Otabek liked to think that he was a good skater, his jumps had good height and flow, despite having a four quad free program he barely made any mistakes, and his spins were good, even if he was a little stiff time to time. yet there he was something he was lacking, that little thing people liked to call “Artistry”, and with his new coach, Yakov Feltsman, that was an issue he couldn’t keep avoiding.
He was known as a very strict coach who liked to produce well-rounded skaters, Victor was a prove of that, Georgi, not so much, it has been a month since he moved to Saint Petersburg but since their first meeting Yakov put the cards on the table “Figure skating it’s not all about the jumps, every turn, every arm movement counts, you lack beauty, you lack finesse and with the tight competence these days, having a mediocre presentation score it’s something you can’t afford!” before Otabek could say a word his coach continued “You are going to start taking ballet classes from Lilia next month” Otabek didn’t even had the time to argue,
Ballet and Otabek are two words that will never go well together in the same sentence, unless you are trying to say “Otabek absolutely hates ballet” but there he was, inside the great Mariinsky Theater sitting up by himself in the dark to watch Spartacus, a ballet he had no idea it existed until a couple of weeks, Lilia had already decided that he was going to skate to Spartacus’s music for his Free Program next season, so coming and watching the actual ballet was something like a homework.
Spartacus was the story of a slave who started an uprising against the Romans, he was a strong character who fitted Otabek’s personality, even if he didn’t buy the idea at the beginning after watching the ballet he was starting to feel more confident about it, at least it wasn’t one of those ballets with tutus, there were a couple of pieces he could skate to but he had to wait and see what Lilia had prepared to him.
Two days later, the dreadful moment had come, it was time for his first ballet lesson, when he got to the studio Mila, Georgi and the other two senior skaters’ in Yakov’s group were already there. Otabek was a man of few words, he didn’t like small talk, so he hasn’t talk much with his fellow rinkmates, he said a simple “Hello” as he chose a corner and started to warm up, Mila and Georgi were lazily sited on the floor talking about a Hockey player Mila liked or something like that, but waved to Otabek in response, the room was everything you could expect from a ballet studio, high ceiling, mirror walls and the barres, just like he remembered, not long after Lilia came into the room, and his nightmare stated, everyone quickly rose to their feet stood at the barre, this was going to be fun.
The last time he did ballet he was 13, at Yakov’s summer camp, to be precise, and yes Lilia was also his instructor back then, it wasn’t a memory he remember fondly, it was his first year in the Junior division, but he wasn’t good enough to keep up with the Russian skaters, so he had to train with the novice, he felt like shit, the trainings were hard and he missed his home more than ever, but skating was something special to him, he wanted to be good, he wanted to be like the skaters he watched on the TV, but for that, sacrifices had to be made, but on the flip side that’s where he met Yuri Plisetsky, the boy who just walked in the room.