To say that Samara Rittinger, 2013/14 recipient of the prestigious Evelyn Hart Scholarship, comes from a dancing family, is an understatement.
Leslie Fields, Samara’s mother, was a demi-soloist with the RWB and she danced with Evelyn Hart throughout the 1980s, both here in Winnipeg and throughout the world. “I learned so much from Evelyn, and it was wonderful to work with her,” said Leslie. “Samara has actually met Evelyn. She was taught by Evelyn while attending a Vancouver Ballet Society seminar in 2011.”
The connection does not stop there. Samara’s father, Blaine Rittinger, was a Stage Manager with the RWB for many years. Moreover, Leslie and Blaine sent both their two daughters to ballet classes when they were little. Makayla, Samara’s elder sister, eventually chose sports over dance but Samara “stuck with ballet” like Leslie. Still, when Leslie was notified about Samara’s scholarship, she could not help feeling some surprise. “I thought, how did that happen?” said Leslie.
Leslie and Blaine feel lucky that their family has such a unique and special connection to Evelyn Hart and the RWB and needless to say, are very proud of Samara. “Especially since she is only in Level 5, it is quite amazing,” said Leslie.
The 2013/14 Evelyn Hart Scholarship will be formally presented to Samara Rittinger at the RWB School Professional Division Scholarship Presentation Evening on Thursday, November 14 at the RWB.
By Kennis Fung