National ballet school holds auditions in Nanaimo

Entrance to post-secondary, teacher programs offered

Future prima ballerinas won’t have to go far to audition for the Canada’s National Ballet School.

The school is holding auditions and open classes in Nanaimo Nov. 2 for aspiring dancers.

The tour stop is one of 20 across the country and the only one on Vancouver Island.

“Each year NBS’s national audition tour is a top priority,” said Mavis Staines, artistic director. “Auditioning dance students aspiring to enter our full-time professional ballet program, while also sharing NBS’s belief in the power of dance to connect Canadian communities from coast to coast, are vital to the school’s ongoing evolution.

“As well, reconnecting annually with dance teachers while visiting their studios provides an opportunity for my colleagues and me to recognize their invaluable work,” she added.

Auditions for the professional ballet program, which offers full-time dance training, academic education and residential care for students in Grades 6-12, and full-time dance training to post-secondary students in the post-secondary program, take the form of a specially designed ballet class where dancers are assessed for quality of movement, coordination and overall suitability for the demands of classical ballet.

The minimum age to audition is 10, and no prior ballet training is required for students aged 12 and under.

Open classes are offered by the school’s artistic staff as an outreach component of the National Audition Tour. These classes are for junior and senior dance students regardless of their intent to audition for the full-time program.

Designed for young dancers who are eager to explore movement, these classes give participants a dynamic sense of dance and performance.

The school also offers a full and part-time teacher training program to high school dance majors, professional dancers seeking a career change and practising ballet teachers who would like to enhance their knowledge and teacher skills.

Entrance into the teacher program is by DVD audition submission only.

Information detailing the application process is available at

From the more than 1,000 young dancers who audition each year, approximately 150 are chosen to participate in the second-stage assessment, a four-week summer school held at the school’s state-of-the-art training facilities in July.

Registration for open classes and auditions begin in September. For more information, please visit