Another dance year is over.  I have so many emotions.  I am sad, happy, relaxed, anxious, kind of empty, but full of anticipation.  How do all of you feel after, I am sure, a very busy year?   

The last couple of weeks leading up to recitals were crazy.  We had a dress rehearsal where we all performed our recreational class dances in costume and then we had two shows for family and friends.  I think the recitals really showed off everything we have accomplished as dancers this year and from the comments I heard everyone enjoyed the performances. This year I had quite a few “quick changes” and being the only boy that had quick changes, I needed a change area near the stage.  The girls have a quick change area in the wings every year, but there has never been a designated area for quick changes for the guys.  So, because I was the only guy needing quick changes, we improvised.  I got my very own change room, the “electrical room”.  I changed with the tools, ladders, electrical cords, fans, and all kinds of equipment, but the caretaker still managed to get me a mirror and I hung up my costumes on the cords.  He was pretty cool about loaning out his room to a dancer dude.  Another lesson, a guy that dances needs to improvise on the spot, needs to be flexible and needs to have a sense of humour.  I have posted a picture of me in my “change room”. 

The day was really long and we were all pretty tired, but by the next week I felt kind of empty.  I already missed the studio.  Did you feel this way after the end of the year?  Some of you probably are just happy to have some time off to enjoy other interests.  I am going to swim in the pool, riding my bike and hanging out with my friends in June.  I am going to visit the ROM with my class, we have track and field day to look forward to and I am going bowling with the school because I am a volunteer helper.  I help out with setting up computers, smart boards, equipment for the assemblies because I am on the tech club.  So, I guess, June will be busy with non-dance activities.

I am just about finished my year in the NBS Associates Program.  We have an end-of-year performance coming up.  I will be dancing with my class in both a ballet and a jazz performance.  I will miss some of my friends from NBS.  A few of the guys I have been dancing with for a couple of years are not coming back in September.  Some of them have been dancing for 4 and 5 years and they have decided that they now want to go on to pursue other interests.  Most of them are moving into grade 7 and everything is changing for them.  Some of them are going to different schools and they want to try new sports or just chill out for a while.  I hope we will all stay connected.  With Facebook, it is really easy to keep up with friends.

Well, the countdown is on to Canada’s National Ballet School summer audition.  Three more weeks and I am off to Toronto for a month of dance.  I have been keeping up my stretching and strengthening exercises at home most nights so that I am prepared for the classes. I was able to choose some fun weekend activities from a list given to us by the NBS.  This year I am going to the Toronto Zoo.  I have never been before, so I am really looking forward to it.  I am also going to the Aquarium, Niagara Falls and a double-decker bus tour and boat tour of Toronto.  It all sounds great!  I am trying not to get nervous about the results of my audition, but, honestly, it is hard not to think about it.  Everyone wants to get an “Offer”, but I know the reality is that only a very lucky few get the “call”.  I shouldn’t even say “lucky”, because luck has nothing to do with it because it is the best of the best who will get this great opportunity.  I have to try and remember this, be happy for those who are chosen and thankful for the experience.  I am going to do my best and keep my hopes up.  Keep your fingers crossed for me. I will write all about my summer when I get back.  I hope everyone has a summer filled with fun and friends.

Bye for now!
Matt Sabourin   

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