Chiswick girl takes silver at Dance World Cup

Image above: Freya Rodgers at the Dance World Cup; photograph courtesy of the Dance World Cup

Freya Rodgers from Chiswick has won the silver medal in the Junior Ballet solo at the Dance World Cup held this week at the Telford International Centre.

The Dance World Cup is a relatively new competition, only about ten years old. It aims to be something like an Olympics of dance and already has more than 120,000 children and young people around the world aged from four to 25 taking part in qulifying rounds to represent their country in the DWC World Finals, held annually in different locations.

Freya was representing England in the 14 – 17category. Like so many international events, the competition was delayed from 2020 due to the pandemic, limiting dancers’ access to studios and making preparation all the harder. She auditioned at the end of 2019 when she was just 14 and was one of the youngest competitors taking part.

Freya, who is a student at Chiswick School, had turned 15 by the time the competition took place and was competing against dancers, some of whom were three years older and already training in full-time ballet schools.

She chose to dance the Harlequinade variation for her medal-winning performance on the evening of Tuesday 10 August.

“It’s not performed much any longer” she told The Chiswick Calendar, “but it has a lot of pirouettes, which is my strong point”.

Images above: Freya Rodgers at the Dance World Cup

Freya would like to be a professional ballet dancer, an ambition she has held since she was about six years old, when she first started watching ballet performances. None of her family are dancers; her parents are both journalists, but she told us her grandmother likes to watch ballet and it has been part of her life since whe was tiny.

She started having lessons at the age of three, when the family lived in Moscow and just remembers it being tremendous fun. She now dances five or six days a week, putting in between three and five hours a day and making sure she still does her stretches on the days she’s not dancing.

Freya continued learning ballet with Chiswick Theatre Arts once the family moved back to London, moving on to become a Junior Associate of the Royal Ballet School. She is currently a Senior Associate, and also studies at Masters of Ballet, a West London school run by Elena Glurjidze, a former Principal Ballerina at English National Ballet, and Olga Semenova, a graduate of Saint Petersburg’s prestigious Vaganova Academy of Ballet.

In the autumn Freya will start auditioning for full time dance schools.

“My dream school would be the Vaganova Ballet in St Petersburg” she told us, “I think Russian Ballet is so elegant”.

St Petersbury is considered the ballet capital of the world. The Vaganova Ballet is the home of the Marinsky Ballet, one of the world’s leading ballet companies. Students of the school have found employment with ballet and contemporary companies worldwide, including the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and Mikhailovsky Ballet.

Freya said: “It has been very hard over the last 18 months, but this success means everything. I really hope it means I am well on my way to becoming a professional.”

We hope so too.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

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