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Professional ballet dancer returns to N.B. to inspire the next generation

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Professional ballet dancer returns to N.B. to inspire next generation of dancers
WATCH: A professional dancer who spent much of his career with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet has moved back home to the Maritimes with the hope of encouraging more young men to enter the dance world. Shelley Steeves reports – Jul 26, 2023

Professional dancer Liam Caines of New Brunswick knows all about what it’s like to be outnumbered by the girls.

“Growing up I think that I was one of maybe two or three boys in all of southern New Brunswick — perhaps all of New Brunswick — that were in ballet,” said Caines.

Yet he never gave up on his dream to become a professional ballet dancer, he said.

Growing up dancing just outside of Saint John, he moved to dance school in Winnipeg and was finally accepted into the Royal Winnipeg Ballet with which he travelled the world following his passion.

“I spent the past 16 years dancing with them across Canada and the U.S. and even some international overseas destinations, which was a nice experience,” said Caines.

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Now the professional dancer has come back home to New Brunswick to pass on his love of dance to the next generation.

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Taking on an instructor role at the Dance Creation studio in Moncton, he will work with youth of all ages and genders, but is hoping to encourage more boys to take up ballet.

“We are even going to be exploring starting up a boys’ mentoring and coaching program,” he said.

Grace Caines is related by marriage to Liam and owns the studio. She said she moved to Canada from the Philippines in 2010 and opened her studio six years ago. She said she only has one boy currently in the ballet program.

“So him coming in, this professional ballet dancer who has lived this life and lived his dream and is now mentoring this young kids,” will be an inspiration for the students, she said.

Liam says ballet is all about expression and evoking feelings through movements and music.

“For a long time our society was like, men do not show emotions,” he said.

But society and the dance world, he says, have evolved and are offering wonderful career opportunities for people of all genders.

“You never know if you like it until you try,” he said.

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