Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet

The Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet is a school of classical ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 1957, the school was renamed in honor of the renowned pedagogue Agrippina Vaganova, who cultivated the method of classical ballet training that has been taught there since the late 1920s. Graduates of the school include some of the most famous ballet dancers, choreographers and teachers in history and many of the world's leading ballet schools have adopted elements of the Vaganova method into their own training. As a teacher, Vaganova devised her own method of classical ballet training, fusing elements of French, Italian and other methods as well as influences from other Russian dancers and teachers. This method has become known worldwide as the Vaganova method and lead to her being made director of the school, training some of the most famous dancers in history (Vaganova). Internationally renowned Vaganova Syllabus, a notated and progressive training program that has produced some of the best dancers in the world, including Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the legendary choreographer George Balanchine, and professional dancers in almost every company in the world. Many dance schools employ a training philosophy that assumes that if a dancer is introduced to a complicated step like a turn or a jump and tries it for many years, he or she will “eventually get it right”. In contrast, schools following the Vaganova Syllabus ensure that when a dancer is introduced to a step (which sometimes requires waiting to build strength and readiness), he or she will have developed the strong foundation and strength that paves the way for success. Training progressively, just as one would do in piano or learning another language - prevents accruing bad or dangerous habits along the way - and frustration with just not being able to get it. The first year’s aim of Vaganova Ballet Syllabus is to provide an assessment scheme for dance, which gives the basis for the measurement of the individual candidate's progress and development. The daily lessons and slow thorough training is an important part of this program of study. Young muscles, joints and bones need time to develop, grow and mold. Young minds need to learn about a very strict form of discipline that is only accomplished through physical hard work and a wonderful feeling of doing for oneself. The teachers makes up her/his excersises throughout the year according to what needs to be taught according to the methodology for that year. Children are more likely to be injured or have injuries when older if dance training is of poor quality. 

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