Zachary Rogers is a ballet dancer at the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow, Russia. It’s one of the biggest theatres in the country. (Submitted)

Revelstoke man becomes a Russian ballet dancer

‘It feels like a dream’

When Zachary Rogers was 10-years-old he saw the Nutcracker for the first time.

“I loved everything about it. The athleticism, the music, the movement. I couldn’t focus on anything else,” he said.

From then on, he wanted to become a ballet dancer. He started weekly classes in Revelstoke and by the age of 13, he went to train at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, which is Canada’s oldest and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America.

Since most kids start ballet when they’re five, Rogers said he had lots to catch up on.

“After years of continual stretching, I could do the splits.”

Now, roughly 12 years later, Rogers is a ballet dancer at the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow, Russia. It’s one of the biggest theatres in the country.

“It feels like a dream,” Rogers said.

“Ballet is rich in this part of the world.”

In Canada, continued Rogers, ballet is considered more of a hobby.

“People would ask what my real job is.”

After graduating in Winnipeg, Rogers danced in Germany, Czech Republic, and Estonia. Then, roughly one year ago, he got hired as a first soloist in Russia, which means he gets to perform solo dances.

It took years of constrant stretching for Rogers to become flexible. He said it doesn’t come naturally. (Submitted)

Rogers trains six days a week and usually performs three times in front of around 1,000 people.

Although ballet originates from France and Italy in the 1500s, ballet is a trade mark of Russian culture. Some of the best known ballet’s are from Russia, including Swan Lake and the Nutcracker.

“It’s huge here,” said Rogers.

Russia ballet has its own style. Rogers said the technique is brilliant and the training regime strict. Compared with ballet in London, which is academic, Russian ballet is more emotional, said Rogers.

“They’re living their characters on stage.”

He admitted, “I like Russian dancing the best.”

Out of 100 dancers in the theatre, 11 are non-Russian said Rogers.

People don’t go into ballet for the money said Rogers. It’s hard to find a job and it takes a lot of commitment. Injuries are common and the sport is hard on the body.

“You have to love it a lot.”

Even when Rogers isn’t dancing, he spends his time going to other performances and watching ballet on YouTube.

“I’m a fanatic,” he said with a laugh.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Dance

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Update: Highway 1 between Salmon Arm and Sicamous partially reopens

Westbound traffic delayed as crews recover a vehicle

Potholes plentiful in Salmon Arm’s industrial park

City says patching effort underway, residents can report potholes on city’s website

Shuswap housing too expensive? Neighbourhood crime a concern? Input wanted

Survey asks CSRD residents to weigh in on the affordability and availability of housing in the area.

The price of poverty: Schools, community notice more people in Salmon Arm struggling

Although number of children in poverty in city has decreased slightly, still more than 600

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Goal is to see RCMP removed from Wet’suwet’en territory

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Federal minister to speak in North Okanagan

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read