Anna Pavlova

by Rosie from San Diego

The rising of the swan ballerina
Anna Pavlova (
Anna Pavlova (

"To dance is to be out of you. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking." (Agnes De Mille). Anna Pavlova rose into a poor family on February 12, 1881 in St.  Petersburg, Russia. Not knowing that she would be a Prima Ballerina, a teacher, dancer, but most of all a Hero to other people. As a child Anna was weak, but that didn't stop her strength to becoming one of the most famous ballerinas. Anna wanted to be part of a dancer, but she didn't know what type of dancer. This is until her mother took her to see "Sleeping Beauty" at the Imperial Maryinsky Theater, at the age of eight. Looking at the ballerinas dance across the stage, Anna opened up her eyes and looked at them like they were "Flying Angels". From that exact moment, she was determined to becoming a "Rosen Swan Ballerina". Anna's first audition at Imperial Ballet School was known as "sickly", because of her weak appearance. As the year went by, Anna was still determined to become a ballerina and she never gave up her strengthness. Through the year of Anna's training at the age of nine, she was later accepted one year later. Young Anna's training came difficult for her, knowing that she was like a Swan who is so fragile. The tenderness of the swan, describes Anna Pavlova as a fragile human-being. After graduating in 1889, Anna was glad to be part of Maryinsky Theater. Anna's weak appearance, arched feet, thin ankles, and clashed legs didn't get complains. Though she didn't get complaints, she was determined to be a better ballerina. "Leave acrobats to others. It is positively more than I can bear to see the pressure such steps put on your delicate muscles and the severe ache of your foot. I beg you to never again try to imitate those who are physically stronger than you. You must realize that your daintiness and fragility are your greatest assets. You should always do the kind of dancing which brings out your own qualities instead of trying to win praise by mere acrobatic tricks," this is what Anna's teacher quoted to her, (Pavel Gerdt). This quote sums up her weakness, and strengths, by the technique of words her teacher thought her, and hopefully she teaches herself. Pavel Gerdt proved to Anna that watching other mirrors are bad, because we all individual and have our own powers. To the world, Anna proved that anything impossible can become possible, if you have the heart to do it. 

Point Shoes ( ())
Point Shoes ( ())

The rising swan, from being born to being accepted at Maryinsky Theater, wasn't the end of her life; she just began it and had many more adventures ahead of her. Known as the "Prima Ballerina", Anna Pavlova traveled many unforgettable miles, to share the love of ballet to her students. "When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away." (Anna Pavlova). You may wonder what this saying means, it means happiness comes then all of a sudden vanishes on you. Anna Pavlova performed throughout America, leaving people in the "aahhh" moments by her gracefulness. She has traveled other countries for about fifteen years, living her life. Though she is skinny and weak, it definitely does not mean she has given up on dancing. Anna has performed about 4,000 shows throughout the country in her life time. She never got tired of dancing, and she proves that by traveling and traveling again, waiting to show off to the world her "Dying Swan" performance. "No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius." (Anna Pavlova). Sharing dance to the world, made Anna's people believe in there themselves more. Her audience didn't look at her poor appearance, or her arched feet, they looked for a girl who loves to dance by gliding across the stage. Anna didn't not just become a ballerina magically, she became one my using her heart and soul to do so. Pavlova's pirouettes were unpleasing to watch, but at the end though, she turned them into a "Flying Angel". Though Anna was a hero to people, she was also a teacher. Anna thought her students to dream big and reach for the stars.

Anna's weaknesses were born with her since she became a swan and still has them, but her strengths never stopped her from trying. Anna Pavlova took her uniqueness and turned them to beautiful moments. "Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. (George Soros). Being imperfect is not a bad thing, it just means that we have to get up and try them, to succeed. Anna proves that to us by showing us her imperfectness, but as the same time uses her imperfectness in astonishing ways. Anna just used her imperfectness and hid then in her gracefulness. She used it as a disguise, but she never stopped teaching herself. Since Anna's feet were arched feet, she used wood to help her stay up longer on her toes. This is what she called pointe shoes. Pointe shoes changed the shape of her point, how her foot pointed, and how she moved with them. Though many people hated it, and called out for it, she was proud of it. It made Anna feel more comfortable and she had a sense of proud carrying inside her. One thing little thing she didn't like about point shoes, was wearing them in pictures. Anna always hated to pretend to be someone who she's no, because she wanted people to see her weak feet. The reason she did this was to prove to people that we are beautiful; it doesn't matter about our appearance. "To follow without halt, one aim; there is the secret of success. And success? What is it? I do not find it in the applause of the theater. It lies rather in the satisfaction of accomplishments." This quotes sums up why Anna was a hero. Anna Pavlova was a hero to many people because of her strengths, beliefs, spirit and soul to do anything. Anna is teaching her people that the success of happiness lies inside of you, not from people.

Mariinsky Theater ( ())
Mariinsky Theater ( ())

"The rising of the swan ballerina", not only inspired many other people, she also thought herself by learning from her audience. "The right to happiness is fundamental." (Anna Pavlova). Anna got the gift of happiness from God, but she also got it from dancing. Number one Anna never gave up, she always tried her best in everything. Number two, the audience, God, and her teachers taught her self-esteem. Anna than spread her swan feathers to people around her to give them hope. Though Anna died of pleurisy on January 31, 1931, she will always be remembered as a hero to people around the world. "Get my swan costume ready" then "play the last measure softly" (Anna Pavlova), these were the dying swan words of hers. Even getting ready to die, she died in the happiness of dance around her. "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me' (Erma Bombeck).  At the end Anna Pavlova was always pointed out as a hero, but as a child she was pointed out as a "Dying Swan". Anna was a hero who lived her life fully through her imagination, and so can anybody.

Works Cited

        "Anna Pavlova." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed. Vol. 12. Detroit: Gale, 2004. 157-                         

              159. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

"Anna Pavlova." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Student Resources in Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

"Anna Pavlova." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 July 2013. Web. 09 Dec. 2013. .

         Matheson, Katy. "Pavlova, Anna." World Book Student. World Book, 2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

Page created on 5/29/2014 10:57:54 AM

Last edited 5/29/2014 10:57:54 AM

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