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Who is this devoted young dancer?

• Born in London, she began taking ballet lessons at age four and moved with her family to Canada at age nine.

• She graduated from the National Ballet School in Toronto in 1963 but missed her graduating class's performance of Act IV of Swan Lake due to a back injury.

• Her first professional role was playing Juliet in Prokofiev's ballet version of Romeo and Juliet. It was also her final role before she retired in 1989.

• In 1977 she gave birth to a daughter, Jessica, and published a children's book called On Stage, Please. At the time, she was sidelined from dancing while recovering from a torn ligament in her knee.

• This soft-spoken young dancer is Veronica Tennant, who joined the National Ballet of Canada at age 18. By 1969 she had become prima ballerina in all but name.

• Tennant would dance the role of Giselle -- a wish she expresses in this clip -- in her second season with the ballet. But it was her dancing in a 1965 production of Romeo and Juliet that first won her major acclaim. "This Juliet was expert in delineating the gawky awkwardness of Juliet," write a reviewer in the Globe and Mail. "The technical demands of the work do not appear to trouble Miss Tennant. In fact, the only thing that did bother her was a ball dress that floated about in most indecorous and inconvenient fashion."

• After retiring as a dancer, Tennant became a teacher, choreographer and TV producer. For two seasons, from 1990 to 1992, she was host and writer on the CBC-TV program Sunday Arts Entertainment. In 1999 she won an International Emmy award for a television profile of fellow dancer Karen Kain.

Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: Dec. 11, 1962
Guest(s): Veronica Tennant
Host: Anna Cameron
Duration: 6:25

Last updated: January 10, 2014

Page consulted on January 10, 2014

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