Rossland dancer heads to prestigious school

Twelve-year-old Michaela Skuce was accepted to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division School.

For one young Rossland resident, ballet has led to dance studies at a prestigious school.

Michaela Skuce was accepted to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division School this summer and is now in Winnipeg.

Skuce, who is only 12-years-old said she is excited to start her dancing classes at the school, because of the great teachers there.

“It’s really great to get this opportunity,” Skuce said from Winnipeg.

The program is for the whole year so Skuce will have to be away from her parents in Rossland.

“I’m going to stay in residence,” she said. “I’ll see them (parents) about once a month. It’s going to be hard to be away from my family but we also have Skype, so that will be good.”

She auditioned for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division’s summer program, which is a four week audition for dancers to get into their fall program.

The school accepts no more than 80 full time students into their program, ranging in ages from 11-18.

Skuce will be in their full time fall program.

“I want to be a professional dancer and then a professional dance teacher,” she said.

Skuce credits her dance teacher, Renee Salsiccioli, in Rossland for showing her the way, since she followed a similar path.

Salsiccioli was a teacher in the Professional Division for eight years before coming to the Kootenays.

“I grew up in Rossland and moved away as a young teenager to train at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Professional Division, graduated, danced professionally as a classical ballet dancer and contemporary dancer,” Salsiccioli said. “I moved back to this area five years ago.”

She said the school looks for a high degree of potential, as well as a solid technical background.

Salsiccioli said, though, that Skuce has what it takes.

“She is a performer and has an agile physique which is easy to work with in a professional environment such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet,” she added.

 

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