Tala Lee-Turton Blog
Lou Spichtig (Zurich,Switzerland)
A bit of time has already gone by since the Masterclasses, but I hope I’m not too late to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in making the program so fantastic and especially to you both for organizing it every year. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to work with excellent dancers and ballet masters from all over the world. I had a wonderful time in Prague and I came home with so much new information and inspiration! Once again, thank you so much for all the effort and hard work you put into the masterclasses, it really is a unique course and I hope to return in the future to be able to work with such phenomenal teachers again!
I wish you a great new “season” and I hope to see you again sometime,
All the best,
Warmest regards from Switzerland,
Caspar Stadler (professional dancer in Romania under Johan Koberg)
A little late but I just wanted to say a massive thank you for another brilliant time in Prague. Just like the previous year I have never improved so much in such a short period of time and been able to see myself visibly improving by the day. All of the staff and teachers were incredible, really very helpful and gave excellent feedback.
Thank you again and I am already one hundred percent sure that I would absolutely love to be there for another excellent two weeks next year.
I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and please say thank you to Daria, Vadim and your family for making it such an enjoyable two weeks.
Caroline Stevens (Miami City Ballet School)
Lauren Spiers (USA):
The master class series in Prague is truly something special and unique. It is not often that dancers get the opportunity to work with such legends as Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov. The teaching staff is just as diverse as the students with people coming in from all corners of the world! We had the opportunity to listen to all of the instructor’s stories and ask them questions every night at the faculty interviews. The teachers were very accessible to us so we had the opportunity to speak with directors, dancers, ballets masters and choreographers throughout the course. The classes are fantastic with the opportunity to learn a variety of repertoire from contemporary to classical and exciting new works that we may not learn anywhere else! There is also the pas de deux classes which are so much more than just basic pirouette combinations-there is time for these warm ups but then we were able to spend a lot of time on bigger lifts and classical repertoire (with live accompaniment!)…You don’t always get to experience this in your training but it is so important!
Everything is so well organized from the timetable to accommodation that all we had to do was show up for the classes! Any questions were quickly taken care of by Ian who could be easily found in his office or the studios at any given time throughout the day. From someone who started very late, it is important for me to keep up with coaching and training as much as possible and even when you start working, you don’t always get this kind of training and feedback that you get at a workshop like this. Thank you for an inspiring program and I would definitely recommend it to everyone-students and professionals!
Thanks Ian! Keep in touch!
Forever grateful for this experience,
Hi Ian, Just a quick email to say thank you for the several-times-a-day blog updates and especially for photos and videos! It is wonderful to see and hear what they are doing and also the behind the scenes comments. I appreciate the time you are taking to post updates when you obviously are busy with everything else as well! Thank you for looking after our dancers so well, mine is having an absolutely fantastic time and I’m sure will enjoy next week even more. They are planning a trip to Prague Castle on their day off tomorrow so hopefully will make it there and back without getting lost! Looking forward to next week’s blogs! Thank you Joy Brooks
I am Jessica Browns from Australia’s mother.
I wish to thank you for you daily blogging, photos and video’s, we greatly appreciate reading and watching them.
After my 6am wake up call from Jess, I sit down with a cup of tea and can’t wait to read through the daily events, It makes my day!
Jessica is thoroughly enjoying her time at the school, thank you.
Dear Ian ,
I just wanted to write to you and say THANK YOU ! so much for your blog
that you write everyday !!
Its so wonderful to see whats going on there – I know how time consuming
this is and I can only imagine how busy you are so once again many many
thanks for all that you do there .
