Navigating Food and Culture through Language

NSLI-Y Interactive: Excerpts from an interview with alumnus Archit, NSLI-Y Russia, Summer 2015. Since middle school, Archit has always liked world travel, languages, and cultures; learning about Russian language, history, music, and current events was no exception. With extended family in India, Archit was an experienced international traveler. Thus, he felt prepared for the NSLI-Y program in Moscow and his parents were supportive. read more.

Young Coastsider pursues the world

Growing up in El Granada, Robert Letters distinguished himself in performing arts. But heading into adulthood, he is blazing a different kind of distinguished path. Letters, 18, was one of 14 American high school students to spend eight weeks in Moscow in June and July as an ambassador of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Russian Language and Culture Program. read more.

A trip of a lifetime

Unbelievable. A dream come true. The opportunity of a lifetime. That’s how 16-year-old Hoover resident Katherine Free describes her summer. The blossoming ballerina spent nine weeks — three in New York City, six in Moscow — pursuing the art form she loves under the direction of the world’s most elite instructors. read more.

Muldowney Chosen for NSLI Program

Alanna Muldowney, 17, was chosen as one of 15 American high school ballet students for the National Security Language Intitiative for Youth & Bolshoi Way Program, a U.S. Department of State Program in collaboration with the Russian American Foundation and the internationally renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy of Russia. read more.

Ormond Beach ballet student returns from Moscow

Muldowney was just one of 15 ballet students chosen from around the country for the National Security Language Initiative for Youth’s Russian Language and Culture RAF and Bolshoi Way. The program, funded by the state, immerses the students into a summer of learning a different country’s culture and ballet. read more.

Maranda Jory: loving her sweet slice of life

The Mesa Paper: Recently, Maranda Jory completed a six-week full scholarship stint at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia, training at one of the best ballet academies in the world! It was a life-changing experience for Maranda in many ways, including her preconceived notions about Russia … and its citizens. read more

Mission accomplished: Newbury Park teen earns scholarship to study in Russia

Ventura County Star: From mid-June to the end of August, Ho spent six weeks in Moscow, where she and 13 other students from the United States were immersed in Russian language, history, culture and art. The competitive, merit-­based scholarship Ho received was granted by the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth program. read more.

Bolshoi Ballet Academy welcomes Bath Ballerina

Bath Country Journal: Instead of kicking back and relaxing for her summer vacation, Bath ballerina Anne Lewandowski had the adventure of a lifetime, immersing herself in Russian culture and dancing with the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet. The Hathaway Brown School sophomore was one of 15 young people (13 girls, 2 boys) selected to participate in the State Department­ funded program to study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. There they honed their dance skills and learned the Russian language. read more

Oak Grove teen McMurrian studies ballet in Russia

Hattiesburg American: The scholarship provided to McMurrian and 14 other high school ballet students from across the United States was offered by the National Security Language Initiative for Youth RAF & Bolshoi Way Program, a U.S. Department of State program in collaboration with the Russian American Foundation and the Bolshoi Academy. read more

Shelton Resident Attends Prestigious Russian Ballet Academy

Shelton Patch: Shelton resident and Trumbull Regional Agriscience and Biotechnology student Dominika Tomczyk returned from a summer study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. Dominika said the opportunity was magical especially after working her way back up to full strength after a stress fracture in 2014. read more.

McLean High Student Returns from Summer Abroad in Russia

McLean Patch: Madeleine Scherer, a 16-year-old rising junior at McLean High School, was one of 14 American high schoolers to recently return to the States from a summer immersion program in Russia. Scherer and the rest of the group were ambassadors and finalists of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLIY) Russian Language and Culture Program. The NSLIY programs include a full merit-based scholarship to study less commonly taught languages overseas during summer or academic-year programs. read more.

