Teaching the Beauty of Ballet

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My four-year-old niece, Klava, has learned something: The only time she gets to spend time alone with me is when we go to the ballet together. She gets so excited – not only to spend time with her favorite aunt, but also to see the ballerinas up on stage.

I took her with me to see The State Ballet Theatre of Russia’s performance of Swan Lake on Feb. 4 at the Auditorium Theater, and before the show, she turned to me and said, “Auntie, why do you always take me to see the ballet?”

“You want to be a ballerina, don’t you?” I replied.

“Yes!” she said.

“Well, then you have to watch ballet.”

She was very satisfied with the answer and settled back in her chair. Even at four years old, she already knows how to behave at the ballet. She knows to whisper when she talks and she tells me to “shhh” when the orchestra starts.

At intermission, she wanted to know all about the story, who the prince was, when we were going to the see the Black Swan, and more.

I, of course, know the story so well, so it was fun to see it through her eyes, as if it were brand new.

She was so enthusiastic, she reminded me of myself when I was young and would go to performances by the Kirov Ballet at the famous Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. I look back now and realize how much I learned by being exposed to the arts at an early age.

I am so happy to see what an impact it’s already making on a younger generation.