Ballet star on the ball despite flight drama

Coogee ballet student Isabella Triscari (13) performed at the World Ballet Grand Prix in Moscow. Photo: Andrew Ritchie.
Coogee ballet student Isabella Triscari (13) performed at the World Ballet Grand Prix in Moscow. Photo: Andrew Ritchie.

A TALENTED Coogee ballet student has overcome a nightmare run of events which almost conspired to ruin a trip to Russia to compete on the world stage.

Missing visas and passports, and a decision to bar her from boarding a plane, almost thwarted Isabella Triscari’s attempts to compete at the World Ballet Grand Prix Final in Moscow.

However, the 13-year-old and her fellow Charlesworth Ballet School classmates made it to Moscow at the last minute, where Isabella was able to receive a Diploma from placing in the competition.

The school’s director Sonya Shepherd said the stressful experience began when the approved passports and visas were sent back from Sydney by truck, rather than plane.

After finding out only three days before they were meant to jet out, the school were sent over new passports, accompanied by a letter of approval from the Russian Consulate in lieu of the visas.

Isabella Triscari in her element. Photo: Andrew Ritchie.

However, the drama was far from over and relief gave way to devastation when the group were blocked from boarding their flight by the airline.

“Emirates in Moscow didn’t want to risk it,” Ms Shepherd said. “The Russians are amazing, but they’re absolutely by the book.”

“They said we had to get off, even though we had the Russian Consulate in Sydney on the phone with one of the air hostesses. I was quietly thinking this wasn’t going to happen. There was a lot of tears.”

Isabella and her classmates were convinced the dream was over.

“I thought we weren’t going to go after I found out the visas and the passports were an issue, even though mum was telling me they were going to figure it out,” she said.

Fortunately, salvation arrived in the form of one of the group’s parents, who worked for Virgin Australia and arranged for the correct visas and passports to be flown over ahead of a hastily booked flight the next day.

“A friend of his gave them to a pilot and the pilot gave them to me on his way out, two hours before our flight,” Ms Shepherd said.

“From Moscow, we went straight to the theatre and the class went in, smiles and everything.

“We could have had so many meltdowns; that was a pretty full-on thing.”

Despite the adversity, Isabella exceeded expectations and even though it was the first time she had performed on a raked stage, she received acclaim from the judges.

“I thought it was a really good experience, very different to what I’m used to doing. I wasn’t expecting to win anything,” she said. “I thought it was a really good experience, different to what I’m used to doing.”

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