Young dancers take the floor in Waterloo to audition for the National Ballet School
Young dancers gathered in Waterloo Thursday to perform for teachers from Canada's National Ballet School.
Auditions were held at the Contemporary School of Dance in Waterloo, with dancers hoping to earn a place in the Toronto-based ballet school's professional program.
Students could also get into the school's summer program, which is held in July and is a second audition for the professional program.
Martine Lamy is a ballet teacher at the school and is part of the team on tour looking for talent.
"We're looking for kids who really want to become professional dancers, and we hope to find it," she said.
There were three auditions Thursday: the first was for students in Grade 5 to 7, then those in Grades 8 and 9 and then older students. CBC Kitchener-Waterloo sat in on the first audition of the day, which had 13 dancers.
"I was very nervous," Eli McCready-Branch said after his audition and after learning he would move on to the summer program. This was his first time ever auditioning for the National Ballet School.
"It's fun," he said of ballet. "It keeps me active, and I've just always had a passion for it."
Noelle Wallcraft of Mississauga and Claire Carsjens of Guelph met at the summer program last year.
"I was a bit nervous before [the audition] but now that all the pressure's gone, I'm super happy to be back," Wallcraft said.
Carsjens said she's looking forward to learning even more this summer.
"It's an experience to dance with amazing dancer teachers and with dancers all over Canada. It's really fun," she said.
Auditions continue through southern Ontario
The tour will continue onto London, Windsor and Toronto in the coming days and weeks.
London's auditions are on Jan. 11, with Windsor's on Jan. 12.
Auditions in Toronto are scheduled for Jan. 27 and Feb. 10.
There's also an audition planned for Feb. 3 in Barrie.