Did you watch the Olympics?  Our athletes are amazing! 

I am very excited to tell everyone that my audition for NBS was a success and I will be attending The National Ballet of Canada’s Summer School this July.  Summer School is phase two of the audition process for acceptance into the Professional Program.  I will be going into Grade 6 next year, so this is my first opportunity to audition for the full-time program.  For those of you have never auditioned for summer school, the audition pretty much goes like this, you register on-line with NBS in the Fall and they send you an e-mail with your audition time.  NBS also tells you what to wear to the audition.  On audition day, you check-in when you arrive, go and warm-up and stretch out and then they give you a number for the front and back of your leotard.  Once everyone has their number on, one of the staff from NBS lines you up in order. (See the photo -- I am #18) Then you enter the studio and get into rows.  Each row of kids does a series of exercises, while the other rows sit and watch.  Then there are some exercises across the floor.  We get to practise these exercises a couple of times as a group and then we do them in pairs.  After that, there are flexibility exercises and then the reverence or bow.  At the end of the audition, the examiner is always very nice and lets everyone know how well they did and that we should all keep dancing.  Some numbers are then called out.  The kids whose numbers are called stay for an interview and the examiner meets with their parents and then they are offered a spot in summer school.  A couple of weeks after the audition you receive an official letter inviting you to summer school.  It is a stressful day because everyone wants to go to summer school and only a few get to go, but, I think everyone who goes for an audition is amazing because it shows how much they love dance and I think it makes you stronger as a dancer. 

Every dancer has disappointments, maybe it is an audition or a part that goes to someone else, maybe it is not getting the grade on your ballet exam that you want, but the best dancers are the ones who keep trying, working hard and believing in themselves.  I think these dancers are the most inspiring, at least those are the ones I look up to.  I was lucky to have attended summer school last year so I am familiar with most of what goes on at Summer School, at least for the younger students.  For those of you who would like to know, in case you are interested in auditioning, there are classes in ballet, allegro (jumping) for the boys, pool conditioning and repertoire (choreography).  The girls do pointe in the older classes and Chinese dance in the younger classes.  The days are full of excitement.  We work hard and sometimes your muscles get sore, but after a month you feel like you have accomplished so much.  In the evenings, if you are in the residence, there are lots of activities to keep you busy and I made lots of new friends last year.  The girls and boys are on separate floors, but we all share meals together in the dining room.  By the way, the food is great.  Sometimes, we even get to go for an ice cream cone down the street from the residence.  On the weekends there are field trips to places like Canada’s Wonderland.

This year, I will also have to do some academic testing.  The kids who are going into Grade 5 in September don’t have to worry about academic testing, that only starts when you are entering Grade 6.  I will also be seen by the physiotherapist.  In weeks 3 and 4, a few lucky students will get a phone call, actually their parents will get a phone call offering them a place in the professional program.  It will be stressful, but I am going to focus on doing well at Summer School and try not to focus on “the phone call”.  I feel so lucky to have this opportunity.  I hope that some of you who tried out this year were as lucky as me, and maybe I will see you at summer school.  If you auditioned but didn’t make it this year, don’t give up, maybe next year will be your lucky year. 

Besides my audition, we have been having some extra make-up classes on Sundays, because competition season is starting up.  The teacher is trying to hammer out our contemporary piece and, while I was in class, I couldn’t help but think about some poetry I had to prepare from my English class at school on Monday.  I came up with this poem which may apply to you.  Hopefully, I get a good mark!
     "Stretch, point, turn out, turn in,
      count, count, and count again.
      Posture, core, as straight as a pin,
      sweat, pain, don't stop! Just grin."
                                By Matt Sabourin

Are some of you getting ready for ballet exams?  My ballet exam is next Tuesday.  I am practising my adage, jumps and developpe.  I am taking my Russian Society of Ballet, Vaganova Certificate 6 exam.  I have a couple of solo parts, because I do different jumps than the girls.  I’m excited to see my results because I have worked hard on all of my exercises.  My motto for exams “No nerves, just show them what you’ve got!!!”  Good luck to everyone taking exams. Bye for now!

Matt Sabourin

Topic: Blog

Posted 28 February 2014, 7:04PM

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