Brynn Streadwick,11, is off to Toronto to attend Canada’s National Ballet School this fall.
Brynn attended their four week summer program and was invited to attend year round. The National Ballet School sees approximately 1000 potential students at auditions across the country, out of which perhaps 150 are invited to attend the summer program. Out of that 150, somewhere between 20-40 students are invited to attend year round, so it is quite an achievement. She is one of approximately three per cent to be accepted.
Brynn’s father, Richard Steadwick said, “It’s an incredible opportunity for her. Brynn’s the one who’s been pushing this. She pushed to go to Vancouver for the audition. I’m rather shocked and surprised that someone from a small town could get into the National Ballet (School).”
Richard went on to say, “We aren’t dance people or ballet people. We’re learning as we go.” Brynn’s mother Kathy joked, “We need therapy.” Brynn is the family’s youngest child, but older sister Cydney was an original member of the RSS Dance Academy. Older sister Maddie is studying theatre at the University of Lethbridge.
Brynn had a great summer experience at the NBS. “I really liked it. I had two roommates, but the groups are organized by height order, not training, so they weren’t in my class. I used facetime to say hi to my parents. My favorite class was ballet. In repertoire we did Giselle, and the repertoire pianist was my favorite. We had a large break after lunch and we’d do some fun activities. We also did Chinese folk dancing. On one of the weekends we went to Canada’s Wonderland and I went on the second biggest roller coaster in Canada.” Brynn is also rather excited about the school uniform.
Brynn’s goals for dance are to be cast as young Maria (equivalent to Clara) in the Nutcracker this year, and to one day become a Principal Dancer. She’s ambitious; she’d also like to become a Corps de Ballet member when she’s 15 or 16 years old. Her ultimate goal is to one day become Artistic Director.
In terms of challenges, she is a little nervous about the academics, but her parents have confidence in her as she’s a very good student.
Brynn is going into Grade 6 and turns 12 years old next May.
She joins Michaela Skuce and Anna Cooper as young dancers who chose to leave home in Rossland at a young age to attend full time professional schools out of province. Michaela and Anna both attend the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School in Winnipeg, where they began training at ages 12 and 13 years old. Michaela and Anna are continuing with their training this year, with Anna now about to begin her second year away and Michaela going on to her fourth year at the RWB. All professional dance programs require re-acceptance annually to continue training.
Brynn, Michaela and Anna all began their training with Renée Salsiccioli of Kootenay Danceworks. They are following the path set by “Ms. Renee” who also went away at a young age to study at the RWB.