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Ballet Schools in Canada


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I'm interested in hearing what people's impressions are of our Canadian professional ballet schools. We have discussed the National Ballet School in Toronto here a bit, and we do have some experience with that program.


I'm wondering if anyone can add thoughts about other schools, such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School?



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I inderstand all of the programs to be good, but it is extraordinarily difficult for an American to get a job in a Canadian ballet company, and vica-versa.


Don't some of the programs offer academics as well as ballet training? That seems very convenient to me.

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Thanks for that LCM! I admit to not thinking quite that far ahead! Both of my kids do have US citizenship; hopefully that will come in handy at some point. I don't know if that's what you're referring to, or if you were indicating that companies tend to prefer dancers trained in a method "close to home."


Some of the programs are dance+academic. The NBS has their own school; other schools have arrangements with the public school system.

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The citizenship thing is what I meant. It can be hard to convince the various governments that you really do need this non-citizen to fill a job that the government thinks a citizen should be able to do. But it DOES happen, all the time. It's just harder.


As for quality, I think it is high, especially at the major schools. Or at least that's what I have heard through the grapevine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mom2 and Ottawmom,


Unfortunately, I don't have any first hand knowledge at all about Canadian ballet schools. frown.gif However, I do enjoy reading about them.


The National Ballet School is very impressive - what an organization! I wish the US had programs that combined a high level of academics along with good, solid training...among other things.


Am I correct that at least some of your professional ballet schools have some sort of financial underwriting from the government?


I have also always wondered if there were many Americans who attended or tried to attend?


Many thanks!


[ February 02, 2002: Message edited by: BW ]

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NBS receives about 40% of their annual budget from Federal, Provincial & Municipal Government. Fee schedules are posted on their web site:



They do accept students from outside of Canada for the Summer Program and the full time program.


[ February 02, 2002: Message edited by: balletmom311 ]

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I have seen this site before - it must be a wonderful program! Do I recall that someone who posts here has a child attending now and that they actually live(the family that is)in Buffalo?


I am truly emabarassed to say that I've never been to Toronto! redface.gifrolleyes.gif How provincial can one be? eek.gif

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If you would permit a student's perspective, I'd rank NBS and RWB 1a and 1b because they are both very strong in all of the relevant areas (technical development, artistic development, academic development, good social atmosphere) but the NBS is probably a little better known internationally. But there are also some smaller schools that are very good and worth looking at. Quinte in Belleville, Ontario has a full-time pre-professional division with the academic portion offered by the local high school. L'Ecole Superieur de Danse in Montreal, Quebec is also a good professional school. It has less of a reputation than the others, but it produces solid dancers. And my personal bias, the School of Dance in Ottawa, Ontario. It is not a purely professional school like the others, but its professional program in ballet produces exquisite dancers that routinely get accepted at good SI's. As an aside another strong program, that is only an SI is in Banff, Alberta. Beautiful area and great program. I highly recommend it for those of you in the States but living close to Alberta (the exchange rate might be a nice change) and especially for you parents living in Canada. Check out the links for more info.








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Thanks for those links, Colleen, this one's a real keeper! smile.gif And a word here from us USAnians about the Canadian dancers we see. Most of them are a very cleanly bunch, especially when it comes to technique and working without affectation. Now, I know that there have to be rinky-dink schools there, but I've never seen one, and I go to Canada rather more frequently than many people. It says a great deal of good about a nation whose approach to ballet is so commonsensical and quality-demanding.

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Thanks very much Colleen! What a wonderful post! I am familiar with several of the programs you mentioned. Presently we are deciding on a direction for one of our daughters...luckily she does have more than one choice...each one, however, as with anything else, comes with it's own set of advantages and disadvantages.


Even if I don't find the answer to my personal situation here, it's nice to see some discussion about the Canadian schools!

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Hello Mom2, what options are you considering this year. If I remember correctly your younger daughter went to NBS last summer.

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My daughter was just accepted to the Royal Winnipeg for the summer session. Being from the southern US, we hear very little about this program here. I would love to hear from anyone who has attended RWB or knows of others experience there.


My daughter studied at the Royal Ballet School in London last summer and loved it. Would the training be similar at RWB?


Thanks so much!

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WOW - congratulations balletbooster to you and your daughter! You can see a previous reply here from Colleen where she gave the RWB website. Perhaps you are familiar with Evelyn Hart, who is a graduate herself of RWB and is now principal dancer? I'm curious to know if your daughter auditioned during the tour or by videotape and her age and also why you/she chose a Canadian school vs. American? Also, if your daughter is accepted into the full-time program will she be continuing on or not? Pardon the curiosity, it is because I have a 12-year old daughter who may some day audition for a full-time program and it helps me to know how other families handle having their children living away from home. Best of luck!

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