Due to the pandemic, graduates of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy are forced to finish their study on-line. We won’t have a chance to see their state exams and the traditional concert in the Bolshoi Theatre. All of them passed a long 8-year way towards their goals, but today they have to isolate themselves and wait. So we’ve decided it’s necessary to support the young dancers and tell about the best graduates of the Academy. From La Personne pages our heroes told us how to learn and train in the lockdown, how to keep the shape, not to lose heart and shared with us their dreams. Specially for the project we made on-line shootings with the dancer via Zoom and Clos App.

Meet Stefaniya Gashtarska.


“Every night I want morning to come faster, to start a new day, to move towards my goal again!” 


My mother is a ballerina. In childhood I always went with her to the ballet class, to the rehearsals and performances, I was constantly in the theatre behind the scenes. I loved very much that atmosphere and I was never bored, I could just sit and watch for hours. I’ve come to ballet having a dream to become a Prima ballerina with the best theatre in the world and this dream is still with me.  

Ballet is life for me. 

Arduous rehearsals, the scene, music, costumes, emotions, excitement, pain, tears – I love all that in ballet! I can’t imagine my life without it. For this every night I want morning to come faster, to start a new day, to move towards my goal again! 

I am afraid of not getting a chance in the theatre to show everything what I am capable of. 

I dreamt to learn ballet in Russia. Four years ago, I went to the Arabesque Contest in Perm for showing myself and for staying in Russia. I was noticed and invited to Perm Choreography College. One year after I went to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for audition, I was admitted and even given with Russia Study scholarship. I’ve made everything to justify the trust and show that I’ve deserved the scholarship.   

It’s hard to study in the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, but I get such a pleasure of it that I don’t notice the difficulties. 

The main things the Academy has given me are the work with the best ballet teachers and the knowledge that I’ve got while studying. 

A person without whom I would never achieve what I get today is my mother! 

I can constantly tell her about my gratitude, but anyhow it won’t be enough. It’s impossible to express with words the scale of what she has done for me. I would never go to ballet contests, I wouldn’t study in Russia and I wouldn’t even be able to think of the Bolshoi Theatre stage. We had such limited resources, a little money, but she gave everything for me. For I would be where I am now.  

The pandemic situation influenced me very positively. I started to work more under myself, to appreciate freedom and time spent with the family… 

During the quarantine I wake up early as usual and cook my breakfast. After breakfast I train about three hours – I do the barre, the middle, jumps, exercises on pointes, then I work under technique. Obligatory I practice fouette, it’s useful to practice it in limited space. After my work-out I have lunch and prepare for the multidisciplinary exam. In my free time I read books, cook, play with my little brother. I like riding a bicycle. We often watch films and series with my mum, we play cards. Days pass quickly and invisibly. The lockdown gave me an opportunity to spent a long time with my family, usually it happens so rarely. 

I’ve always had a dream to dance in the Bolshoi Theatre and to become the Prima ballerina with this legendary company! 

La Personne

The original independent ballet media in Russia

La Personne