Ms. Jessica Lighthart just obtained her second certification with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Recently, we conducted a Q&A with her to learn more about her experience.
Q: What made you choose to obtain the Bolshoi certificate?
A: “ I chose the Bolshoi Ballet Academy (BBA) Teacher Certification Program (TCP) because our focus at Ballet Academy of Charleston is on the Russian style. The BBA curriculum is known around the world for their focus on strength, musicality, and classical technique. There is something so pure and beautiful about it. It was a no brainer for me – I wanted to learn more!”
Q: What is the difference between the Vaganova and Bolshoi techniques styles?
A: “The Vaganova Method is the foundation for the BBA curriculum. BBA grew and expanded from it, therefore becoming it’s own style focusing on individual progress.”
Q: Where did you go for the training and how long did it take?
A: “The training takes place in NYC, and is a very intensive, week-long program.”
Q: How is the curriculum (BBA teacher’s cert) taught?
A: “We spend half of the day in the classroom (taking LOTS of notes!), and the other half in the studio.”
Q: How is it altered (if at all) for American pupils?
A: “The curriculum we learn is the same which is taught at the Bolshoi Academy in Russia. BBA teachers from Moscow teach the entire program. It is all in Russian, but we have a translator.”
Q: You also obtained a level A Cert a couple years ago. How does the B compare?
A: “Last year, I completed the Level A certification, which is for years 1-3 at the BBA. This summer I completed Level B, which is years 4 and 5. Next year, I am hoping to complete my Level C certification, which is years 6-8. It obviously gets harder each year as the levels become more advanced.”
Q: How have you implemented what you learned in your teaching and with what effect on your students?
A: “I have been applying my new knowledge in every class that I teach. It has really made me focus more on the process of how and why we teach something. I can really tell a difference with my students!”