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

Revelstokian 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

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents in Revelstoke

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

Revelstoke Vintage Car Club to hold mini-parade for COVID-19

They club would like others to follow suit

StokeFM raises over $10,000 to keep broadcasting

‘Radio ain’t cheap, and times are strange’

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

KGH Foundation establishes COVID-19 response fund to support frontline workers

Doctors, nurses and staff have been challenged to pivot operations to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Food support continues for Okanagan students despite school closures

Kids aren’t going hungry thanks to Kal Rotary and Starfish Backpack program

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19: Central Okanagan fire departments only responding to serious medical calls

The new directive from Dr. Bonnie Henry does not change the public safety response of firefighters

Most Read