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Young dancers take the floor in Waterloo to audition for the National Ballet School

Young dancers showed off their abilities in front of instructors from the National Ballet of Canada on Thursday for a chance to earn a place at the school's summer program or full-time program.
Young dancers help put on each other's numbers ahead of their audition for Canada's National Ballet School. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

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, a ballet teacher with Canada's National Ballet School observes one of the dancers, Claire Carsjens of Guelph, during auditions Thursday morning in Waterloo. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

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.

Eli McCready-Branch, 10, of Kitchener warms up before auditions begin. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

"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."

Carrigan Craigie shows of her jumps during auditions for the National Ballet School in Waterloo Thursday morning. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
Four young dancers hold poses during auditions for the Toronto-based. National Ballet School. The auditions were held in Waterloo on Thursday.The dancers are, from left, Isabella Pridham, Abigail Reid, William Hunter-Assing and Eli McCready-Branch. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
Hana Bohte, centre, holds position while waiting for instructions during her audition for the National Ballet School in Waterloo Thursday morning. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
Dancers stand at the side of the room and wait their turn to perform for the National Ballet School teachers. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
Instructor Ian Parsons leads the group of dancers in one of their routines. Parsons instructed the dancers and watch how they did alongside ballet teacher Martine Lamy. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
Dancers Abigail Reid, left, and Isabella Pridham move across the floor during auditions Thursday morning. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)
The teachers watch for a number of things from the dancers, including how they move and stretch. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

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.

Noelle Wallcraft of Mississauga, left, and Claire Carsjens of Guelph hug after learning they've been chosen to move on to a summer program with the National Ballet School. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

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