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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Lea Tsolov dances through life spin by spin

Playing her dream role of Clara, senior Lea Tsolov glides across the stage during the Brookline Ballet School’s performance of the Nutcracker on December 10th, 2023 at Babson College.

From twirling on stage surrounded by Christmas trees and large mice warriors to studying in the basements of dance studios and preparing secret presents for her dance friends, senior Lea Tsolov leaps between all the important aspects of her life.

Tsolov dances at The Brookline Ballet School and has been dancing since she was three years old. She has grown to balance dance with her social and academic life and carry the joy and skills from one to the next.

Tsolov spends at least 15 hours of her week dancing. She danced at a small church in Boston and then at The Boston Ballet School before coming to The Brookline Ballet School. Tsolov realized her passion for dancing when in 2012 she performed in “The Nutcracker” at The Boston Ballet School for the first time. Years later, during this past winter, she secured the main role of Clara, the young heroine, in the show.

“It was one of those things where every ballerina out there, when they think of “The Nutcracker,” thinks how they want to be Clara,” Tsolov said. “So to be at the point where I was able to have that role, it was so magical for me, and it really brought everything together.”

This role is a result of Tsolov’s hard work in ballet. Senior and dancer Elena Nikovski has been dancing with Tsolov for the past five years, including dancing together in a duet in “The Nutcracker.”

“I think Lea is so versatile with her dance experience. She is so fluid and is able to transition between a lot of different styles of dance,” Nikovski said. “You can tell that she is a natural dancer and it is so admirable to see how easily she can move between those dances. She really adapts to learning choreography and what we are doing.”

Junior and dancer Clara Choi met Tsolov in 7th grade. Choi said she has observed Tsolov’s dedication to both her dancing and academic life.

“In the school environment, she is more ‘locked in’ I think. At ballet, she can be more chatty and more with our group,” Choi said. “But, through both environments, she is always putting in her best effort. She is always very caring about everything.”

While having multiple talents offers Tsolov flexibility and opportunity in her life, it can also come with challenges. Tsolov said that her fellow dancers support and help one another through the challenges of their commitments.

“It is hard a lot. But, I think one of the ways I am able to balance school is that a lot of the other girls also go [to this studio],” Tsolov said. “So we try to use a lot of our free time to study, and during our breaks we help each other out.”

Despite these challenges, Tsolov’s commitment and devotion to dancing has never faltered.

“I think that she is very dedicated to her dance. She has other commitments in her life other than ballet but she still always gives her best effort to dance, and she is always there,” Choi said.

Tsolov’s persistence in dancing has allowed her to grow and find success. On top of all the skills she has learned, Tsolov can dedicate time to a sport she truly enjoys and loves.

“I think ballet expression is really different from other types of dance because it is a lot of miming and you are able to tell a story through your dance,” Tsolov said. “I love being able to do that, so for me, it’s not just the dance I love [but] the story I am trying to express.”

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