Local Boy Featured as 'Child Prodigy'

Nikolas Gaifullin
Nikolas Gaifullin
Stephanie Gaifullin, Nikolas' Mom
Stephanie Gaifullin, Nikolas' Mom

He is featured in an internationally distributed magazine as a child prodigy.  And he performs in our own backyard.

Nikolas Gaifullin says he has wanted to be a professional ballet dancer since he was two years old.  He performed his first ballet when he was seven.

Now twelve, he recently placed second in his division at a national competition.  He also was invited to perform in at the Spoleto Festival in Italy.

Those accomplishments garnered him recognition in "Dance" magazine, a publication read by dancers and teachers around the world.

While being hailed as a prodigy might create an ego in some children, Nikolas' mother says in their company, arrogance is simply not tolerated.

Stephanie Gaifullin says, "You have to be humble, you have to be gracious, kind. That's part of being an artist."

Nikolas performs with other children in the Texas Classical Ballet company, a professional non-profit dance company his parents, who are renowned ballet dancers themselves, recently started.

Nikolas' father, Daniil says, "We are here, our doors are open for everyone who enters our school and we will give them all we can."

As more children enroll in the company, Stephanie says they hold the children to international standards, and that their hard work has not gone unnoticed.

She says "They're spending hours with us every week and we just say God bless them. They're wonderful."

The company will head to Denver this month to compete and if they do well there, to New York in April to represent not only Amarillo, but also the State of Texas. Stephanie says those competitions are like the Olympics to their dancers.

The ballet company is in its early stages and is in need of funding and sponsorship. To learn more about the company, go to its web site, www.texasclassicalballet.org .