Old New Year's at the Russian Embassy

On Monday, Jan. 13, Aleksandra Efimova and Prince Piotr Galitzine, chairs of the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, as well as committee member Laura Yergesheva, were invited by the Russian Ambassador to the United States to celebrate “Old New Year” at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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My Dance Story | January 2014

Olivia Behrmann's Dance Story

Olivia Behrmann, Age 15

My dance story began when I was 7 years old. After trying soccer, cheerleading, and gymnastics, my mom enrolled me in a ballet/tap/jazz combination class, and from then on, I was hooked! My first ballet costume was a lavender and cream dress, and I wore it in my first performance -- my studio's end of year recital.

After my first year of ballet and jazz, I went on to do competition dance for 4 years until the age of 12, when I quit competition dance to pursue classical ballet. When I was young, I loved learning new steps and wearing pretty costumes. As I have gotten older, I find that I love the challenge of not only learning new steps, but trying to perfect them. I love that in ballet, there are always things to work on and improve, and that I can push myself to be better than I was yesterday and the day before.

Now I am 15 years old, and my dream is to become a professional ballerina. I currently do my school online because I spend 30+ hours a week at the studio, and I have spent the last 2 summers training in New York City (in 2012 at Valentina Kozlova's Dance Conservatory of New York and in 2013 at The School of American Ballet). I have won numerous scholarships (for both cash and programs), and in 2012, I won 3rd place in the Junior Classical division of the YAGP Indianapolis regional and went on to compete in the YAGP New York City finals -- all in my Russian Pointe Sapfirs!

My Dance Story|December 2013

Emma Kapper's Dance Story

Emma Kapper, 14

Dussich Dance Studio

Like any young girl, of course I wanted to grow up to be a ballerina. I was put in ballet classes at my local dance studio when I was 5 years old. My first teacher, Miss Jennifer, was a sweet, kind woman and she introduced me to my love for dance. I was later able to perform in my first annual recital Winter Wonderland in 2006. My combo class performed a Thanksgiving-themed number where we were dressed as turkeys. It definitely wasn’t my favorite number, but I now look back at the old recital tapes and laugh over how adorable the dance really was. I felt like a star on stage in the tacky orange and yellow costume, gold hat, and feather tap shoe ties. I felt like a true dancer and it made dancing a part of my life as it still is today. Unfortunately, Miss Jennifer died recently of cancer, but I’m still dancing with her in my prayers.



My Dance Story | November 2013

Connor Hamilton, age 11 Salt Creek Ballet

My dance story began when I was two years old.  My dad, who inspires me to work hard, had been a ballet dancer so he signed me up for my first class when I was two years old.

My favorite thing about dancing when I was little was entertaining everyone with dances I made up on the spot. I still like to choreograph my own dances but I really enjoy learning more challenging choreography from some of the amazing teachers I’ve had.

I remember my first tutu I had to wear in class when I was two – I didn’t like it at all!  After much crying and complaining, my teacher finally let me wear a skirt instead of that scratchy tutu and after that I loved my classes.

My first performance was in my school’s recital and I got to dance with my dad.  I am eleven years old now and I train six days a week and I love every minute.

This year, I won first place at Youth America Grande Prix in Indianapolis and I wore a beautiful tutu.  I’m going to YAGP again next year and can’t wait to get my new tutu and of course, a new pair of Russian Pointe Entradas.