Sana Suzuki, a freshman at Granada Hills Charter High School, is packing her ballet slippers and moving to Moscow in early October to attend the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, one of the oldest and most respected ballet schools in the world.
Suzuki 14, was invited to study full-time at the academy after demonstrating her talent during the Bolshoi Summer Intensive in Connecticut this summer. Her acceptance is a source of long-awaited joy and celebration for Suzuki and her family.
Her ballet lessons began at age six. Three years later, Suzuki was chosen to perform as a child cast member in “The Nutcracker” by the Joffrey Ballet Chicago held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Her career as a ballerina continued with performances in downtown Los Angeles with international ballet companies including the French Ballet Preljocaj and the National Ballet of Canada.
“I remember when I started taking ballet lessons. I was a shy girl, but I liked the feeling of being free, expressing my artistic side, and I loved to perform, especially on stage,” said Suzuki, of her early career.
“The moment I saw a ballet stage performed by Russian dancers for the first time, I fell in love with their artistry, especially with their upper body movements, great fluidity, and presentation of the feet.”
Suzuki started classical Russian-style ballet classes to build and polish techniques, body alignments, and the artistry of dance. By the time she was 12, she had a plan to be accepted by an academy in Russia. In order to obtain this goal, her training and auditioning became more rigorous with practices consuming over three hours per day, seven days per week.
Needing to balance ballet with academics, Suzuki studies with the iGranada program at Granada Hills Charter High School because of its flexible scheduling and classes being a blend between online and in-classroom support,.
“iGranada helped me with my ballet schedule. It can get really intense,” Suzuki said. “I can do my schoolwork at the ballet studio or at home. I don’t have to miss anything at school.”