Manitoba

Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancers take medals at international competition in Bulgaria

Saeka Shirai and her partner Yue Shi got silver medals at Varna’s International Ballet Competition.

Saeka Shirai and her partner Yue Shi got silver medals at Varna’s International Ballet Competition

Saeka Shirai (left) and her partner Yue Shi got the silver medal at Varna’s International Ballet Competition (Victor Viktorov/ VARNA - International Ballet Competition website)

Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancers have taken silver medals in an international ballet competition in Bulgaria.

Saeka Shirai and her partner Yue Shi got silver medals at Varna's International Ballet Competition and were the only Canadian dancers in the final rounds.

"It feels like a dream. I can't believe it," Shirai said on CBC's Up To Speed.

They performed two contemporary dances called Blushing and Numa. Even for an experienced dancer like Shirai, the spotlight can be nerve-racking, she said.

"I was very nervous of course. But being on stage I just had fun, so much fun with my partner," she said.

It wasn't Shirai's first time at the competition; she performed there five years ago.

"Five years ago I was very young," Shirai said, adding she feels she has improved a lot.

With the medal under her belt the work doesn't stop. Shirai is practicing for a performance in Winnipeg in February.

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