Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 23, 2013

Canton teen blazes trail at Bolshoi Ballet Academy

PATRICIA MONTEMURRI
Detroit Free Press

---- — CANTON (AP) — An 18-year-old ballerina from Canton, Precious Adams, is entering her third and final year of training in Moscow. She is on track to become the first African-American and third U.S. woman to graduate from the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

“The point of me doing this is I’m chasing the dream,” Adams told the Detroit Free Press, “of becoming an internationally recognized professional ballet dancer, to be able to make this a full career and support myself doing what I love.”

Adams began dancing when she was 5. Her mother, Miriam Parker Adams, a dentist and dental director of the Flint-based Hamilton Community Health Network, said Precious’ drive for ballet was unstoppable. Her instructor, Sergey Rayerskiy, director of the Academy of Classical Russian Ballet in Wixom, urged the family to send the talented dancer abroad for intense training.

The teen was just 11 when she began two years of study at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto. She later joined the Princess Grace Academy of Classical Dance in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Two years ago, Precious won a U.S. State Department Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs scholarship to study Russian and ballet at a summer Bolshoi Ballet intensive in New York City. That led to her application and acceptance to the Bolshoi school in Moscow.

Precious’ family — which also includes orthodontist dad Clement, brother Parker, 19, and Portia, 15 — have yet to see her perform at the Bolshoi but plan to be at Precious’ graduation performance next spring. Portia studies at the San Francisco School of Ballet and lives with family there.

“I take no credit. I just encouraged her and drove her where she needed to go,” said Miriam Adams. “If I didn’t let her have these opportunities, it would be for a selfish reason. The last thing you want is a child who has the ability and feels denied.”