long-sleeved turtleneck leotard can be a lifesaver on wintery days, especially if you have a dress code that does not allow warm-ups. These styles can look a bit plain, however, which is why I love this mesh-inset version, Melinda (L4504C), from Sansha.

With a stylish keyhole cutout in the back and mesh fabric for the sleeves and across the collarbone, this leo evokes that dramatic evening-dress look. It’s only available in black, which works well since other colors in mesh can look a bit garish instead of elegant. I think this leo would look adorable in a winter class with a short black wrap skirt and bunched ankle warmers.

Inspiration: Keenan Kampa

It’s impossible to not be inspired by Keenan Kampa. As the first American to graduate from the Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, Keenan, 21, has just accepted a position in the corps de ballet of Boston Ballet.

With long yet muscular limbs, Keenan has a natural facility for ballet. Born in Washington, D.C., Keenan studied at The Conservatory Ballet in Reston, VA, and then on scholarship with American Ballet Theatre JKO School in NYC. At 17, she reached the semi-finals at the Prix de Lausanne. She was soon thereafter spotted at a Russian Maryinsky master class and received an invitation to the Vaganova School. Her professional debut is widely anticipated, but you can check out her graduation performance, rehearsals and graduation exams now on her family’s youtube channel, kampagirls.

Ballet in Film: Masha, A Portrait of Maria Kochetkova

A new film is in the works documenting 2002 Prix de Lausanne winner Maria Kochetkova, now principal dancer with San Fransisco Ballet, in rehearsals and performances of a brand new ballet. Maria trained at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for eight years before joining the Royal Ballet and then the English National Ballet. Kochetkova graced the cover of this year’s April/May Pointe Magazine and has been awarded four International Ballet Competition gold medals in addition to one silver, one bronze and the jury prize.

You can view her personal website here. Pre-ordering of her DVD will be available at http://kck.st/b5LxPL, but here’s the beautiful trailer in the meantime. Check out her exquisite port de bras!