We are so excited to share a little bit about our
Academy faculty member: Natalia Bashkatova!
We asked her a few questions and here is what she had to say:
Pictured: Natalia Bashkatova
1. What do you enjoy most about teaching?
The enjoyment of teaching begins where you start to see your students improving their skills! Ambitiously to say, but I love when my kids want to be in your class and their parents appreciate you for your involvement into their child's life! Every single student has a talent and it feels just right to be able to recognize it, work on bringing this talent to the maximum level! At the end of the day when they are standing on stage and bowing to the audience who is shouting Bravo!; it's my moment of satisfaction as a teacher and mentor!
Natalia Bashkatova teaching at the Central Florida Ballet
2. Do you pre-plan your combinations for class?
Of course I prepare my class in advance, not all of it, but the structure of it. Ballet class is all about the placement and logic.
3. Tell us about your dancing background; your school and companies you worked for. Who are some of the teachers that have inspired you?
My background starts in Moscow, Russia when at the age of ten I got accepted to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. I graduated in the Summer of 1989 and was accepted to the Bolshoi Theatre Grigorovich Ballet Company. During my school years, I had five amazing ballet teachers, but during the last two years I was in a class of ELENA Ryabinkina legendary Russian ballerina who also danced alongside Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya and Ekaterina Maximova! She continued to work with me in the Bolshoi Ballet and prepared me for my first Swan Lake principal role at age 20! I was very fortunate to start dancing principal roles at such a young age. I was touring around the world very intensively these years and was recognized as the Best Ballerina in 1993 at the Spoletto Festival in Italy. The major input into my professional career I would give to Mr. Yuri Grigorovich who choreographed semi-classical ballet repertoire for the Bolshoi. I was extremely lucky to work privately with this iconic choreographer!
Natalia Bashkatova performs the White Swan pas de deux in Swan Lake with the
Bolshoi Theatre Grigorovich Ballet Company
Bolshoi Theatre Grigorovich Ballet Company
The next phase of my career falls on guest artist period! New York City Ballet tour probably most recognizable, I shared the stage with names like Heather Watts, Wendy Whelan, Valentina Kozlova, Jack Soto and of course partnering with those incredible male dancers like Damian Woetzel, Ben Huys and Igor Zelensky!
In the present time I am still performing full time as a ballet artist with worldwide known Cirque Du Soleil here in Orlando. Come to see La Nouba and you see me perform! I have been with Cirque since 1997. It's my second production which I started back in 1998.
Natalia Bashkatova in full costume for Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba
4. What do you work on in class?
In my class I mainly work on the classical form of ballet! I am representing Vaganova Style and very much follow the major roles and requirements of this style.
5. If you could describe your ballet classes in three words, what would they be?
Form - Style - Discipline
6. You recently choreographed a contemporary piece for the World Ballet Competition, did you enjoy the process? Was it difficult to think of original choreography?
I choreographed before, but not for the professional ballet stage. It was my debut as a choreographer to expose my work for a professional dance auditorium. I think the most important for a choreographer is their signature unique style. I was very surprised that many dancers already recognized my style. My inspiration always is music! And I was very fortunate to work with this talented girl Jasmine Jasper who was at the time a student of the Central Florida Ballet's Academy. In September of this year she continued her ballet studies at the American Ballet Theatre's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York City.
Contemporary piece choreographed by Natalia at the 2016 World Ballet Competition
(performed by Academy student: Jasmine Jasper)
For more information about the Central Florida Ballet and its Academy, please visit www.centralfloridaballet.com or call 407-849-9948