A teenager from Greenport’s acceptance into a prestigious ballet academy has been rescinded due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine thousands of miles away.
Peter Gwiazda, now a sophomore at Greenport High School, has been dancing since he was 5 years old.
He has recently focused on ballet and has danced in theaters in Riverhead, Greenport, Mattituck and Westhampton Beach, performing in productions like ‘The King and I’ and ‘The Sound of Music’.
“There’s a famous ballet, ‘The Nutcracker,’ Gwiazda says. “My mother used to put it on for me during the Christmas season and she noticed that every time she put it on, I started dancing.
Gwiazda was accepted to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in New York, but was informed that the summer academy had been canceled because the ballet teachers were coming from Moscow and could no longer travel to New York.
Gwiazda’s father is Ukrainian and says what Russia is doing to Ukraine “planks” him.
The Bolshoi Balley Academy is one of the oldest ballet institutions in the world.
The Gwiazdas say that if the academy returns next summer, Peter will apply again.
“There are much bigger things happening in Europe right now that are beyond my control,” says Gwiazda.
Gwiazda was accepted into a summer program with the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory in Connecticut.