Arts·The Move

Siphe November never expected to have a life as a ballet dancer — now his grace will amaze you

Meet the youngest company member of the National Ballet of Canada in our new series The Move.

Meet the youngest company member of the National Ballet of Canada

(CBC Arts)
Siphesihle November is the first dancer in the new CBC Arts series The Move. Over the coming weeks, we will introduce you to six dancers, each of whom will invite you into their routines, providing a deeper understanding of the movements that hold personal significance for them.  

At 19 years old, Siphesihle November is currently the National Ballet of Canada's youngest company member. For a kid who never dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer at all, it's an impressive accomplishment.

Watch the video:

"Dancing was something I did for fun. It was something that everyone in the community did. There was never really a hope or a dream to make it as a professional ballet dancer." 4:41

Born in a small South African town called Zolani, November began dancing with his brothers when he was quite young. His style at the time was rooted in kwaito, a fast paced type of music in which dancers are applauded for their intricate footwork, improvised movements and individuality — not characteristics usually associated with ballet.

(CBC Arts)

Dancing was something I did for fun. It was something that everyone in the community did.  There was never really a hope or a dream to make it as a professional ballet dancer.- Siphe November

During a school recital, he impressed a Canadian family that was in South Africa for an extended trip; they later encouraged him to join Canada's National Ballet School. November's natural charm, strength and effortless rhythm, combined with the technical discipline, flexibility and legacy of the ballet, made him stand out instantly. He was accepted into the Toronto school at 12 years old — and he hasn't looked back since.

Siphesihle November. (CBC Arts)

November can next be seen onstage with The National Ballet of Canada in Made in Canada, which features Canadian choreographers Robert Binet's The Dreamers Ever Leave You, James Kudelka's The Four Seasons and Chrystal Pite's Emergence, from February 28 to March 4, 2018 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. November will also be dancing in the The Sleeping Beauty, March 8 to 18, 2018 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

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