It's been a meteoric rise for Orléans dancer Logan Shaw, 13. A year ago, he attended an audition in Montréal for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's summer inten-sive program. Little did he know when he was accepted, it would set him on a path that would lead to his professional debut in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet production of The Wizard of Oz at the NAC this week.
|Logan Shaw will be dancing in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet production of
The Wizard of Oz this week at the NAC. PHOTO SUPPLIED
After his four-week stint in the summer program in Winnipeg, Logan was offered the IG Wealth Management scholarship to become a full-time student in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's professional division where he would split his time between academics and dance.
Allowing their son to leave home at just 13 years of age was a difficult decision for his parents, but knowing the reputation of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the importance the company puts on both academics and dance they agreed to allow Logan to pursue his dream.
"I originally went to the class to have fun. I didn't expect to make it into the full-time program and when I did I was really excited because I had lots of fun in the summer and it was a really nice environment," says Logan.
But joining the full-time program is only part of the story. During the fall, Logan must have made quite an impression because he was invited to join the touring production of The Wizard of Oz as the Wizard's apprentice.
The idea of a dancer rising through the ranks from summer program to a role in a touring production in less than six months is so rare that communications and public relations coordinator Dustin Rodgers could not recall a similar occurrence.
Logan is understandably thrilled at the opportunity to dance in front of his family and friends at the NAC, including his friends from the Dance R Studio in Orléans where he studied under the studio’s owner Miki Whyte and Summerside Public School in Avalon where he went to school before he was invited to join the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
Despite his young age, Logan has already accomplished a great deal in the world of competitive dancing. Before joining the summer program, he was named runner-up at the 2019 Shine Nationals and he was named "Young Dancer of the Year" at the 5678 Showtime Nationals in June.
Before joining the Royal Winnipeg Ballet program, Logan dreamed of one day becoming a professional dancer, he just wasn't sure in which discipline. Now that his dream is on the road to becoming a reality he wants to become a professional ballet dancer.
Performing at the NAC is the first step in that journey.
"It's going to be my first ballet performance ever so I'm really excited. It's amazing that I get to perform on a stage where I've watched so many other companies perform," says Logan. "Of course I'm always a little nervous, but I'm really excited at the same time."
The Wizard of Oz will be on stage this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A limited number of tickets are still available through the NAC box office.