Beckenham ballerina takes leap into St Petersburg’s renowned Vaganova Ballet Academy


Jasmine Henry is the first West Australian in 25 years to be accepted into the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg. Picture: Jon Hewson d483626
Jasmine Henry is the first West Australian in 25 years to be accepted into the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg. Picture: Jon Hewson d483626

NOT many teenagers are given the chance to travel to the other side of the world and fulfil their wildest dreams.

Then again, Jasmine Henry is no ordinary 15-year-old.

The Beckenham resident is the first West Australian in 25 years to be accepted into the renowned Vaganova Ballet Academy in St Petersburg.

A recent trip to Russia gave her the chance to audition and she was accepted on the spot.

Jasmine will now live and breathe ballet at the famous academy, something she said she has dreamed about since she was 10 years old.

“They told me straight after my audition and I was very overwhelmed,” she said.

“It was so crazy, I was crying, but it was one of the best days of my life.”

For the past few years, she has trained full-time at the Pevnev Ballet Academy in Booragoon while studying at the School of Isolated and Distance Education.

Her teacher Sergey Pevnev, himself a Vaganova graduate, said he was not surprised Jasmine was accepted.

“I was quite positive she would get in, about 90 per cent certain,” he said.

“The way she was trained and practiced, she was ready for this school.”

Mr Pevnev, who resides in Kalamunda, said Jasmine’s momentous achievement deserved to be celebrated and she had exceeded the achievements of many Australian ballet dancers.

“It was a goal of hers and it is not very easy as a local to get there,” he said.

“The highlight of Australian students is to get to the Australian Ballet School, but Jasmine decided not to go there and see how far we could push.

“Now, she’s going to the best school in the world.”

Mr Pevnev said Jasmine’s recent trip to Russia would adequately prepare her for her new life.

“She spent 10 days there with local students and teachers, she understands the amount of work to get to Russia and understand how it’s going to be different,” he said.

As for Jasmine, she said while she would miss her home, the chance to fulfil her dream was impossible to turn down.

“St Petersburg is an amazing city, it’s very clean with nice people,” she said.

“Obviously I’ll miss mum, dad and Sergey, but I know with technology, they’re going to be very close by.”

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