SUU Student Studies Ballet in Russia

Mariam with her former teacher Ludmilla Safronova

Balancing life as a college student is hard enough, but Mariam Roe has been traveling back and forth from Utah to Russia to study ballet. She is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in ballet technique and pedagogy, which is the theory and practice of teaching. 

If you aren’t familiar with the world of dance, it may be surprising to learn how much time and dedication it takes to acquire the skill of a ballet dancer. Mariam began ballet at age 12, and has since spent countless hours working to improve her technique and learn more about ballet training. 

The dancer found her love of Russian ballet in Salt Lake City, where she took master classes. In 2015, Mariam had the opportunity to visit Russia, where she began to take private ballet and character dance lessons. It was after this visit that she decided she wanted to study ballet indefinitely, and was later accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. She also studied in St. Petersburg, after receiving a scholarship.

Mariam participated in the Classic Dance Alliance’s International Youth Ballet Festival, which was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. Former director of the Kirov Ballet, Oleg Vinogradov, actually brought his ballet festival to Utah, a festival Mariam danced in. This festival will be held again this May in Murray, Utah. 

This ambitious and talented young lady dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer after graduation, and because she is currently studying with the Ballet Conrad Institute, she is well on her way to doing so. For those reading that also aspire to be a dancer, she has this advice, “If you really want to be a dancer, you have to believe in yourself. . . even if others don’t.”


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos by: Roxann Al-Hamlagi