Kyiv City Ballet provide an unforgettable experience for North Dorset’s young Ukrainian community

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Shaftesbury CE Primary School hosted members of the Kyiv City Ballet on 3rd October as the world-renowned international dance company started their whistle-stop tour of North Dorset.
The Ukrainian students from Shaftesbury Primary were joined by their compatriots from Shaftesbury Abbey, St Andrew’s (Yetminster) and St George’s in Bourton to take part in a morning of dance and Ukrainian culture.


The Kyiv City Ballet representatives, including Ivan Kozlov (founder and director), Mykhailo Shcherbakov (rehearsal director) and a selection of dancers, lead a personal and informal session for the Ukrainian children and close friends. The children were shown some of the intricate costumes and shoes of the ballet company, before participating in a workshop where they were taught some of the basic ballet positions and moves.
Afterwards the children were joined by some Ukrainian parents along with Years 4, 5 and 6 from Shaftesbury Primary for an informative and inspirational assembly. Ivan spoke to the children about how the Kyiv City Ballet had left Kyiv the day before the Russian invasion in 2022 to start a three-week tour of France, and how they are effectively still on that tour, having been unable to get home. Their tour soon became known as the Infinity Tour!


Ben Smiley, teacher at Shaftesbury Primary, said, ‘It was our pleasure to host the Kyiv City Ballet. For them to take time out of their busy schedule to spend a day with some of the Ukrainian students in the North Dorset area is a hugely generous gesture. The connection between the Ivan and his team with the children was instant, and it has undoubtedly created a sense of pride in the Ukrainian culture within our refugee children. Thanks go to Ivan, the Kyiv City Ballet and Stuart Twiss of the Shaftesbury Refugee Group for their time and energy in inspiring our children.

sponsored by Wessex Interent

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