Ps Archie is Loving the course and Prague
Hi Ian, Just want to say thank you for a fantastic week. I regret not staying for both weeks and am tempted to get on the next plane back out to Prague! Olivia (Rambert School, and she did try to get a flight back but alas she couldn’t)
Hey, Ian. I just wanted to say I had an amazing experience this past week in Prague. I hope to apply again next year. Sincerely, John Rowan (San Francisco Ballet School)
Hi Ian! I’m messaging you to tell you that I absolutely loved the program. It was great fun, I loved the teachers and it was a very inspirational course. I would really like to return next year If I could, I wish I hadn’t been sick the first
week so I’d love kind of a re-do. Either way I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. Thank You! Allison Soper (USA)
Louise Haughey and Jamie Shields
Myself and Jamie would just like to thank you for the most amazing two weeks ever. We were both living the ballet dream out in Prague and wouldn’t of changed it for the world. We shall hopefully be back next year. Please find an attatched photo of the two of us at the airport of the very early hours of Sunday morning feeling very upset to go home. We both miss it so much already and cannot stop speaking about it. Hope you are well and can get a good rest now. Lots of love, Louise Haughey and Jamie Shields (the scots) X (Royal Conservertoire Scotland)
Suzy Halstead (professional dancer)
Dear Ian and Daria. I just wanted to say thank you so much once again for another fantastic two weeks in Prague. I felt I learnt so much this year and thoroughly enjoyed it all and will hopefully be back again next year! Suzy Halstead
Dear Mr Comer. I just wanted to say thank you for such a wonderful time in Prague – I absolutely loved the course and the experience as a whole. My family enjoyed reading the blog as it allowed them to check how I was doing. I learnt so much and it has really inspired me to carry on working as hard as I can and enjoy my dancing. Many thanks to you and all the amazing teaching staff. Claire Guntrip (Central Ballet School)
Liz Ciokajlo-Squire (mother of Madeleine Squire, ENB School)
Dear Ian. We are Madeline Squire’s parents and have been avidly reading your blog every day zooming in on photos and video to see Madeline and her friends and got a flavour of Prague. We found it interesting all the talks you had in the evenings with the dance faculty, laughed at your story of how Vadim somehow managed to lock himself in his room with the cat he was allergic to while Kathy was dehydrated, and really appreciate all the work you and Daria have done to make this summer course such a wonderful experience for not just Madeline but her friends, and I am sure everyone on the course. We have been emailing Madeline and spoke on the phone once. When we spoke she said her and Gavin were saying how much the course has renewed their absolute love of ballet. Thank you all for that. We live in London so Maddy lives with us and travels to ENBS to save cost. We are lucky we see her almost every day. So her traveling and being away can be hard for us. Your blog made us feel connected to her, gave us insight into her world and was a pleasure. Liz Ciokajlo
Daisy van Eesbeek (mother of Ashley van Eesbeek, Royal Antwerp Ballet School)
Alissa Keene (mother of Hannah Keene, USA semi pro dancer)
Hi Ian, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your blog about this year’s class. I continued to read it even after Hannah left. She enjoyed the program very, very much and was sorry not to be able to do the second week. She also loved Prague and I did too as I came in to meet her for a couple of days last week. Hopefully she will be able to return next year. I hope you enjoy some well deserved rest. Best, Alissa Keene
Victoria Hull (mother of Sophie Hull, Northern Ballet School)
Dear Mr Comer, Your “Blog” has been brilliant, Thank You. It has been a wonderful way to keep up with what Sophie (Hull) and everyone else (dancers and teachers and yourself!!) have been up to. Have been lucky enough to have spotted Sophie in numerous photos and Wed 31st was a “bumper day” for videos, prime position in the “pas” class and clearly visible in both Daria’s solos and the contemporary class. Sophie’s grandma and grandad have also been avid followers.
It was really nice for them, as they gave Sophie quite a lot of money towards the trip. Also, Sophie, in her own words has “had the best time.” She has really enjoyed her two weeks, which has been especially pleasing, as she has d a rather rotten 1st year at ballet school. These last two weeks have been a real tonic to her, great classes, amazing teachers, wonderful time. Thank you very much. Best wishes Victoria Hull
Mihaela Cimpeanu (mother of Natalie from Romania)
Evelyn Haughey (grandmother of Louise Haughey)
Elizabeth Guntrip (sister of Claire Guntrip, Central School of Ballet)
Dear Mr Comer, I just wanted to say thank you for the ballet masterclass blog, which I looked at everyday as my little sister was on the course this year. It was really nice to see the photos of Claire and to know that she was well and in class (as she was enjoying herself too much to bother to text me herself!). It was great to get a feel of what was going on there too. Regards, Lizzie Guntrip
Dear Daria and Ian, I would just like to say thank you so much for such an amazing 2 weeks that I had at the Prague Masterclasses summer school. I thank you, Daria, for having given me this opportunity to learn and experience so much that I would never have dreamed of. During the 2 weeks I learnt so much from all the teachers and all the classes, but I also met and spent time with great dancers from all over the world as well as learning from some of the best dancers in the world. I have grown in my dancing, I have been exposed to new techniques and styles, I have been pushed by the teachers and I have worked very hard. I have also grown in maturity and confidence in myself. I have felt that my love for ballet has also grown because during this experience I have lived ballet for 2 weeks, and I know in myself I want to live it for much longer. In the course of the 2 weeks at the Master classes I felt the unity of so many dancers from all over the world come together to do something that we all have a common passion for. It was such a privilege to train with everybody there. So, thank you so much for such an enriching experience, I am so blessed and appreciative to you for have given me this opportunity, it is a course which I will never, ever forget and one which I hopefully will be able to return to next year. I thank both of you again for 2 incredible weeks. Olivia Parfitt, (South Africa)
