About Natalya Pakshyna

Schooled in the renowned St Petersburg ballet tradition, which boasts Nureyev and Baryshnikov among its past pupils, Natalya Pakshyna began dancing when at a young age she was found to have problems with coordination. Two years later, not only had her coordination improved dramatically, but at the tender age of seven she was already performing solo.

“Ballet is a great art,” says Pakshyna. “It encourages grace, self-confidence, and flexibility. After you do it for a while you become a different person. Your body, your face and even your inner world changes. But in order to truly appreciate ballet and get happiness out of it you have to put in some hard work.”

“Not a single dancer can reach the top without a strong ballet background”, believes Pakshyna. “It’s in their hands, posture, the way they turn their head… Every dancer should know at least the basics of classic ballet. And they should learn it the proper way.”

Natalya Pakshina arrived in Ireland ten years ago, having previously taught and performed in Ukraine, Switzerland and Greece. With a diploma in dance and teaching from Ukraine, she began working here – like many qualified migrants – below her skill level while perfecting her English. Weekends were spent working in a Russian school as a teacher and events organiser, allowing her to enjoy another passion in life – working with children. Meanwhile, her love of ballet continued, and she began to teach dance to children at schools around Dublin. Student numbers grew steadily, and 2005 saw the opening of Pakshyna’s independent ballet school “Natalya Ballet Studio” at Donnycarney Community Centre, Collins Avenue East, Donnycarney, Dublin 5, Dublin.

With classes based on the traditional French ballet techniques, Pakshyna uses the classic French terminology when teaching. So, rather than being “on the tips of your toes” you will be en pointe; instead of doing bends and leg stretches, you will be executing demi-pliés and battements fondus.

A Ukrainian ballerina teaching French ballet, who has made Ireland her home; proof indeed that the language of dance is universal.


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