a.m., Oct. 16)
pair invited to National Ballet summer school
By Fred Sherwin
Portner, 11, and Olivier Roy, 14, have been invited to attend the National
Ballet Schools summer program next July. Fred Sherwin/Photo
With old man
winter just around the corner, its hard to think about next summer,
but next summer cant come soon enough for Orléans dancers Olivier
Roy, 14, and Emma Portner, 11.
The two youngsters
have both been invited to attend the National Ballet Schools summer
program in Toronto next August after sucessfully auditioning in Ottawa last
Ballet School combines formal ballet training with an enriched academic
program for students in Grade 6 to Grade 12 from across Canada.
Each year about
1,000 dancers attend auditions in 23 different centres. Out of that number,
only about 200 are invited to attend the summer school. While being selected
to attend the four week program is a major accomplishment, its also
represents a major investment. The tuition fee for first time students is
$1,315. Room and board at Ryerson College is another $1,315.
About 100 dancers
took part in the Ottawa audition, out of which only seven received an invitation
to the summer school including Olivier and Emma. Interestingly enough neither
one of them specializes in ballet. The pair are both seasoned competitive
dancers at the Leeming Danceworks Studio in Orléans where they train
in jazz and tap as well as ballet.
to attend the prestigous ballet school came as a complete surprise to Roy
whose first love is tap.
I was very
surpised, says Olivier. Im a lot stronger in jazz and
For Emma it will
be her second time around. The Grade 7 St. Peter High School student attended
the summer school program this past summer and enjoyed every minute of it.
really fun. I made a lot of new friends, says Emma who used the experience
to improve her ballet dancing.
In fact she did
so well she was invited to attend the National Ballet School on a full-time
basis. She declined their invitation for a number of reasons not the least
of which was the thought of having to live away from home for eight months.
back to the summer school a second time is a privilege Emma plans to take
full advantage of. She already knows what to expect and is familiar with
most of the teachers and many of the returning students.
Ill be able to see some of the friends that I made, says Emma.
was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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