Juliette Thomas (mother of Eleonore Thomas):
Dear Mr Comer, We were so happy to hear from Eléonore about her two weeks masterclass ;her first words when she came back at the airport were :” I wish I ‘ll return to Prague !!!” She learnt a lot with new teachers and appreciate ” l’ambiance ” ….. Thank you very much to accept her in your masterclass. Ps: Every day, I was a little bit with all of you because I read your blog ….. so I’m may be the thirteen person who read it !!!! Thanks to take time to write each day, it was very interresting for me and I also can see Eléonore in video with Daria Klimentova ( Eleonore enjoyed so much to work with this great dancer ) Best regards and thanks again for your great masterclass. Juliette Thomas. (Paris)
Dear Ian, I just wanted to thank you for the fantastic experience I had in Prague. I gained so much from the classes and am grateful for the opportunity to work with such amazing teachers. I already miss the program and the great group of people I met there. I can’t wait until next year. Thank you again for everything! Best wishes, Caroline Murphy, USA
Hello Ian, I just want to thank you for the amazing time i had in Prague!I have learnt so much from the amazing teaching faculty who offered really invaluable lessons that i will remember for the rest of my life!And thank you for always being so friendly and willing to help all the time!! Best Regards, Matthew Koon. (dancer from ENB school)
Dear Ian Comer, I want to thank you for an amazing experience I had in Prague during the week of the intensive. I enjoyed taking class and getting to know new students and teachers. It was a great pleasure to meet you. I apologize for not coming to you at the day of my departure because I had an early flight and left the hostel early. Thank you again and I will keep in touch. Thank you Best Regards, Kirill Poselyanov (dancer from Canada)
Julie van Baar (mother of Fay):
Wow! !That was a fantastic experience for my daughter! She misses her friends and experiences already! I think that she has turned into an adult! Thank you for the incredible tuition and perfect support. Fantastic and recommendable course! Thank you, Julie van Baar (the Netherlands)
Van de Laar:
I will thank you for the two wonderfull weeks of ballet and joy . Our son Daan van de Laar has the time of his life, Learned a lot and make new friends! It was also nice to read everyday your blog en watching the foto’s and video’s. Regards, Tineke and Peter van de Laar (The Netherlands)
The Murphy Family (USA):
Dear Ian, Just a short note (I should have let you know earlier) that we absolutely love reading the blog everyday and often again and again each day. The pictures and videos are fabulous and such a wonderful glimpse into the program. I wake up each day looking forward to your daily entry. Thank you so much for the time and effort that go into your blogs. I know it is a lot of work, but please be assured that it is enjoyed and appreciated. Caroline’s dance friends back in the states are following as well….making them very jealous that they are not able to join in this special experience. I also enjoy the details you provide about the comings and goings of the faculty….details about the hostel, the food at the theater and the mentions of your daughter…..etc, etc… It has been a very, very wonderful experience for Caroline. She has enjoyed every second of her classes. The opportunity to learn from the amazing faculty that you all bring in is just incredible. Caroline thanks you and we thank you. Hopefully, she will be able to join again next year. With appreciation, The Murphy Family.
From Elisabetta Barbieri:
Dear Mr Comer, I wanted to thank you for the beautiful experience in Prague. it was great to work with dancers and choreographers that we look up to. The interviews after classes were so enjoyable and interesting. I hope I will have a chance to do it again. Kind regards………..Elisabetta Barbieri
From Tom and Xander Bennett:
I would sincerely like to register our appreciation for everything about the Prague masterclasses – the efficient organisation, amazing teaching faculty, beautiful Prague, and most of all fantastic people – including the welcome and approachable attitude of such renowned teachers and professionals who clearly wanted to give and share their talent and experience with the students; we cannot commend this enough….thank you! Something particularly special was the “one to one’s” with various members of the teaching faculty….this was really really appreciated and useful………Tom and Xander Bennett (Royal Ballet School)
From Zoe Epstein
Dear Daria and Ian, Thank you so much for Prague Masterclasses this year. I have been inspired and I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes, with such a wide range of teachers. I felt I gained something different from every class and I have so many ideas I want to continue to work on! The atmosphere of the course was so friendly and it has definitely been the highlight of my summer. Love from Zoe xxx
From Rimbaud Patron (ENB School)
Dear Mr Comer, Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to do this amazing summercourse in Prague this summer. I really enjoyed my time there with all these great teachers. I had the best two weeks and I’m really thankful because I couldn’t have hope for a better summer. This masterclass was the most enjoyable that I have ever done and those two weeks went so well. I loved working in this environment and with all these amazing people. I wish I could do it again next year. Thank you very much for everything you did for me. Warm regards Rimbaud.
