DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

DAREarts Sampler: Dance Day with Ballet Jorgen

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Dance Like No One’s Watching
Ballet Jorgen, Toronto:
The room is warm.  There are barres set up in the centre of the room, and small hands rest on them.  The students are receiving instructions from ballet mistress Cindy.  She’s firm, but soft spoken. No nonsense.  She treats the DAREarts students as she would her own.  Like adults.  The pianist is ready, and she begins.
They’re learning the basics.  The positions, pliés, battement tendu, jetés. The students are in their socked feet, turning them out trying their best.
They move the barres to the walls and stand in the centre of the room.  Cindy teaches them port de Bras, and they go through the positions. Cindy lifts herself up to her toes, and they do the same.  Relevé! A step to the side.  “Follow me.”  They do.  In a blink which brings tears to my eyes, they are dancing a walze step.  They repeat the names of the steps out loud.  They count.
The music flows, and the DAREdancers dance.
There are little faces in the window of the classroom watching us. (yes, I too was moving with them.  The teachers all participate, and who can resist stepping up to the barre for a little stretch?) The George Brown College day care children are watching as Cindy’s students demonstrate pointe work, pas de deux, leaps, and intricate combinations.

The DAREarts students drink in the dance, and some of them move as they sit, swaying to the piano’s rhythms and the movement of the dancers’ hands in the air.  It’s a wonderful thing to see.  These young faces opening up.  It’s a gift for me, to witness this as it happens.

Then Cindy brought out the eye candy.  The tutus! They try them on and twirl. The faces break out into big grins. The shoes.  The students hold the pointe shoes in their hands, feeling the smooth satin, comparing the broken down pair to the new ones.  The costumes are from the The Nutcracker, and they are breath taking.  The children hold them like flowers, passing them gently from on to another.  The magic in that room is palpable.

Close up and Beautiful
The students sit, listening to Cindy talk about the story of the Nutcracker and holding up Clara’s tiny dress.  She asks them, would any of them consider a life in dance?  They actually weigh the question.  A possibility.
Something that hadn’t occurred to them before.
A boy nods his head, “yes.”
She asks him, do you like to dance? And he tells us all that he likes hip hop.  She answers, “We teach that here.  That, and tap, and jazz and ballet.  Is that something you’d like to do in around five or six years? I’ve been watching you. You’re very good, you know.”
Again, he nods his head “yes!”
A dream.
A possibility.
A goal.

We’d like to give a big thank you to Ms. Cindy and the Ballet Jorgen for hosting us for the first time this year.  Ballet Jorgen’s line up is going to be wonderful.  Check out their site here.

For press questions please contact Director of Communications Cathy Elliott 
celliott@darearts.com 
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