WALDWICK, N.J. – The Petrov Ballet School in the Superdome Sports Complex is an enchanting sight.
Through its glass walls, the public can see dancers twirling, spinning, stretching.
“I love this space,” said Eugene Petrov, artistic director of the school and a native of St. Petersburg, Russia. “When we’re up here dancing in the wintertime, and the snow is falling and the light’s just right, it’s like something out of Dostoyevsky.”
Petrov performed with the prestigious International Folk Dance Ensemble throughout Russia and its former republics, Europe, and India. He’s also appeared in principal and soloists roles in the great classics across the U.S.
When he moved here in 1992, he taught at the Irine Fokine School of Ballet in Ridgewood. The late Fokine was born in Vologda, Russia.
Today Petrov and his wife, Karen Bosch Petrov, keep alive the tradition they love. The Midland Park couple opened the Petrov Dance School in 2008. They teach students of all skill levels.
“We do disciplined classical ballet here and our philosophy is that we just want to give every student the best possible ballet education, whether they’re going to be a professional dancer or not,” Bosch Petrov said.
“You really never know who’s going to become a professional dancer,” she added.
Graduates dance for companies such as The Washington Ballet, Ballet West II, and the Houston Ballet. But even those who don’t advance to the professional ranks learn a lot.
The discipline the dance requires spills into other areas of students’ lives, Bosch said. Some get better grades and become more respectful. All learn poise and good posture.
“Some people think of ballet as lightweight. They see tutus and rhinestones and tulle,” Bosch Petrov said. “They don’t realize professional dancers are practically Olympic athletes. They train every day of their lives.”
A student entering the profession can take up to 14 classes a week. That’s in addition to rehearsals.
Tickets are still available for the Petrov Ballet School’s 2016 Annual Spring Gala Performance at 1 p.m. May 22 at the Berrie Center for the Arts at Ramapo College in Mahwah.