Young ballet dancers accepted to competitive program in Winnipeg

Amanda Jess
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NEW GLASGOW – Nina Davey and Ella Parsons will be experiencing a change in scenery this summer when they leave the safety of the Ashlei Ballet School for a program on a much bigger scale.

Ella Parsons, left, and Nina Davey are heading to Manitoba this summer for a highly competitive four-week ballet program. AMANDA JESS – THE NEWS 

Davey and Parsons were among thousands of people that auditioned for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s summer program. Only 130 are accepted, and they are part of the talented bunch.

“They were bouncing off the walls,” Janet Bradbury, their teacher at the New Glasgow dance school, said about when they found out.

They both received acceptance letters for the four-week program at the end of June after auditioning in Halifax in early November.

The 11-year-olds will be some of the youngest working on their conditioning and repertoire this summer.

It also serves as an audition for the full-year program at the school.

Bradbury said it’ll be different for them as everyone at the school are serious dancers, whereas many of her students are there for fun.

They’ll be other changes for the girls as well.

“I’ve never had a boy in my ballet class,” Parsons said, noting that there will be several male dancers at the Manitoba school.

Both girls have been dancing since they were practically babies.

One of Parsons’s favourite aspects of it is the music, she said.

Bradbury also suggested their enjoyment out of it may come from the chance to express themselves.

She said many dancers aren’t big talkers, so it offers a creative outlet.

The news comes at a time when both girls have been rehearsing non-stop for their role in Little Match Girl.

“It’s been a good year. It’s been busy,” Bradbury said.

Davey and Parsons were double cast as the lead and have been practicing since July.

It’s adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s short story about a young girl’s tragic life. It combines both original songs by local singers and the music of Franz Shubert.

“It’s a fairly elaborate ballet,” Bradbury said.

Davey, Parsons and the Northumberland Youth Ballet perform the production on Dec. 13 and 14 at the deCoste Centre in Pictou.

The show begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for members, seniors and students.

 

Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda

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