From Egle Mecejute (from Vilnius)
Dear Ian, I just wanted to say huge thank you to you, that you took me to course. Also Daria because she is amazing dancer, teacher and everything ! It was so inspiring to have lessons with all these wonderful teachers, I had a really great time 😉 So thank you once again ! I’d love to come next year too 😉 I’m sorry I writing to you already two weeks after the course, but I was away so that’s why. Best regards, Egle from Vilnius
From Carlo Schiavo:
Dear Ian, I just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to become part of this stage. It was really very good, the teachers have been excellent and had the capacity to teach me many things that I will definitely find useful. During these days I felt like I was staying at my house thanks to the friendliness of you and all the hospitality received. My parents made many sacrifices to send me here and I cannot yet repay them as I am still a student, but the wonderful experience here has made me love dance more than ever before and was an experience I will never forget…………………(Rosella Hightower student)
I just wanted to let you and Daria know that I had an amazing time last year and that I wish you all the best for this years classes. I hope to see you all again another time, best wishes :-).
Benedicte Charpiat-Quer (parent of Jeremy Loup):
Jay Lawrence, dancer at Scottish Ballet:
I cant remember if i already said this or not, but once again a massive thank you for giving me the PRague opportunity once again this year, and i wanted to let you know if you need any Manpower/Typingpower/Promotingpower/MarketingPower/anything-the-hell power then dont hesitate to ask as id love to help and give back in some way to the course!
From Caroline Bird:
Dear Daria and Ian ,
I am writing you because I simply cannot get last years unparalleled experience off of my mind. I have just returned to the states after a very sucessful audition tour to Europe. I have just recieved a two year corps de ballet contract with Berlin Stattsballett, and couldn’t have done it without the Prague Masterclass last year. The amazing times and experiences that enriched both my technique and my life are still fresh on my mind and I truly believe in just two weeks it totally transformed my dancing, adding freedom and confidence to my dancing.
Not only did it bring great strength to my dancing but it gave me my closest of friends many of which I either stayed with or ran into along the way of my audition tour. So obviously it is crucial that I return this year as it was truly one of the most incredible experiences and two weeks of my life.
From Marija Grozova:
I’d like just to thank you again for this great time we spend in Prague every year and which makes all the students work so hard during the year – because you realise that if you work hard you gonna get more information, feelings, emotions or whatever from the masterclasses.
The teachers were absolutely wonderful again. But you realise that you worked with the best ones only after leaving Prague, cause everyone makes you feel that if you’re not as good as they right now – you gonna be even better in future. This, again, makes you work as hard as you can and put every fragment of your soul, all the energy you’ve got into your work. And then you get it all back double-sized from the dancers and the teachers working beside. Did I already mention that I LOVE the atmosphere during the classes?
Special thanks, of course, to your “Fantastic 4″ :). Thanks to Jonathan, who is an amaizing pianist. Every dancer starts doing better when he is by the piano. Many thanks to Daria, who makes every dancer jealous because of her legs, but is such a bright and sparkling person that people around her always smile.( I think I gonna have the CK watches like she does – them are so beautiful!) Thanks to Cristopher, especially for the last day morning class. It was so…just can’t find the right words. Amazing, wonderful and just SO good x2 BTW I go jogging now every day.
And the very special “thank you” goes to you, Ian. I can’t believe that it’s possible for anyone else to do everything you have to experience during those 2 weeks (I mean all the organisation troubles and stuff) and still to be such nice person with whom ist’s a great pleasure just to talk about something.
There’re lots of things I’d have to say more but I’m afraid of being annoying. I’m more than sure that everyone who was in Prague were trying to tell you similar things. Please don’t forget that all our thanks are very honest, as you all are to us.
Hope to meet you again next year.
and the final one:
Thank you thank you thank you
From Helen Brunson:
From Simon Schilgen:
Dear Ian and dear Daria
this is the only way i know of, how to contact you. Tank you both so much for letting me stay for the last two weeks in Prague. I enjoyed so much being with so many dancers and having so many amazing teachers. Without your help i never would have been able to come and stay at Prague at all. Again, thank you . I am very glad that i was able to meet all of you and being able to get in contact with you. I hope to stay in touch with you and hopefully i see you again next year.
