By Stefaniya Arsova,
From Sofia, Bulgaria


my name is Stefaniya Arsova. I am now 27 years old. I am cabin crew in Bulgaria, Europe. I studied ballet as a little child, but soon school took over and I stopped attending classes. When 14 I wanted to go back to dance, but unfortunately I was considered “too old” and there was no place for me anywhere, but in some contemporary class.

When I became 20, I moved to the capital and discovered classes for adults in the studio of a famous bulgarian prima. I decided to go and started taking classes 2 times a week. I soon wanted more and more ballet and started taking private lessons.

I have always been fighting against the term ” you are too old to be a ballerina”. I said, it would be the goal of my life to become one. Some called it sick ambition, but I just smiled and said, “We’ll see”.

I must say I wasn’t flexible at all, my teacher said that she didn’t believe I can do 90 degrees arabesque. EVER. Splits were a dream. Pointe shoes- too. Dancing in them- impossible. My knees are hypoextended, which means I can’t stand properly in first position- they always looked bent, no matter how hard I squeeze my tights.

My only advantages were the ballet slim and slender look and my naturally turned out legs.

I was lucky to train with the soloists and the primas of the Bulgarian National Ballet. I have received training in the russian technique, from people, who were in Vaganova’s school or studied in Russia. I took classes with one of the primas of the Berlin State Opera.

Currently my teacher is the Premier Soloist of the National Ballet. I took hundreds of private lessons, started going on competitions and started stretching fiercely.

I am now accepted in the National Music Academy, actually I am graduating now. I will have a diploma for a ballet teacher. I can do splits and my arabesque is higher than 90 degrees now. I can dance variations on pointe. I was lucky to perform in the National Opera and Ballet’s repertoire as a soloist in a child’s ballet show called “Pinocchio”. It was in season 2012-2013.

Soon later, together with other girls like me, we founded a special ballet company and started doing charity ballet shows. They are often “SOLD OUT” and people love them. Most of the time, they think we are professionals.

The classes in my ballet school, where I and the other girls from our ballet company started 7-10 years ago are no longer written in the program like this: “Amateur adult’s class” .

They are now called “Professional exercise” . Our teachers there really train us very hard. It is no longer 2 times per week. It is almost every day.

Below is the link of my facebook profile, where you can see a short video of me dancing “Sleeping Queen” pas de deux, a piece especially choreographed for me and my partner Alexander. It is on the stage of the National Opera in the capital of Bulgaria.

Video of rehearsing end of Coppelia variation– 24 ballone on point.

Pictures of me on stage and rehearsing:
National Opera and Ballet: “Pinocchio” I am on the left.

Sleeping queen” coda

Thumbellina” – rehearsing

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!!! When you are a ” late -starter” ballet dancer it doesn’t mean you can’t be a ballerina. It only means you have to train twice as hard.

P.S. I am attaching a photo of my former hypoextended legs. It is not on facebook. You can see what you can get when you work hard. I am still fighting them, because in the minute I am not pushing my knees to a straight position, they bend ugly. You can put another picture on top if you decide to post this story- feel free to use any of my facebook album I shared with you.

Submitted: Submitted Sat Dec 27 2014


Dec 31, 2014
Thank you for sharing NEW
by: Anonymous

Amazing! You are an inspiration.

Dec 28, 2014
Truly inspirational
by: Seira

Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story with the rest of us!