Ballet academy

Bicester dancer needs help funding training at Vaganova Ballet Academy

AN OXFORD-born dancer has been accepted to train at one of the world’s most prestigious ballet schools, but needs help funding his tuition.

Taiga Kodama-Pomfret, who lives in Bicester, has a place to learn at Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg, Russia, in September.

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Taiga started ballet at the age of nine and although he was not initially interested in professional dancing, one night a few years later his life changed after seeing the Bolshoi Ballet during their London tour.

He worked very hard from then on and won a place at Elmhurst Ballet School – the school of Birmingham Royal Ballet – in year three of their primary school training programme.

Taiga, whose parents met at Oxford University, has just turned 16 and is about to complete primary school education.

Although there are government grants for professional dance training in the UK, these do not cover overseas training. Taiga’s family has therefore started crowdfunding and is looking for sponsorship so that they can send him to his dream school, complete his training and bring him. a few more steps towards realizing her dreams of dancing on the world stage.

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They want to raise £17,500 – the cost of fees for a year. So far over £1,300 has been raised.

Her mother Yuka, who is a professional ballet dancer, said, “Please help Taiga achieve her dreams of dancing on the world stage. No donation is too small.”

Taiga has managed to meet a number of professional dancers during his career, which his mother says encouraged him to pursue his dreams.

She said: “Taiga has followed and studied many of today’s great dancers, which eventually led them to notice him. When Taiga went to see a gala, Artem Ovcharenko, a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, l recognized on social media and sent him kind words, encouragement and advice.

“He told her to never give up and follow her dreams. Those words still drive Taiga to this day.

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“A good number of other professional dancers see potential in the taiga and have actively encouraged him on his journey. One such person is Igor Tsvirko, one of the main soloists of the Bolshoi Ballet.

“Not only does he continue to cheer on Taiga, but he’s gone so far as to give her personal coaching through messages and video calls.”

To donate, go to justgiving.com and search for Taiga Kodama-Pomfret.

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