December 17, 2018

An amazing year for the wrestling team -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Experience at the Women’s March -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

El Regreso Del Racismo -

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Parkland Shooting -

Friday, March 2, 2018

California Flu Crisis -

Friday, March 2, 2018

‘Rapping’ Up the Grammy Awards -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

¿Cuál Será el Futuro de DACA? -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Marcus Peters traded to the Rams -

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

2018 Upcoming Movies -

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Instagram-Worthy Desserts of San Francisco -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Upcoming Season of Baseball -

Monday, February 26, 2018

Black History Month -

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther Review -

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Destructive Culture of Social Media -

Friday, February 23, 2018

Badminton season launches into action! -

Friday, February 23, 2018

LimeBike Takes Over! -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

All Star Weekend Highlights -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Chinese New Year Brought to SMHS -

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

San Mateo Volleyball Season Kicks Off -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Van Jones Show:Jay-Z -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Anna Zheng Dances to the Top

Anna Zheng in arabesque in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia. Photo courtesy of Emily Hester.

Anna in arabesque in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia. Photo courtesy of Emily Hester.

While most of us were lounging lazily at home, enjoying the summer, senior Anna Zheng was off in Moscow, dancing her way through the summer months. Chosen as one of 13 American high school ballet dancers, Anna was selected as a finalist for the prestigious National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) and Bolshoi Way Program, hosted by the Russian American Foundation.

The U.S. Department of State-sponsored program was founded in 2006 and gives some of the nation’s most accomplished high school dancers the opportunity to undergo intensive ballet training at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia, one of the best schools for classical ballet. “Taking class with year round ballet academy students was a very humbling experience and I learned so much more about the history of ballet,” said Anna. “The dancers just have so much discipline and are willing to work and sacrifice their lives to this art.”

Yet Anna’s time in Russia wasn’t spent exclusively on dance. “The ballet teachers and Russian language teachers spoke only Russian,” explained Anna, who stayed with a Russian host family for the duration of the program. “I could practice bartering at the local flea market in Russian and get old Soviet coins, stamps, badges and shirts.”

Anna spent three weeks over the summer in New York City before flying to Moscow for an additional six weeks, missing almost two weeks of school as a result. “I had to catch up with four APs, [deal with] jet lag and start college apps,” said Anna.

But as far as Anna is concerned, it was still worth it. “I felt very honored knowing that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” smiled Anna, who was one of approximately four invited to attend Bolshoi’s year-round program after the summer ended. “My favorite part was going on a two-hour cruise down the Moscow River and reflecting on my experiences. Despite political tensions between the U.S. and Russia, I was surprised that the city was very normal and people were really curious about my culture and America as well. This experience really changed my perspective on how I viewed the world.”

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