PS: Great Pitures on the blog – loved it
From Liliya Aranov:
Dear Ian and Daria
Hi this is Liliya Aronov, (I hope you remeber me from the ballet masterclasses).
I wanted to thank you for a truly wonderful two weeks. This is by far the best summer program I have been to
The atmosphere you created was so positive and helpful that it was a joy for me to come to the studios every day. It might sound funny but it made me sort of remeber how much I love to dance… (sometimes it is easy to forget)
The teachers were great and so willing to help and share their knowledge that I feel I have learned a lot.
Thank you so so much, I hope I’ll see you again next year, and I will warmly reccomend it to any one who asks
From Stephen Wilson, dancer with English National Ballet:
I just wanted to say thank you for having me at the masterclasses. I didnt get a chance to say good bye when I left on Thursday but I enjoyed the four days very much. Prague is absolutely beautiful I look forward to going back for a longer visit. I hope the rest of the two weeks goes well. best wishes
From Cynthia Simla:
Also the location, Prague, was wonderful. All in all I just loved the workshop. Thanks for everything. Cynthia Simla
From Tamara Ledermann:
Dear Ian and Daria,
I Just wanted to say a huge thank you for this year’s masterclasses.
I Iearnt so much and left feeling so inspired by you and all the
other incredible dancers. I truly enjoyed every moment and the two
weeks flew by!Thank you once again and hope to see you both again soon. Lots of love Tamara.
From John Svensson, Royal Swedish Ballet School:
Thank you for a wonderful summer course in Prauge, I had a really great time during the weeks.
The Carina Ari Memorial Foundation who offered me a scholarship to attend the masterclasses, needs a ‘certification’ (signature)from a teacher in whom’s classes I’ve participated, and also the number of classes.
I’m sorry to bother you with this now, but I need to send them this. Once again thank you for a great summer course. Warm regards John
From Kirsten Meijer:
In the crowd last Saturday I forgot to say goodbye to you and Daria. I would like to thank you both very much for having me in the 2007 masterclass. I enjoyed every minute of it and learned a lot. Especially the class with Sofiane was fantastic!!
Thank you very much again and good luck with the final days of the masterclass this week.
From Alicia Beck:
Alicia Beck x
individually. Thank you for giving me the opportunity in Prague. Your were so helpful and kind. I hope to come again soon.
From Lauren Bryden:
Thank you very much for yet again another fantastic week in Prague!! I had so much fun, it was great to meet lots of new people and i have many crazy photos of us being tourists in Prague. I especially enjoyed the Pas de Deux lessons it was such a great oppurtunity to learn the sleeping beauty pas de deux as we are never given the chance to learn anything like that at school. Watching Daria and Otto perform it was a great inspiration!! Thx again for a great week i hope to see you next year!
x x x
From Russell and Claire:
Just wanted to send a little e-mail to say a big thank you especially to yourself, Daria and Chris for everything you did for us and all that we have learned over the 2 week coarse.We both would love to come back next year and we will try to fit it round our potential jobs.We have both learned so much from dancing with such great teachers but also just from speaking to yourself and the rest of the team, we both have learned to love dance again and also learned what life as a dancer is really like. Hope yourself and Daria have a brilliant year and hopefully see you in the very near future. thanks again especially with the dentist lol!!!!
Russell and Claire
I have to tell you that I had the most wonderful time at the Masterclasses this year. I loved last year’s Masterclasses but this year seemed even better (if that is possible!). I learned so much and it was such a confidence builder. Thank you so much for making the sacrifices neccessary to make the program happen every year. It’s been so wonderful to be able to go to Prague and dance with other dedicated dancers like me and be taught by so many amazing and inspiring people. It’s a dream come true. Shylene xxx
I enjoyed myself a lot over those 2 weeks and I wished I could of stayed longer I would like to thank all of the
teachers as i have learnt a lot, and will take on all of their corrections, especially as now I have to look for a job. I would love to come back next year as it was a great experience and I will be telling everyone I know so you might get more people wanting to come next year. ETHAN
From Lucy Durno:
Dear Daria and Ian
I am just writing to say what a wonderful time I had on the course. It was my first time on the course and unfortunately I could only manage the second week due to previous commitments, however I hope next year to participate in both weeks.
As a dancer it was wonderful to work with such acclaimed stars of the dance world and it is a summer I shall never forget. I especially found repertoire very inspiring with Christopher Hampson.
Once again many thanks
From Olivia Jenkins:
Dear Daria and Ian
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the Prague summer course 2005. It is the best course I have been on (and I’ve been on eight). I especially liked the way it was personal and not too strict or formal. I will certainly recommend it to other dancers.
