She’s graced stages in more than 30 countries, has danced many classic ballet roles and has offered private coaching and workshops.
But last week, Russian ballerina Zhanna Golubenko was in Lutz, posing for photos and autographing posters at Dance Gear, Etc., 1707 Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz.
Golubenko has been traveling in recent months to cities throughout the Southeastern United States, sharing her passion for ballet and helping to promote upcoming performances of Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.
That production will be performed in numerous cities, including St. Petersburg.
Besides letting people know about the upcoming show, she’s also putting the word out about audition opportunities, said Carolyn Jackson, owner of Dance Gear, Etc.
Jackson was pleased to host the ballerina’s visit.
“It was just a fabulous opportunity for the community. Everybody loves The Nutcracker,” Jackson said.
Golubenko, who was dressed in costume, said she began dancing when she was 6. That was two decades ago.
Being a ballerina requires a considerable amount of practice and can result in injuries, but for Golubenko, it’s a way of life.
“When you love it, you cannot live without it,” she said. “Even the injuries, they teach you something.”
The ballerina also noted: “Pain in your soul is much stronger than physical pain, so I prefer to have physical pain.”
Most of the people she’s met during her Southeastern tour have been interested in knowing why she became a ballet dancer, and about how to recover from an injury.
She said her parents introduced her to the theater when she was very young and by the time she was 6, she knew she wanted to become a ballet dancer.
As for injuries, she said it is best to try to avoid them. She advised warming up thoroughly before beginning any serious training.
“Most of the injuries we get, we get them on cold legs,” Golubenko said.
At the Lutz shop, there were girls and their moms who were eager to meet the Russian ballerina.
Twelve-year-old Zoe Gallagher was among those lining up to have her picture taken with Golubenko.
“I just really wanted to meet a prima ballerina,” said Gallagher, who herself aspires to become a professional ballerina.
Gallagher said dancing helps her to convey her emotions, and she enjoys stepping into the role of a character.
Dancing, she said, “allows me to transfer into somebody else for a just a little bit of time.”
Published October 28, 2015