Hi, it’s Matt and I am back to keep you up to date about what is happening this year in my life, a boy’s life,  in the dance world.  I hope all of you had a great summer.  Maybe some of you were at dance camps, dance intensives or workshops, or maybe some of you decided to take the summer off and try new sports or go on vacation or just chill out. 

I had an amazing experience at the NBS Summer School.  I was there for the month of July and this was the second summer that I attended.  Last year I attended the Introductory Summer School when I was going into Grade 5.  Summer School is the second phase of the audition process to gain acceptance into the Grade 6 Professional Program.  At Summer School , the boys and girls dance in separate classes.  This year, I danced in a class with all the auditioning boys for grades 5, 6 and 7.  It was a big class, but it was great because I met so many new guys.  We had ballet in the morning and then pool and conditioning class.  We had a break for lunch and in the afternoon we had either allegro or repertoire classes.  All of my teachers were amazing.  They were positive and encouraging, but they were really great at correcting everyone.  It was really challenging, but so much fun.  We learned a lot of choreography.  We did some sequences from Romeo and Juliet and the Nutcracker.  I definitely got a lot stronger this summer.  I worked on my arabesque, my turns and we worked hard on jumps. 

We still had time to have fun.  In the residence, we had chess tournaments, we had all kinds of fun challenges, we went to the park, and, my favorite, we went for ice cream.  We had a great time at the Toronto Zoo.  I loved the Panda Bears.  We also went to Ripley’s Aquarium which was really awesome, we took a tour of Toronto by double-decker bus, we went to Toronto Island, we took a tour of the harbour front and went to Niagara Falls.  I even went on the Maid of the Mist which was really cool.   

My Mom received a call from the school on the Friday of the second week I was there.  She was asked to come in to the school for an interview to discuss the professional program for me.  After the interview, I was offered a place in the Grade 6 class.  I can’t express how I feel.  When I first found out, I was so excited, I couldn’t really even think, I kind of went numb.  It’s like something you always dream about, but you really never think that it will actually happen to you, but it did and I’m still kind of walking around in a cloud.  It’s like my life changed with one phone call. 

I’m going from being a recreational dancer taking classes after school in ballet and competition classes, to dance really being my life.  The level of training at NBS is amazing.  We work on perfecting everything, from the way you hold your feet, your hands, the movement of your arms, the elevation of your jumps, the elevation of your legs, the position of your back, the lengthening of your core and on and on and on.  This summer, I was constantly learning, not just ballet technique, but artistry and performance technique.  They made me really think.  I loved every minute and I can’t wait for school to begin.

There were so many highlights from my Summer School experience, but I think the one that I was totally blown away by was Poitr Stanczyk, a principal dancer with Canada’s National Ballet, who came to observe one of our classes and spent time talking with us and giving us suggestions and advice.  It was like having your hero in the room and he was there watching you, instead of you watching him.  It was totally amazing.

I am now getting ready to begin Grade 6 as a resident student at Canada’s National Ballet School. This year, I will let you all know what life is like for a boy living away from home at a dance school. I am going to miss Barrie School of Dance because it is like my home away from home.  I have so many friends there and my teachers were awesome and I loved doing competitions.  I am going to miss my classes, especially tap and hip hop because we don’t do these dance styles at NBS, but I will still get to go back and visit every few months. 

As we all get ready to go back to school and back to dance, I hope everyone has a great September!
Bye for now!
Matt Sabourin

Be the first to Comment on this article.