Thank you very much
From Daisy Brodskis:
I’m just writing to say how much i enjoyed the course, i had so much fun and learnt so much from every class. it was such a privilege to be taught by such wonderful dancers and teachers who all gave such inspiring classes. i was overJoyed to find that we would be learning a pas de deux from my favourite ballet (swan lake) in the first week, i was so pleased! learning something like that is just something we would never get to do at school. the course reminded me how much i really love ballet!
i had such a great time, thank you so so much,
From Greta Wright:
Dear Ian and Daria
Thank you so much for a lovely two weeks. I had an amazing time and learned a lot. I can’t wait until next year!
From Leyna Magbutay:
Dear Ian & Daria
I just wanted say a huge thank you for a fantastic time in Prague. I’m so glad I went back this year- it was just as wonderful as last year – possibly even better!! Again, I was inspired by all the teachers in different ways and the
repertoire was simply amazing!! Swan Lake, Elite Syncopations, Onegin, Who Cares…etc…… It’s amazing how
much I learned over just two weeks. I don’t think I would ever get the opportunity to learn such things anywhere else!! I can’t wait to keep practicing what I’ve learnt back at school! I miss it all already!! I cannot express how thankful I am for this incredible experience of being taught by world class dancers, meeting great students…. being able to do what i love the most. The beautiful city factor is just another bonus!! Anyways, I would love to go back next year(it would be my third summer!) and will be looking out for application dates!!
From Nathanael Skelton (dancer at BRB):
Dear Ian and Daria.
How are you? thank you so much for the opportunity to do the masterclasses. i had an amazing time in Prague and learnt so much. The teachers were all so amazing.
Dear Ian Comer and all the staff at Ballet Masterclasses, This is just to say a huge thankyou for a fantastic week in Prague, it was an amazing and inspiring experiance to be taught by so many highly acclaimed teachers. I have to admit for the first few classes i was unable to do anything but stare in amazement at Daria’s extensions!!!
I especially enjoyed the Pas De Deux classes with Daria and Laurent Novis, i never thought that i would be dancing the swan lake Pas de Deux at 16!!! I had sooo much fun and only wished that i could have stayed for two weeks, I can’t wait til’ next year.
Thanks for all you help with everything and for making Prague such a welcoming city. Also, thankyou for letting my mum and sister come in and watch on their surprise visit, i did get a fright in the middle of a presage to look down and see my mums proud face!!!
Thanks again for everything!! (Say hi to Sabina from me!!) Lauren Bryden x
From Emma-Jane Maguire (dancer with the Royal Ballet, London):
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for being so kind and looking after me but also for making the week such a wonderful experience.The teachers were superb and it was just a pleasure for me to be back in a solos class and doing a pas de deux as in the corps de ballet I do not have the chance to. For me the course was so beneficial, I remember how much I love to dance!Thank you!! Wishing you all the best for the new season , yours sincerely, Emma-Jane
From Megan Kurashige (California):
Dear Mme Richard:I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful classes which you gave in Prague. They inspired me and made me think about dancing in so many new ways. I’m very jealous of the students who are lucky enough to
receive your teaching all year round!” Cigarette” was such an enjoyable variation. Very difficult, but interesting because I’ve never seen it before in America. Can you tell me what the music is? I’d like to keep on practicing it until I can manage without falling over! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Best wishes for good health and happiness.
Dear Ian and Daria:I just wanted to write to thank you for the wonderful time I had in Prague. It was quite possibly one of the most amazing summers I’ve had so far! I apologize for not writing sooner, but I’ve just started the new season and moved to a new apartment in the process and so have been without internet for awhile! I really, really enjoyed the program. I loved the classes. It was so inspiring to have such beautiful dancers as teachers. I particularly loved the solos we got to learn. They were so different and interesting. It was really special for me to have Tamara Rojo as a teacher. I saw her dance on my first visit to England and was completely blown away, so to have her right there, teaching us was amazing. She encouraged me to audition in the UK, so now I’m brimming with inspiration and hoping to make it there when my company is on holiday (if you have any words of advice, I’d be hugely grateful!).
Prague was as beautiful as promised, and the other students were wonderful people. I made many friends and I hope to keep in touch with them in the future.
I wish I could properly thank all the teachers since they were all incredible, inspiring, and helpful. Do you think it would be alright to send them letters c/o their respective companies/schools?
Thank you for a lovely two weeks, and please keep me up to date on the classes for next year.
