My name is Elizaveta Shumaylova, 8, from Prague, Czech Republic. I go to Ballet School of Olga Kyndlova.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started ballet classes when I was 3 years old, and I also started rhythmic gymnastics at the same time. For 3 years I was doing both, and it was even hard to choose what I liked more. I enjoyed rhythmic gymnastics, although it was tough sometimes. I was taking 1st and 2nd place in the competitions in the Czech Republic and was attending masterclasses. However, I loved ballet as well, it seemed so beautiful to me, and I had a passion for it. At some point, it was time to choose, and I chose ballet - I was nearly 7 years old at that time. And then it all changed for me - ballet required a lot of time, individual trainings, a lot of effort. But at the same, it was incredibly exciting. You have to practice almost every day, and it requires a lot of strength, discipline, and musicality. But then it’s such a pleasure to see the progress you are making. And, of course, I love music, dance, opportunities to participate in the international contests (there were especially many virtual contests this year), meeting new people sharing the same passion. Ballet became not just a hobby, but a way of life, and I am incredibly enjoying it.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s a blessing if you can do what you love; and even more, if it becomes your profession. However, as I mentioned before, sometimes it can be a struggle. In ballet, it takes a lot of effort and work to practice and improve. But as it’s been said, “A little progress every day adds up to big results” - Satya. So I keep working to move forward, to go for my dreams, and I am enjoying it. At the very end of the day, things are not easy, but they bring a lot of wonderful moments.
What personal limitations if any did you go through in your young career?
I can’t say I went through some personal limitations. But it’s worth saying that one day can be harder than another, and I am just going through it and moving forward.
Has anybody ever tried to limit you on what you could do? If so how did you fight it?
I am happy that my family and friends have always been such a big support for me in anything I am choosing to do. I am really grateful to them. It would not be possible without so much love and them believing in me.
How do you conquer negative talk?
Until now, I didn’t have to conquer negative talk much, probably due to my age. But the best way to do it is not to pay attention and just continue doing what you love, following your passion. And in general, I am a very kind-hearted, friendly, and easygoing person, so, for now, no negative talks :)
What is your favorite quote?
To be honest I have many favorite quotes, which reflect the things I believe in.
One of the quotes: “Your only limitations are those set up in your mind, or permit others to set up for you.” - Og Madino
Another one: “Dance is the hidden language of the soul.” - Martha Graham.
A third one: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt.
And many other quotes :)
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Definitely :) Always pursue your dreams! I dream of getting into one of the best Ballet Academies - Royal Ballet Academy or The School of American Ballet. But I would also be very happy to get into another Ballet Academy with a very strong level. Adding to that, I have some other hobbies, which I am very passionate about. I absolutely love painting. I could do it all day long, and I am very creative about it. I also am passionate about music and singing. So, let’s see what it will look like in several years :)