Ballerinas at Marat Daukayev dance for joy and in person

| September 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

CIRCLE TIME FOR BALLERINAS. Right to left are Olivia Lin, Haven Zucker, Samara Zelichov, Tiffany Vargas, Lana Namkoong and Allison Kim.

Happiness and happy feet are what the students at Marat Daukayev School of Ballet are feeling these days. After many months of practicing alone at home and only connecting with their ballet friends via Zoom, the dancers are finally back in person as of July.

Parents and dancers alike are “On cloud nine,” according to mom Kate Cury of La Brea Hancock, whose daughter Annabel, 12, attends the school. “It was incredible for my daughter to go from home to her chosen family,” says Ms. Cury.

Since July, the students are not only able to be together, they are finally able to dance in their new studio for the first time. As Annabel Cury says, “I was very excited when we heard that Marat Daukayev School of Ballet’s summer intensive would be in person. I was flabbergasted when I saw how beautiful the new studio was, and grateful that I would not only be doing ballet here, where the windows and studios were giant, but also that I would finally be able to see my ballet friends. Being back in person has felt very magical, exhilarating, and so fun. This summer was thrilling and I am looking forward to the new semester, and all of the new memories I will make!”

“My girls literally had tears of joy,” is how mom Bonnie Rhow describes her daughters Annie, 16 and MyLee, 12, both Marlborough students, upon their return. It was the first time her ballerinas pointed their toes in the new studio space on Wilshire.

DANCERS with friends in the new studio of Marat Daukayev School of Ballet are (left to right) Kate Shin, Eva McMillan, Kiyona John, Regan Ilacqua, Emma Ramirez and Gabriela Gamboa.

“Ballet is their life,” says Ms. Rhow. After spending all of quarantine in a small space at home on Zoom to keep their endurance up, they were rewarded with an in-person summer intensive with their fellow dancers. Although all students have to mask up, wearing a mask doesn’t take away from the experience.

BEAUTIFULLY POSED are, left to right, Annabel Cury of La Brea Hancock, Ellis Yeom of Miracle Mile and Caitlin Lee of La Brea Hancock. Photo by Mia Moran

Marat Daukayev School of Ballet started its in-person program in July and is continuing throughout the fall. According to executive director, Pamela Daukayev, all students who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine must be vaccinated in order to participate in-person at the studio.

Otherwise, the studio is still offering an online option. Those who are not eligible for the vaccine can go to class in person. Ms. Daukayev says they are planning on keeping this season as normal as any other. They will do their usual performances, including the annual “Nutcracker.”

Classes are available for kids from three years old through adults in their 80s. The studio has moved from its home in the Miracle Mile to a beautifully airy space in the Equitable Plaza at 3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200. If you are interested in attending please visit their website:

By Nona Sue Friedman

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Category: Entertainment

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