LAHS student spends summer at Bolshoi Ballet Academy

Los Altos Town Crier: Los Altos High School junior Jillian Smith twirled her way to Moscow this summer, landing a six-week language and ballet scholarship at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Smith, 16, a Los Altos resident, scored one of 15 academic and merit-based grants for promising ballet dancers nationwide to attend the summer school program, sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the Russian American Foundation. read more

Russian Season: What do Americans get out of training at Bolshoi Ballet Academy?

Dance Magazine: In the last few years, more young Americans have enrolled at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy (also known as the Moscow State Academy of Choreography) than ever before. Since 2007, the Russian American Foundation’s U.S. summer intensives and government-funded scholarship program have helped pave the road from America to Moscow as BBA has become increasingly open to foreign students. Now, Bolshoi-trained Americans still in their 20s are making their marks with top international companies, bringing with them a distinct blend of Russian training and American spirit. read more

For Russia, image is not a priority – России не до имиджа

РБК-ТВ: Russian American Foundation was mentioned in a Russian program entitled “Obzrevateli”/”Обозреватель” as one of the successful organizations who promote much needed cultural dialogue between the US and Russia. watch

A twirl with pain: Ballet dancer fights through scoliosis

McKinney Courier-Gazette: This summer, Colby Saltz will grace Bolshoi Ballet Academy, one of the nation’s premier summer intensive programs. A few months ago, she didn’t know if she’d dance again. read more

International Education Week RAF Scholarship Competition Winners

This year, RAF organized a scholastic competition in support of International Education Week (IEW) 2014 in late November.  A joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education, IEW is meant to celebrate the worldwide exchange of culture and ideas. RAF challenged all BBASI participants to create an informative and engaging presentation for their community describing the impact exposure to another culture has had on their lives.  RAF awarded eight $250 scholarships to BBASI alumni for outstanding presentations that best exemplify how BBASI experience has help them to become not just a student of ballet, but a student of the world. The winners are:

Participants (9-14 yrs)               Participants (15 yrs +)                    Participants (NSLI-Y)
Claire Morrison, 11yrs, NC        Bailey Garcia, 16yrs, CA               Erika Pugh, 18yrs, PA
Elsa Hritz, 12yrs, WA                 Alanna Muldowney, 16 yrs, FL      McCall Sheetz, 17yrs, CA
Isabella Janssen, 13yrs, SC
Ruth Schultz, 11yrs, NY

Congratulations to all participants and winners !  We welcome you to explore some of the featured presentations below:

Link to Erika Pugh’s presentation

Link to Claire Morrison’s presentation

Success in Seattle for Kelowna dancers Angel-Fox, who just turned 15, danced what Sarafanov described as, “the best performance of her life,” at the event and was selected to attend the prestigious Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy by the Russian American Foundation in New York, with the opportunity to go to the Bolshoi in Russia as well. read more

Dancer Experiences Russia This past summer, Caroline auditioned for and was once again chosen as one of approximately 100 dancers from around the world to attend the Bolshoi Ballet’s summer intensive program in New York City. In addition, 15 dancers from around the United States were then chosen to go to Moscow to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy on full scholarship for an additional six weeks of study. read more

BBASI and NSLI-Y Alumna featured in CNN Photos 2014: The Year in Pictures

CNN Photos: Precious Adams is an alumna of  RAF’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Program (2010 and 2011) and the  NSLI-Y Russian Language and Culture RAF & Bolshoi Way Program (2011), funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  As a result of her immersion in Bolshoi Ballet Academy’s training during RAF’s programs, Precious was invited to study year-round at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow.  RAF is thrilled and honored to see one of our past students featured in the CNN Photos 2014: Year in Pictures. view photo (photo #9/February 1)

Letters From Moscow: San Angelo Ballerina Relays Stories from Bolshoi

San Angelo LIVE!: “Slovar, slovar,” writes Emma Armstrong in a blog post dated Nov. 26. Translated, she describes, the Russian word means “dictionary”, a one-syllable utterance she and her classmates have become all too familiar with in their courses at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia over the past five weeks. read more