It's a little bit like an athlete. You need to take them early on so you can be developing the strength, the flexibility, the agility and the line of classical ballet.
—Joahnne Gingras, Teacher Training Program Director
It's every little girl's dream: to be a ballet dancer on the big stage. On Sunday, more than 60 young ballet hopefuls had the chance to try out for the RWB School Professional Division, the biggest turnout in 15 years.
It was the last stop in The Royal Winnipeg Ballet's 2011/12 International Audition Tour. Successful dancers will get the chance to join the Summer Session, the second phase of the audition process. They then audition to be accepted into the full-time Professional Division.
Dancers as young as 10 years old participated in the audition process."It's a little bit like an athlete," says Johanne Gingras, Teacher Training Program Director. "You need to take them early on so you can be developing the strength, the flexibility, the agility and the line of classical ballet."
It's a big commitment for these young dancers. From grades six to eight, they attend regular school in the morning, then dance during the afternoon. At the grade nine level they move to the collegiate at the University of Winnipeg.
"It's my dream to dance professionally," says Kylie Duggan, a student in the Professional Division. "Being part of the school has taken me a step closer to achieving that dream."
The RWB School Professional Division is known around the world for high caliber of training. More than 400 dancers and educators have come through the RWB School Professional Division since 1971. Many students go on to dance with the RWB and other renowned companies around the world, including The National Ballet of Canada and LaLaLa Human Steps. Some of the graduates include former RWB prima ballerina Evelyn Hart and choreographer Mark Godden.