From a Stage for Ballet Performance to the Stage to See the World

Wu Si Yu (Business)

Trainee of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy

There is always a common decision for students to wrestle with between focusing on studies and commitment to a hobby. Angel Wu, now in her second year, has always yearned to become a ballerina when she was young. Being admitted to the BBA (Law) &LLB programme at HKU, Angel ventured to take a gap year in her freshman year, and went on to study at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, one of the world’s most prestigious professional ballet schools in Moscow, Russia. Although Angel put off a year of law and business studies, it was a real dream-come-true for her to study in the Academy, where she followed the “footsteps” of a galaxy of legendary ballet stars.

Angel was enrolled in the Academy in September 2021. She was privileged to learn a series of topics about historical, character, and modern dances, gymnastics, and ballet classics. She also seized the opportunity to understand the Russian language and culture by opting for plentiful local activities as well as volunteering in some Russian NGOs, like Civic Assistance Committee. After half a year, with the outbreak of the distressing Russo-Ukrainian war, her experience in Russia was extraordinarily significant. Her programme in the Academy was forced to an end in February 2022, the month when the invasion started. At that very critical time of evolving political conflicts, Angel decided not to return to Hong Kong, but rather to have a jeté (a ballet term describing a form of big jump) from the ballet performance stage in school to engaging in volunteering work in the Middle East for the rest of her time in her gap year. She involved herself in some refugee camps of the Middle East region, while teaching ballet in the area. She visited Palestine and Israel after leaving Moscow. What she had seen there at first hand motivates her to a career pursuit in international law.

“If you never try, you’ll never know.”


“If you never try, you’ll never know.” This is the belief Angel firmly holds onto. She is not only clear that her ballet talent and passion are embedded in her DNAs, but she has huge courage to set out many niche places in adding newer perspectives and more surprises to her life. The many decisions Angel had made, starting from learning ballet, studying in a ballet professional school in Moscow, to her adventures in the Middle East, have fueled her with a wealth of nutrients for growth. They are the valuable experiences one could ever have, and they could never be taken away. It was not just about the ballet skills and dances she had acquired, but it was also about the unique exposure and heightened horizon in her exhilarating and eye-opening year outside of HKU. Angel’s story has told us: Follow your heart and you won’t be lost, even in the most turbulent period!


Written by:

Jonathan Ngai

Year 3, Faculty of Social Sciences

April 2023