Today an extraordinary woman is visiting the Modum magazine. Anna Reznik is a professional dancer, a gifted instructor, a resilient person and a tender loving mother. All of these qualities showing up in one person is always inspiring. I was impressed and got energized by the impressiveness of Anna, even learning about her life and some secrets of her success. I am simply ecstatic to share all of this with you.
- Anna, when did you start doing ballet?
I was five then. It was in Moscow. At that time, they had free classes for amateur performances which I had been attending. At the age of eight, I went to the preparatory group, and at ten I was admitted to the Bolshoi Ballet School. While doing ballet, I had gotten a degree in choreography and became a professional teacher.
- Could you go into detail on the roles you performed? Which of those would you say are your favorite?
I have done the whole classical repertoire in Russia. And in 1997 when we arrived in America, we began dancing neo-classical, modern and Balanchine. For us it was an unbelievable experience, as there was almost no contemporary ballet in Russia at that time.
Gisele is my favorite.
- Where do you derive your energy to continue your passion?
I am confident in myself. Thanks to working in Russia, and at different American and European companies, I have received a great amount of experience. I am aware that I am a master in my field. Since my early childhood I have been positive in my choice, and now I can feel I am a master of my job.
- Do you have idols in the ballet field?
I have been impressed by Ekaterina Maksimova for all my life. I have been worshipping her and dreamed to be like her. She was a genius.
- Ballet requires a lot of patience. Has the thought of quitting ballet ever occurred to you?
No, it has never occurred to me. First of all, because of the tough discipline of the USSR; second of all, ballet always came naturally to me. I did it very well, and I had both physical capabilities and the right shape from nature. Plus, I was always in love with what I would do. Sometimes, I can see how difficult it goes for my students, but I am proud of them. This is the job of my dream. You want me to quit ballet? Don’t hold your breath!
- What is the brightest moment you remember from your dancing career?
I have endured many things throughout all these years. It was the different contest winnings which brought me the self-confidence and experience. Also, it brought me the eternal busyness. Yes, we were so busy; we have been dancing constantly, but that was such a pleasant tiredness!
We also had some funny stories. One day, my and Aleksey’s costumes got attached during the performance, and we had to improvise in order to detach them.
One day in Germany, the strap unattached from my costume. I had to hold it with one hand the whole time in order not to perform half naked. (laughing)
- How did you and Aleksey meet?
We have known each other since the college times, but we had never kept in touch until we had the common friends. We started out dancing together, and in a couple of years we got married. Now we have been married for 20 years already. (Smiling)
- How do you manage your responsibilities at work? What does Aleksey do, and what do you do?
Aleksey works with the students and sets the choreography. I communicate with the parents and manage the instructors, as well as create programs for the teaching curriculum so everyone will have the same method of study. We teach the ballet together.
- What are your upcoming or future plans?
We just have opened our own Youth Company and Center for Dance in downtown Chicago – www.aacenterfordance.org and currently are working on our first season, auditioning dancers, etc.
And, of course, we are doing everything for our son. He is my main goal and an incredible happiness.
- How have your priorities changed after having a baby?
The focus has shifted, and most of our attention belongs to him. I am not saying that I’m paying less attention to ballet than before. Because of my great experience, I have learned to manage my time and easily combine motherhood and work.
- What do you think is most important when trying to attain your dream?
The most important thing is to never get desperate. Life is so unexpected. It brings some extraordinary surprises to us. They are not always pleasant, but they definitely give unique lessons. One should always keep moving toward his or her goal. Maybe it sounds trivial, but it is true.
You can learn more details about the upcoming Dance Center and Company and its owners on the official website of Anna and Aleksey http://www.aacenterfordance.