[My teachers] all gave me something, and in th…

[My teachers] all gave me something, and in the end they altogether formed the dancer I am today.  The first three years I studied with Ludmila Kolenchenko.  She taught us discipline, respect for our profession, and self-respect.  We were her children, but she already imprinted in our minds that our profession is a very serious and difficult one, and that we would have to invest a lot into it.  The discipline was rather harsh.  Yet, with hindsight, I understand that no matter how painful and even cruel it was towards the children, it had its results.  [Larisa Dobrzhan]…paid more attention to our womanly appearance and taught us that we have to attract the attention of the public not only by our technique, but also by our overall appearance on stage.  [Sofia Golovkina]…continued to polish our stage presence and acting gifts.  It’s not about showing you are a nice baby-doll who is able to do something with her arms and legs.  It’s the feeling of aplomb, so you can walk there on stage and forget about everything.  You need to feel like being the only one on stage, with all eyes pointed towards you.‘