Two PA Students have been Selected to Study at Bolshoi Ballet Academy

The New York-based Russian American Foundation (RAF) is pleased to announce that Rachel Yinger has been selected for the prestigious NSLI FOR YOUTH Program – funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – to spend six weeks of the summer 2013 studying Russian language, culture and ballet at the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. Launched as part of a U.S. Government initiative in 2006, NSLI-Y seeks to increase Americans’ capacity to engage with native speakers of critical languages by providing formal and informal language learning, and an intensive cultural immersion experience.

The goals of the NSLI-Y program include sparking a life- long interest in foreign languages and cultures, and developing a corps of young Americans with the skills necessary to advance international dialogue in the private, academic or government sectors. Through her participation in the program, Rachel will be the face of future of international communication with one of the world’s most politically and culturally important countries.

The NSLI-Y scholarship covers all costs associated with the program, including domestic and international travel; tuition and related academic preparation; language testing; educational and cultural activities focused on language learning; orientations; meals; and accommodations. As part of RAF’s unique NSLI FOR YOUTH program, 15 young dancers – from Alaska, to California, to your very own state of Pennsylvania– beginning July 13, will spend six weeks in Moscow, where they will train with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, considered one of the greatest ballet academies in the world, while studying Russian language, history, arts and culture. The program will connect the scholarship winners with Russian culture through ballet, facilitating critical cross-cultural learning.

Prior to their departure for Moscow, the students will have three weeks of intensive ballet training in New York City with RAF’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive, now in its sixth year of an exclusive U.S. summer residency, sponsored by the Russian American Foundation (RAF). The announcement was made by Marina Kovalyov and Rina Kirshner, President and Vice-president, respectively, of Russian American Foundation. For more information visit:

Russian American Foundation – 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 – began its Bolshoi Ballet Academy summer training program in 2008. For more information, please visit:

Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive – Attracts talented young dancers from across the U.S. as well as foreign countries including Australia, Greece, Israel, Italy, China, Japan, Panama, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, Kazakhstan, France and many others. The program takes place in venues in Manhattan and Connecticut, where students as young as 9 spend six weeks from late June to early August training in classical Russian ballet technique with instructors and dancers from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

Bolshoi Ballet Academy – With its 235-year history, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy is one of the oldest and most established schools for classical ballet training in the world, having produced numerous world-class dancers, teachers, and choreographers. The Bolshoi Ballet Academy is steeped in a rich cultural tradition with a strong curriculum and a pedagogy that focuses on strength, musicality, clarity, and personal expression. Some of the most accomplished dancers of the 20th century who trained at the Academy include Maya Plisetskaya, Vladimir Vasiliev, Ekaterina Maximova, while stars of the current generation who are Academy alums include Nina Ananiashvili, Vladimir Malakhov, Natalia Osipova, Alexei Ratmanski, Polina Semionova, and Nikolai Tsiskaridze. For additional information about the Bolshoi Ballet Academy visit

NSLI-Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS-USA, American Cultural Exchange Service, Americans Promoting Study Abroad, AMIDEAST, iEARN-USA, Legacy International, Russian American Foundation and the University of Delaware. Applications for 2013-2014 NSLI-Y programs will be available at in the early fall. The Russian American Foundation NSLI-Y program has a separate application process, which can be found on its

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