This week's dancer of the week
is a very young dancer, fifteen-year-old Maria Bystrova of the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington,
D.C., who was awarded the Princess Grace Scholarship for 1998.
The Princess Grace Scholarship, named in honor of Princess Grace
of Monaco, is awarded annually to students in their last year
of schooling in the fields of theater, dance and film.
Maria Bystrova began
her studies at the Kirov Academy of Ballet at age 11. She
was introduced to ballet by her mother, Tatiana Renko, when she
was five years old and living in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Maria auditioned for, and was accepted by, the Vaganova School
of the Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg when she was
9. She studied there for two years, then transfered to
the Kirov Academy in Washington, D.C. at the invitation of Oleg
This year, Maria was
also awarded the William Como Dance Magazine Scholarship and
competed at the Jackson International Ballet Competition.
In addition to ballet, Maria loves math and history. She
has a 4.0 grade point average.