Ballet academy

Candice jumps into the famous ballet academy

By Abbey Cannan

Two broken wrists couldn’t stop a ballet dancer from Noosaville from taking the stage, and now the talented 15-year-old has made her way to an acclaimed Russian ballet academy.

Noosa Professional Dance Academy dancer Candice Desilets has been accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia.

The acclaimed academy has produced some of the most accomplished stars of the current generation, including Natalia Osipova, Alexei Ratmansky and Polina Semionova.

With nearly 250 years of history, the Academy’s curriculum and pedagogy are recognized for their focus on strength, musicality, clarity of technique and personal expression.

Candice was only three years old when a dance teacher in South Africa told her mother, Diane Desilets, that she had potential.

Traveling to Russia at the age of 12, Candice’s lens was locked after seeing some of the world’s best dancers perform on stage.

“I did a bit of training in Russia but with a different academy and just saw the different level of technique,” Candice said.

“We had to film a video audition and after that they asked for more details and then you have to do full medical reports and exams.

“I was overjoyed when I was accepted, but friends also told me I had a chance to get in.”

Not your expected dance mom, Diane said she’s just proud of her daughter for following her dream.

“We want to thank the Noosa Professional Dance Academy and all the teachers for their support,” said Diane.

“There are always some hiccups along the way, but she pulled it off exceptionally well.”

Those hiccups include an accident earlier this year where Candice fell from a height of three meters and broke both wrists, but even that couldn’t stop her from taking the stage.

“I was a little nervous dancing in a cast, knowing that if I fell I might hurt myself more,” Candice said.

“But I just had to remember that I never fell without the cast so I wouldn’t fall with it.”

Having grown up traveling abroad, the confident, yet calm and humble teenager was not at all concerned about moving to Russia on her own.

In a normal year before the pandemic, the Desilets family divided their time between South Africa, Australia, sailing in the Mediterranean and trips to Europe, during which Candice was unable to spend as much time at s train.

“I kind of adapted to the constant change growing up, so I’m mostly excited,” she said.

“The excitement outweighs any negativity.

“I’ve danced there before and everything was very well maintained and the towns have a great history.

“I’ll start in January and the holidays are in June, so it’s a six-month program, then if you’re invited again, it’s another three years.”

Candice said she liked the precision required for the ballet.

“Ballet is a good form of discipline and there’s so much hard work and control that goes into it,” she said.

During her stay, Candice will train six days a week and will have to learn the Russian language.

“They only speak Russian at the Academy and the schedules are written in Russian,” Candice said.

“You have to learn Russian in the first six months, otherwise you can’t stay.”

The devoted dancer said her dream goal was to dance at the Mariinsky Theater or the Bolshoi Theater.

“However, if not, any European country would be great,” Candice said.

She worked so hard to get into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and now the real hard work will begin.