Canada's 2 biggest dance schools audition on P.E.I.

In what is a rare opportunity for P.E.I. dancers, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the National Ballet are both auditioning for students on the Island this week.

Canada's two most prestigious ballets rarely audition on the Island in the same year, let along the same week.

About 20 dancers took a class with the visiting Royal Winnipeg Ballet School earlier this week. Dancer Chloe Dockendorf is excited about the opportunity.

"I just love everything. It's so much fun to just be moving in a way that's so beautiful," said Dockendorf.

Jillian Winter is auditioning for both the Royal Winnipeg and the National Ballet School, which is also on P.E.I. this week.

"It's really exciting, because obviously you'll get a better chance of getting into one of them hopefully," said Winter.

Competition to get into the schools is stiff, however, and few P.E.I. dancers have ever been accepted. Johanne Gingras of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet said her school is looking for a combination of natural talent and desire.

"Of course we have to look at the flexibility," said Gingras, "[and] really desiring to maybe do this in the future."

Martha Nicholson of the Island Dance Academy said some of her students are auditioning, and for those with real talent, one of those two schools is where they should be.

"If they want to be given as many opportunities as possible that's where they should be, at one of these studios," said Nicholson.

Students will have to wait a bit to know if they've been accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet summer school.

The National Ballet School auditions start Thursday.


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