Volume 9 Week 3

Tuesday, Dec. 309


Updated March 18

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Updated June 1

This week:
Rob Jellett

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette




(Posted 07/09/05)

Orléans youngster follows her dream to National Ballet School
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Eleven-year-old Meghan Pugh has accepted an invitation to join the National Ballet School this year where she will study various forms of ballet. Fred Sherwin/Photo

As long as she can remember, 11-year-old Meghan Pugh has wanted to dance. While a student at Leeming Danceworks for the past seven years, she learned tap, jazz and ballet. Five years ago she started concentrating on ballet, without any knowledge of how her decision would eventually pay off.

Last November, she auditioned for the National Ballet School's summer session which is held each July in Toronto.

In Ottawa, 20 dancers auditioned for the Grade 6 level, only four were selected and Meghan was one of the lucky few.

"I was really excited," said Meghan, describing how she reacted when she found out the news.

Meghan's mother Adele stayed with her while she was in Toronto. Each day's session started at 10:45 a.m. and ended around 5 p.m. Through the lessons, Meghan was able to improve her technique and learn different types of ballet she had not been immersed in before.

Meghan must have been a good student, because at the end of the month long session she was invited to study at the National Ballet School on a full-time basis starting in September. All that was required was her parents approval.

Meghan Pugh has been taking lessons at Leeming Danceworks in Orléans for the past seven years. For the past five years, she's concentrated on ballet. Photo supplied

"We talked about it a lot to make sure this was what she really wanted to do and we accepted," says her father Brian Pugh.

Rather than live on her own in a residence, Meghan will live in apartment with her mother who successfully applied for a transfer at work.

Meghan admits she is both anxious and excited about moving to Toronto and leaving her home and friends behind.

"She had her big goodbye with her best friend last night," said Pugh on Friday, moments before jumping in the car for the long drive to T.O.

Besides her friends at Trillium Elementary School, Meghan will also miss her friends at Leeming Danceworks. Then again there's always instant messaging.

"I got a feeling she'll be on the computer quite a bit," jokes Pugh.

The National Ballet School offers a mix of academic and dance classes for students in Grade 5 to Grade 12. Whether or not they're invited back the following year depends on their marks, their ability to adapt and the progress they make as dancers.

Meghan says she's in it for the long hall and her parents are already preparing for the possibility of selling their Fallingbrook home and permanently relocating to Toronto.

"This is what she wants. This is her dream. These types of opportunities don't come around very often and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it," says Pugh.

Meghan says she hopes to one day become a professional ballerina. If that's the case, she's definitely on the right course.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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