From Emina Adderley: (Elmhurst)
Thank you very much for allowing me to join in the Prague Summer School. I had a brilliant time and enjoyed all the classes, especially pas de deux as I learnt lots of new things. Thankyou for meeting me at the airport it was a great help as it was my first time there.
I would love to come again next year and will be looking out for application dates!!! Emina x
From Sonoya Mizuno from Royal Ballet School:
I just wanted to say the biggest THANKYOU for accepting me on the course! I honestly had one of the best weeks in my life. I feel like I learnt a lot and the teachers really inspired me- after a very difficult year of injuries. I cannot remember enjoying dancing as much as I did in Prague. Also, I met so many great people, who I have kept in touch with, such as Charlotte Gleason who I’ve seen frequently in London since we left. We all had so much fun and it was thanks to you, please keep me posted with regards to your plans for next Summer.
With love Sonoya
From Tsumugi Misaki a dancer from Japan who attended in 2003:
KUMI OZAKI she told me that she had a great time at Prague experiencing a dancer’s life. She did not want to leave the country. I am sure that everyone will be learning so much from your course.
Your master course had changed my life greatly. …Most ballet schools tend to make a barrier and keep their secret for themselves. But I was so happy to find a place where I could hear a teacher saying “Hungry to learn” is important whatever the levels at your course. I was given a chance to work for K-Ballet as teacher from September this would not have come true if I did not attend your course. Love of dance and passion of ballet was hidden deep in side of me. After attending your course I really wanted to challenge anything without a fear.
Thank you very much.
I would like to see you soon somewhere!
Best wishes from Tsumugi Misaki
From Stephanie Clayton:
I just wanted to write to thank you for the brilliant two weeks I had with you in Prague. I feel that I have gained so much from the course and renewed my love of dance. I have been totally inspired by what I have seen and learnt, and feel priviledged to have worked with such world-class dancers, particularily since they were all so friendly and helpful. Prague is a truly beautiful city, and the experience of doing what I love in such a fantastic enviroment was amazing. Thank you again and hope to see you in the future…
(Student from London Studio Centre)
From Chris Mason:
(Father of Sophie Mason, a student from Central School of Ballet in London, who had to go home early due to an ingrowing toenail swelling up badly after 3 days of her two weeks)
I am not sure if this message will reach you but it’s worth a try ! I just wanted to let you know that Sophie and I were very grateful for the help she received in Prague from you and the Physio when she was unable to continue with the course. Events moved very quickly on Thursday and we were lucky in a way to be able to travel home together. We have had tears because she was so upset to have to leave early but in the circumstances I think she made the right decision.
A friend asked her today how she had felt on the course and she replied ‘Like I belonged ‘. Isn’t that lovely and testament to the warmth of the welcome she had received. She is so disappointed to be missing this week but such is the lot of a dancer !
Thanks again and good luck with the rest of the course
From Jennie Harrington, dancer with English National Ballet:
I attended the summer course at the end of my last year of training at the London Studio Centre I was offered a scholarship for the course by Margaret Barbieri. I was really looking forward to working with such high calibre teachers, and they were from quite a broad spectrum of dance so it was easy to see there would be something for everyone. The classes were challenging throughout the two weeks and were varied as well. I was very glad that the details of the course changed for the second week and were not duplicated (as with some other courses) as so many of us stayed for both weeks. AmyHollingsworth is a very inspirational teacher and gave so much to us all, I would have loved more classes with her as it took a while to relax into the different style. I really enjoyed all of the solos we learnt, especially ones that I hadn’t come across before, i.e. the Etudes solos. The pas de deux calsses were challenging but good fun – even when things get too tricky it is very easy to give up, however, I found that I didn’t want to stop trying! The classes with Christopher Hampson gave everyone a good insight into working with a company and the choreographers associated with them, and were good fun too. Although there were bits of information on our accomodation and what we should expect to pay for food, it was useful to have the traveller’s hostel website just to get details on facilities etc., especially as we cooked for ourselves a few nights so it was good to know about the kitchen. A week after the course I started with English National Ballet. (I was pleased with the timing of the course as it was one week before I started there, and I really feel it helped me keep in shape and gave me a taste of the dancers I would soon be performing with!) and am currently dancing in Cinderella, Melody on the Move and The Nutcracker. I would definitely recommend this course, to be in the same room as so many famous people is something that I will probably never experience again (unless I come back!) and I genuinely had fun and enjoyed myself. It is definitely a course worth experiencing.
