Plies and pointe: young ballet dancers dream big
HALIFAX – Faith Parker is at an audition that could change her life.
The 10-year-old was a little anxious as she joined about 20 other young girls at an audition for the National Ballet School on Monday morning.
“I think it would just be fun to get into it,” she said with a big smile.
Parker has been doing ballet for seven years, the majority of her young life, but it seems she knows what she wants.
“When I’m older, I want to be a professional dancer,” she said.
It’s a similar story for Emily Ruff, 10, who also wants to be a professional dancer.
“If I get accepted, it will go to the next step of my career,” she said.
“I’ve been trying 110 per cent all the time. I’ve been stretching a lot and practicing a lot.”
The day began with the girls stretching and warming up, before getting pinned with a number to identify them and hitting centre stage.
The dancers performed a series of exercises for a panel to showcase their ballerina skills.
“It’s all on talent so that we see if they have good musicality, good coordination and they’re very flexible,” said Raymond Smith, an instructor with the National Ballet School.
Smith said that Halifax is a special place for the school.
“We have quite a bit of rich history of dancers who have come to our school from the Halifax-area and have become professional dancers,” he said.
Unfortunately not all the girls will be picked. For the ones who are, there are few words to describe how they feel.
“I’m really excited and happy,” said Parker, minutes after her number was picked to move on. “Happy and excited.”
About 1,000 girls nationwide participate in the first-stage of the auditions.
Danielle Paroyan, senior communications officer at the National Ballet School, said that about 150 to 160 dancers get picked to move onto the second round, which is a four -week intensive summer camp next July.
After the girls finish the camp, between 50 and 60 students will find out whether or not they are accepted into the full-time professional ballet program at the school next fall.