My life in Russia: Joy Womack from California, USA

"My life in Russia" is a video blog about expats living in Russia

Born in California and one of nine children, she began attending the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in 2009 after Academy teachers noticed her at that year's summer intensive. In 2009, at the age of 15, she became the first American ever accepted into the Russian ballet company, the most storied in the world, where she had aspired to dance since childhood.

"My first Russian word was bestolkovaya (silly), da (yes), net (no), spasibo (thanks), pozhaluista (please), zdravstvuite (hello), and of course vyvorotnost' (turn out)."

In the spring of 2014 Joy was named a principal dancer at the Kremlin Ballet Theater in Moscow, Russia.

"Russia is often misunderstood. I think people just have to come and experience it. When I see in their eyes that they've experienced it, they completely change their opinion."

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