From Sivan Barkai from Israel:
My name is Sivan Barkai, I am 21 years old. I studied dance at Bat-Dor Dance school in Israel for 6 years and passed RAD all through to advanced. I joined Israel Ballet Dance Company 3 years ago. At present I am a young soloist for the company. I came to the course because I was looking for a program for the summer, and after three years in the company I wanted to see something different and widen my knowledge. I was also looking for a program that could really benefit my career. Prague International Masterclasses offered excellent teachers who are also currently principal dancers in the best companies in Europe, which I thought was the best way for me to learn.
WHAT I THOUGHT OF THE COURSE…First of all I had a great time. I really enjoyed it and am glad that I had the chance to work with the teachers and learn from them. Mostly I feel that I have learnt about style and received corrections to obtain a cleaner technique. I have to say that the course organization was excellent, everything was exactly as planned ( lectures, picking up from airport, etc…).
ABOUT PRAGUE……..Prague of course is a beautiful city, the atmosphere is very nice for dancing. The view is amazing and personally I even did some shopping.
From Holly Bond:
I am just writing to say thank you for the enjoyable week I spent at your International Ballet Masterclasses. It was extremely well organised and all the classes were interesting and helped me a great deal. I particularly enjoyed the pas de deux classes and as I have never had the opportunity of such classes before, these were amazing experiences. The city of Prague was wonderful to visit and the studios were a spectacular place to dance in. Your Ballet Masterclasses were definitely the best summer school I have been on and I would love to return next year if possible. […] Thank you again for such an excellent course.
From Evdokia Moustaka:
Hello everyone! Iam 19 years old, my name is Evdokia Moustaka and I come from Greece, Athens. I study at Central School of Ballet in London, UK, and I am currently in my final year of the three year course. I read about the Masterclasses in the Dancing Times and then looked it up on the website. I thought it would be interesting to work with teachers who still perform and came from such varied backgrounds. I was also attracted to the curriculum – the pas de deux and solo classes and creativity with Christopher Hampson. I think it was a very good experience because the level was just right for me, the teaching was very professional and the teachers were motivating and inspiring. The general atmosphere was friendly and encouraged you to work harder. The classes were exciting as we learned a lot of new repertory. In general, I think I enjoyed the chance to dance a lot, meet new people with similar interests and visit a beautiful city like Prague. The truth is we didn’t see much of it, as we were so tired in the evenings, but we walked up to the castle to see the view, went to the Jewish cemetery and also to the Charle’s Bridge. It was good that we lived so close to the centre, so everything was within walking distance. The architecture and streets were gorgeous and the crystal as well! Everything is quite cheap, too, although one should beware of higher prices because the area is very touristic. I would definitely recommend the Masterclasses as the perfect combination of professional summerschool and surroundings. Friendly people and an exciting city to visit!
From Stina Quagebeur, dancer with English National Ballet:
My name is Stina Quagebeur. I am now into my final graduating term at the English National Ballet School. The summer holiday is always too long for dancers, and so I was looking for something to keep me going. The Ballet Masterclasses in Prague was an amazing opportunity to work with such famous dancers. They didn’t always have to explain everything (even if you don’t understand any English) because by watching them move I learned a great deal and it gave me much inspiration and self-motivation. To be away in another country exploring the beautiful city of Prague was a great bonus. I went back into my final term at school in September having learned a huge amount and still feel very privileged to have worked with so many great people.
From Carlotta Rota:
I’m Carlotta Rota from Milan, Italy. I’m 26 years old and I have been taking ballet since I was 11. I’m not a professional but, as Ian has defined me, I’m an enthusiast! In the past four years I’ve been looking for a very good ballet summer workshop somewhere in Europe, and finally I found it! I’ve been to Vignale Danza (Italy), Nina Soldum Memorial in Rapallo (Italy), Komiza (Croatia) before finding in August 2003 the best Ballet Masterclass in Prague. I discovered it through the internet and I had an excellent impression from it. Every day class schedule and all organization behind it have just been great. Staff, teachers, classes, people I’ve met there – they all exceeded my expectations! All I can say is that it’s really complete, it gives you everything. I think for professionals or professionals-to-be, it is key for future career and basic training, not only for your body but also for your mind and your heart. The atmosphere you can breathe there is very artistic and internatinal. Classes organization and efficiency, staff friendliness and support, and the city’s magic definitely complete it. I loved pas de deux and repertoire classes the most, but I also enjoyed lectures and videos from teachers’ previous works and career. I really advise you to try and be at next year’s Masterclass in Prague – I know I will! My best compliments go to the teachers and to staff and organization and special thanks to Daria and Ian for having given me the opportunity to be there. So for the ones who will be there, I hope to meet you and … enjoy