David Moroni, C.M., founder of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Division, has maintained his dedication to the School, even 10 years after his retirement as Director.
Moroni, a former principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company, founded the Professional Division in 1970 after being asked to do so by the RWB’s Board of Directors. The intent behind the School was to train professional dancers for the Company.
“The School started with 10 boys and 10 girls, and was built up from there. After the first year, four of the students were eligible to dance in the Company,” said Moroni in a recent interview from his home in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
His goal was to have the School acknowledged on national and international levels.
Today, the School is recognized as a centre of excellence around the globe and as a National Training Institute by the Government of Canada, funding by Canadian Heritage. The School also enjoys support from the Province of Manitoba through the Manitoba Arts Council.
Each year since his retirement in 2004, Moroni has returned to the School to guest teach. Earlier this year, Moroni spent three weeks working with students in the Ballet Academic Program, teaching classes and working on choreography for the upcoming In Concert performance.
“When I retired, I made a commitment to Arlene Minkhorst, current RWB School Director, that I’d be here whenever she wanted me to guest teach and consider her offers first,” Moroni said.
“It’s important to me to stay committed to the School after all of these years.”
Moroni says he feels he is the best teacher he has ever been and he wants to share this with the RWB School students.
“The students are highly-committed and hardworking. I’m happy to keep returning to teach,” Moroni said.