Nijinsky was admitted to the Mariinsky Education (the Imperial School of Ballet at the time) at age nine in 1900. His younger sister, Bronislava, joined the school two years later.
He studied under Nicholai Legat and Obouchov, who claimed that, “He surpassed his masters in their art,” by time he was just fifteen years old.
Nijinksy was suspended at one point for playing a prank, but after going back home for his suspension he realized how tight of a financial situation his mother was in, and vowed to work harder and be more serious to help support her.
After re-admission, he injured himself practicing and was hospitalized for three months. It was clear that Vaslav was exceptional in his talent, and was offered a position with the Mariinsky two years before graduation, but he begged to be allowed to finish his training and was granted permission to do so.
In 1908, Nijinsky officially joined the Mariinsky Theater, where he continued his studies under Enrico Cecchetti. He became incredibly famous, dancing as a Soloist to the Tsar. However, after only a few short seasons, Diaghilev convinced Nijinsky to resign in 1911 due to a costuming complaint by a royal audience member.
Vaslav continued working with the Ballet Russes, and multiple other dancers followed suit around this time. Even Cecchetti, who had a contract with the Mariinsky, left after being convinced to continue teaching Nijinsky.