Russian Ballet Orlando feels fallout from Ukraine conflict

Russian Ballet Orlando receiving threats

ORLANDO, Fla. – Katerina Fedotov, president of the Russian Ballet Orlando, moved from Ukraine to Central Florida with her family 25 years ago.

“When you have hope, a belief, or a dream, dreams do come true. My dream came true. I came to [the] United States with my family, with no English,” the 38-year-old said. “It’s my home. It is the home that gave me my life. America, the United States, Orlando, it is my country. It is where I was given the American dream.”

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Fedotov, who was born and raised in Ukraine, is a fourth-generation ballet performer. She shares her American dream with her parents, who in 2000 founded Russian Ballet Orlando. Vadim Fedotov and Irina Depler are world-renowned ballet artists.

“Russian ballet is not where we are from or who we are; it is a style of dance that we teach. Russian ballet is the first method that was created,” she said.

But after the invasion In Ukraine, Fedotov told News 6 the ballet company has been impacted by negative comments on social media and has lost thousands of dollars.

“It was very hurtful. We had to shut down a lot of our comments,” she said. “We have lost 100% of traffic on Facebook because Facebook no longer picks up anything with Russian. The hardest part, the most difficult part that we suffered at this moment, is not as much as the comments or the emails as much as how our social media has ghosted all of the organizations that has anything to do with Russian.”

As the company works to bounce back from the impact, they are also getting results for the people of Ukraine.

Katerina said proceeds from all of the upcoming “Romeo and Juliet” performances will go toward a charity.

“We found this amazing charity, Global Unites -- it’s American nonprofit 501C3 organization that contributes directly to the New Life charity in Kyiv, Ukraine,” Fedotov said. “Our heart goes out to them and we do our best to contributing to the events.”

Additionally, on Saturday, Russian Ballet Orlando, along with support from about 20 other local organizations, will hold Orlando for Ukraine -- a fundraising event at Lake Eola’s Osphere Grill and Bar.

The event takes place from 4 to 7 p.m. and will include a silent auction among other ways people can donate.

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.