Anna, a Summer Intensive participant from Russia, sent us this reflection after last week. We loved reading about her experience and wanted to share it with you. Learn more about Anna and all the work she is doing in Moscow. Have you thought about attending our Summer Intensive? Be sure to Join Our Mailing List to keep up with news and announcements for 2014!
"When I first arrived, I was really worried about everything. What experiences I would have, how would I be received by the rest of the class with my terrible English, how would I be able to dance in front of professional dancers.
On the first day, I wrote to our choreographer in Russia asking what I should concentrate on, and what was most important for him to know. He replied, “Work and take part in the course, and your experience and feelings will be the most important in useful information.”
Now I understand that personally, taking part in the course itself, brought me happiness, and that to me is the most valuable experience.
I had only one experience with dance from my childhood, and it was quite negative. It was in a ballet school, where my parents sent me with out any talent, or previous training, to try and help my posture. All that I remember now, is that the dance instructor yelled all the time, and I was terrified, and couldn’t understand what she wanted and nothing seemed to work out for me. The whole time I wanted to hide, so she would not see me. In the classroom, I always chose the place where the bannister was attached to the wall, because there was no mirror in the spot. I thought, If I can’t see me, then maybe she won’t see me either. My posture during that year only became worse, and the desire to hide myself, stuck with me the rest of my life.
In the three years I have been working on our program in Moscow, I often look at our choreographer, and remembering those days I think to myself, “where were you when I was that scared little six year old girl?!”
Dancing with you all now, I think “Hey, This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.” And “I can’t believe I am able to do all these things.” My imagination and my body seem to be working better and better. I feel like part of the group, and that you all are becoming near and dear to me, and only wish that my English was better to understand every word, and become closer still. I have been able to relax with you, and there have even been moments, where I have wanted to just jump and cheer like a little girl.
Of course, all of this is my personal impression, and really the answer to all the questions I had in the beginning about your work at AXIS. In the beginning I tried to compare, what we do and what you do, what we have in common, and where we differ. Now I understand that we are both walking up the same hill, but our school is just at the foot of this hill and you are at the top, being an example of how well these programs can work.
The participants in your program are able to live happy fulfilled lives.
We have a unique opportunity to see big changes, and great joy in the eyes of those taking part in the classes. And we have a wide open frontier to expand our efforts to make our work even better.
I hope that we will see you in Moscow sometime soon to visit and to get to know our children, and maybe share with them some of your secrets too!
Photos by Annika Presley