The New York-based Russian American Foundation (RAF) has announced that 16 American high school ballet dancers have been selected for the prestigious National Security Language Initiative for Youth program including one student, Hana Lethen, from Tulsa.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Lethen will spend six weeks this summer studying Russian language, culture and ballet at the renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow.
The program, which provides merit-based scholarships to qualified U.S. high school students to learn less commonly taught languages and cultures in foreign countries, has earmarked full scholarships for a dance-related study for the first time in this summer’s program with the Russian American Foundation and Bolshoi Ballet Academy.
The announcement was made by Marina Kovalyov and Rina Kirshner, President and Vice-president, respectively, of Russian American Foundation. The 16 young dancers from all across the United States will spend six weeks from July 16 to August 27 in Moscow. They will train with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and study Russian language, history, arts and culture on full scholarship. Prior to their departure for Moscow, the students will spend three weeks in intensive ballet training in New York City with RAF’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive, an exclusive U.S. summer residency, sponsored by the Russian American Foundation.
RAF was founded in 1997 to encourage interest in and understanding of Russian heritage among all communities in the U.S., as well as to promote reciprocal interest in American heritage among global communities of the former Soviet Union. Among RAF’s acclaimed initiatives are the NSLI-Y program, Annual Russian Heritage Festival, and Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive.
With a 235-year history, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy is one of the oldest and most established schools for classical ballet training in the world. The school has produced numerous world-class dancers, teachers, and choreographers. Some of the most accomplished dancers of the 20th century who trained at the Academy include; Maya Plisetskaya, Vladimir Vasiliev, Ekaterina Maximova. Stars of the current generation include; Nina Ananiashvili, Vladimir Malakhov, Natalia Osipova, Alexei Ratmanski, Polina Semionova, and Nikolai Tsiskaridze.
The program is administered by American Councils for International Education, for more information from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, click here. For more information on the Russian American Foundation, click here.