Tea with a Ballerina inspires young dancers

Eager young dancers have tea and a chat with prima ballerina Svetlana Gileva of Semperoper Ballett Dresden © Siôned Watkins

In the Shenkman Smith Atelier at the NAC, the aspiring ballerinas sit spellbound.  They watch in awe as Svetlana Gileva, Principal Dancer with Semperoper Ballett Dresden demonstrates how she puts bubble wrap inside her pointe shoes.

“The participants gasped,” recalls NAC Dance Education and Teaching Artist Siôned Watkins.  “They couldn’t wait to try this technique for their own blistery feet.”

Eighteen young dancers, ages 11 to 18, came to share a cup of tea and conversation with Svetlana.  “Many participants had watched the prima ballerina in Swan Lake the night before.  They were nervous to be in such close proximity to a ballet star,” says Siôned.

It wasn’t long before the participants relaxed and listened while Svetlana shared stories about returning to the stage after an injury and what it’s like to raise a daughter while working.  “The young dancers benefitted from Svetlana’s knowledge,” says Siôned. “She gave them hope for their careers and alleviated their fears around injuries.”

“I want to thank NAC supporters for making Tea with a Ballerina possible,” says Siôned.  “Your support provides invaluable opportunities for young dance students on their creative paths.”


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