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Royal Winnipeg Ballet School audition tour coming to Atlantic Canada

By Tara Clow Oct 24, 2023 | 1:11 PM

If you can plié or pirouette, this could be the opportunity for you.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School audition tour will make stops in Moncton, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia next week.

Liam Caines is a former student who was born in Kingston, New Brunswick, and began his dance training at the age of eight at the Port City Dance Academy in Saint John. He began attending the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division in 2003 and after graduation, continued his studies through the Aspirant programme.

“It’s a seven-level program, and following that, students who wish to have extra training, there’s a two-year post-secondary program called the Aspirant programme that helps dancers build their resumes. Members in that program will be chosen to join the professional company in helping them augment their numbers and the larger productions like your Swan Lake, your Nutcracker, which gives them some experience,” Caines says.

Caines made his professional debut with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in December of 2006 and joined the company as an apprentice in 2007.

He became a member of the corps de ballet in 2009 and was promoted to Second Soloist in 2017.

(Photo by Keith Levit, provided to us by Liam Caines)

Auditions and master classes are open to dancers from academic grades 6 to 12 and for those looking for post-secondary ballet training.

The audition tour will come to Atlantic Canada with stops in Moncton, New Brunswick on November 2 at Dance Creation, and on November 3 in Halifax, Nova Scotia at Halifax Dance.

“Obviously a background and knowledge of the basics of ballet and some of the terminology helps immensely, but if you have a child who shows potential, and with a little bit of work, they’d be willing to overlook. They’re looking for work ethic and focus as well as technical and artistic abilities. They are looking for potential not perfection,” Caines adds.

These auditions are for the summer program which runs into the month of July, “It gives the students three or four weeks to become familiar with what the environment is and lets them know if they are interested in continuing. It also gives the artistic staff in Winnipeg a closer look to see what you know and how corrections can be applied,” Caines says.

Pre-registration is recommended for the auditions, but walk-ins are also accepted on the day of. You can pre-register and get all the details at rwb.org/auditions.

Caines says attending the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School can open a lot of doors. He has gone on to perform with the Winnipeg Ballet and is touring internationally, but he says there are dance companies all over the world.

“I’ve had schoolmates, move on to careers in other areas, whether it’s teaching, choreography and creating content. As well, I had a colleague who is now doing a lot of work in the film industry, because his dance training gave him a really unique sense of coordination and movement quality. He’s beginning a lot of work in the Sci-Fi genre. They’ll cover him up in prosthetics and he’ll be the alien in the background that’s moving weirdly,” Caines commented.

(Photo: submitted)