Rachel Yinger, 17, of Dover Township will be spending her summer training at at ballet school in Russia.
Rachel Yinger, 17, of Dover Township will be spending her summer training at at ballet school in Russia. (Submitted photo)

Rachel Yinger's goal is to become a professional ballet dancer who performs around the world.

Rachel, 17, said she's working hard for her dream and is preparing to continue her ballet training in Moscow.

The Dover Township resident is among 15 young American dancers chosen to train for six weeks at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia's capital city.

The academy's training begins July 13. Rachel and her fellow students will be staying with host families.

They'll also get to do some sight-seeing and have opportunities to learn more about the Russian language and culture, Rachel said.

"I'm very excited to experience the Russian culture and be able to train over in Moscow," she said. "I'm very honored to represent the United States."

Program: Rachel, a Dover Area High School senior-to-be, was selected to participate in the Moscow training through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The program includes scholarships that cover the travel and training expenses.

Rachel, the daughter of James and Deanna Yinger, applied for the program earlier this year and learned in March that she was a finalist. Her selection was confirmed in May, she said.

The ballet dancer's journey to Moscow will begin Sunday at the Russian American Foundation's Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Initiative in New York City.

Rachel and the 14 other NSLI for Youth dancers will receive ballet training there for three weeks. Their flight from New York to Moscow is July 12.

Family excited: Deanna Yinger said she is thrilled about their daughter's Moscow training selection and about her opportunity to experience another part of the world.

"(Rachel) really has developed a love for the world," Deanna Yinger said. "It's exciting

for her to be someone from a small town who gets this opportunity to experience what the world has to offer by living it."

Deanna Yinger also said she is glad to see how Rachel is dedicated to working hard to accomplish her ballet dreams.

"She's a beautiful dancer," Deanna Yinger said. "She conveys the real beauty of the world of art. I love to watch her. I know that's her heart and soul."

12 years: Rachel said she has been studying and performing ballet for 12 years. She was at the local Greater Dover Dance Academy for 11 years. She began training last year at Viktor Yeliohin International Ballet Academy in Lancaster County.

Rachel said she applied for the Moscow training program last year but was only accepted as an alternate. However, she still trained at the Bolshoi Ballet summer program in New York, where she also took a Russian language class.

The teenager said she is thankful to all the U.S. and Russian officials and organizations for helping her work toward achieving her ballet dreams.

"I always loved the art form of ballet," Rachel said. "It's a great way to express myself. I love performing and becoming a character when I perform."

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdis patch.com.