Michaela Skuce dancing in La Bayadère

Rossland dancer receives BC Arts Council scholarship

Michaela Skuce, a young Rossland dancer studying at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, has received a scholarship from the BC Arts Council.

A young Rossland dancer has received a scholarship from the BC Arts Council.

Michaela Skuce, who is 17 years old and currently studying at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, received $3,000 from the BC Arts Council to go toward her tuition.

“The Arts Council grant goes toward tuition, which is really helpful because that’s one of the big factors, I guess, of the cost,” she explained.

Skuce has been studying in Winnipeg since she was 12 and is now in her penultimate year, but her love of ballet began in Rossland.

She started training with Renée Salsiccioli of Kootenay Danceworks when she was eight, learning jazz and hip hop, and fell in love with classical ballet when she was ten.

“[Ms. Renée] used to teach at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and so she started teaching us classical dance and it was really challenging, but I really liked the challenge,” Skuce said. “I’d never really considered all the different ballets and pointe work and all the different, I guess, aspects of classical dance. I just fell in love with how hard you have to work and it’s interesting because how hard you work is really proportional to how much you improve. It’s really rewarding when you finally see that improvement.”

Once she graduates she hopes to dance in a company.

“The two biggest [companies] in Canada are probably the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the National Ballet,” Skuce said. “It would be really great if I could dance in either.”

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s year end performance, Spotlight, is coming up June 9-11 and Skuce will perform in Romani Song and the classical ballet Paquita.

“We’ve been rehearsing since November for Paquita and it’s a lot of fun. It’s actually one of my favourite ballets,” she said.