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Last updated at 17:16 BST, Monday, 09 September 2013

Anastasia Volochkova

Volochkova was born in Saint Petersburg and fell in love with dance at the age of five when her mother took her to see The Nutcracker.

She was about eight when she started to learn English. This basic knowledge of the language made a difference when she graduated from ballet school and performed abroad. "I started to see the world and I understood that it's very difficult to speak with people using (an) interpreter. So I wanted to talk to people looking in their eyes, and just understand people."

Volochkova's tip for those learning English is initiative. "It's very necessary to be a teacher for yourself. To force yourself, not (having) somebody stay and say 'learn English! Learn English!'"

"If you give the message to the children that they'll need it, they will learn."

English served her well when she toured internationally with the Mariinsky Ballet and the Bolshoi. She started her solo career in the late 1990s and went on to dance with the New National Theatre Ballet Tokyo, the Bordeaux Ballet and the English National Ballet.

It's not surprising that the favourite English word for an artist who works with graceful movements is "flowers".

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