Published on September 17, 2013
Twelve dancers from Dance Images by BJ will perform in the Moscow Ballet's performance of The Great Russian Nutcracker in Regina on Nov. 18 and in Moose Jaw on Nov. 19. From left: (Back row) Ha'Keena Maneso, Rachael Carline, Mackenzie Walter, Karina Daintree, Ashlyn McElree. (Middle row): Paige Carline, Kira Bryan, Reagan Blatz. (Front row): Jazmyne Sereda, Channing Bowes, Isabella Colenutt. Missing: Nichole Salsman.
Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Published on September 17, 2013
Nichole Salsman is one of the 12 dancers from Dance Images by BJ who will perform in the Moscow Ballet's production of The Great Russian Nutcracker in Regina and Moose Jaw in November.
Twelve dancers selected to perform at upcoming Moose Jaw, Regina shows
Being with professional dancers is an aspiring dancer’s dream.
For 12 dancers at Dance Images by BJ, that dream will be a reality. The local dancers were selected to be perform with two of the Moscow Ballet’s upcoming performances ofThe Great Russian Nutcracker.
“It’s amazing. It’s really cool being with professionals because everybody wants to be a professional,” said 13-year-old dancer Kira Bryan. “I did it last year too. It was really great.”
The 12 dancers, aged nine to 16, will perform at the Nov. 18 show at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina and the Nov. 19 show at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw.
Bryan said in the auditions, which took place on Sept. 6, dancers were put in lines based on height and then given a part corresponding to their height for the audition. No one was guaranteed a part.
“I’m really excited. I want to see it so bad. It’s cool because in our part we get to sit at the front stage and watch a bit of it. So you get to see the professionals working and be right in front of them,” said Bryan.
“One of the coolest experiences I had from last year was before we went on stage we went down and got autographs from a lot of the dancers. I have them on my wall still.”
Fellow dancer Mackenzie Walter, also 13, said they will have an extra dance rehearsal every Sunday in Regina to prepare for the show. She was in the ballet last year as well.
“It’s a great experience because they’re the Moscow Ballet and they’re just like ‘wow,’” said Walter. “(Seeing) how they did everything was so cool.”
She said she learned a lot from last year and is excited to perform with them again.
“Even when you’re backstage with (professionals) you can see how easily they can just drop into the splits,” said Walter. “(Their hair is) always pulled up tall and they never slouch down and you can see that. They never relax.”
While she has the same part as last year, she said the choreography isn’t the same.
“You get to meet new people and new friends and experience the whole thing,” said Walter. “You’re in your costume and you’re just excited waiting backstage and then you’re getting ready to go on. Then it’s five, six ready go and you’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh. I can’t believe I’m actually going to do this.’”
Dancer Rachael Carline, 13, said she didn’t perform with the Moscow Ballet last year, but she did it when she was eight years old.
“It was a pretty fun experience. So I’m excited for this year,” she said. “I just had a blast even though I wasn’t on for very much, but seeing all those people and dancing on a big stage with professional dancers (was cool).”
She said she didn’t audition last year because she was on vacation. She said her part isn’t too challenging, but “that doesn’t really matter.”
“It’s fun to be on stage with all the professionals and it’s a good experience,” said Carline.
Shauna Bzdel, ballet instructor at Dance Images by BJ, said dancers from the studio have performed with the Moscow Ballet on numerous occasions before. She added for some dancers, this year was their first time auditioning.
Bzdel said in addition to the weekly Regina rehearsals, the dancers will practice at the studio each week. All of that is on top of regular dancing classes. While it is a large commitment, she said the dancers find it’s worth the extra practicing to perform with professionals and in front of a big audience.
“I think it’s so motivating for them not only just to actually learn the repertoire from the ballet and have a performance opportunity with professionals, but it’s really inspiring for them to be with the professionals,” said Bzdel. “They’ve always just walked away from the experience definitely with a new appreciation for their ballet and for dance in general.”
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.