Summer Sponsorship: Ballet in Prague

This year we’ve been delighted to continue our sponsorship of talented young ballet dancers; and over the summer this has enabled two promising second-year students from the English National Ballet School, Isabella Swietlicki and Drew Jackson, to attend a summer school in Prague. It’s a city close to our heart, of course – we not only sell luxury kitchens from our Cheltenham showroom, but also have a base in Cestlice, Prague.

Anyway, back to ballet (!): we caught up with the Isabella and Drew recently and gleaned some insight into how they’ve been spending their days – from dining to sight-seeing (and a little bit of dance, too!)

What’s an average day been like at the summer school?

Isabella: The day would typically start with a lovely walk through some of Prague’s historical streets to the beautiful studios. The first class of the day was general ballet class, for both boys and girls. We were divided into three groups, and we had different teachers on different days, which gave us the benefit of different teaching styles and helped us to become more versatile dancers. After this would be variations (solos) class, with girls being taught separately from boys. Lunch was in the canteen, in a beautiful part of the building, and offered us a nice selection of healthy food. The afternoon would be a single session of either pas-de-deux, or repertoire or contemporary –the different groups were rotated on different days. The classes were always challenging but also really enjoyable; the atmosphere was hard working but very friendly.

What’s your favourite thing about studying abroad?

Drew: My favourite thing about studying abroad is meeting other young aspiring dancers from all over the world. You can learn a lot from watching how they dance with a different technique or style depending on where they come from. It’s amazing to see students from so many different places and schools all sharing their love for dance together. It is actually really inspiring.

Best moment so far?

Isabella: I have to say I had two best moments –at the end of the first week I was chosen by Evgenia Obraztsova for the girls’ solo prize, and the second week I was awarded it again, chosen by Roberta Marquez. That was a lovely surprise, as I never expected anything like that.

Drew: The best bit so far has to be taking part in Isaac Hernandez’ technique classes and solo coaching. His passion for ballet blew me away and he was able to inspire a whole room of young men to work hard and improve their dancing. It was an absolute pleasure to experience his coaching along with all the other teachers on the course.

It’s been lovely to hear from Isabella and Drew, and we’re so glad to hear that their time in Prague has been stimulating and successful. We wish them all the best for the rest of the summer and new school year!

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