December 2013 Recreational Division Newsletter

Dec 03 2013 | Posted in Recreational Division Newsletter


Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of Nutcracker is one of Winnipeg’s most popular holiday traditions. Each year, the talent, enthusiasm and participation of students in the RWB School Recreational Division help make these performances such a success.

RWB School Recreational Division students have the unique opportunity to audition for a part in this treasured Canadian classic. Auditions take place each October for dancers between the ages of 7-12 years to fill the roles of party children, mounties, mice and angels for the December performances.

“Students in the Recreational Division are thrilled to be part of the Nutcrackercast,” says Suzanne André, an artistic faculty member with the RWB School. “The students are overjoyed to take the stage with the RWB Company dancers and they enjoy getting a first-hand look behind the scenes of a full length production.”

For some students, being a part of the Nutcracker production has been a source of inspiration and has fueled their passion to perform. Currently, Sarah Harris is part of the RWB School Professional Division Aspirant Program, but she started out in the Recreational Division. “Receiving word that I was going to be performing with the RWB Company at the Concert Hall was a day I’ll never forget. I was in the fifth grade and was chosen to be a party girl in Nutcracker. Looking back, being a part of a real production was a turning point for me.”

“The Nutcracker run gave me the inspiration to audition for the Professional Division, and I was accepted,” says Sarah. “It’s exciting to be back on stage in this production after a few years have passed and it’s amazing to reflect on the fact that this journey began with my first audition when I was in the Recreational Division. Nutcracker will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first ballet that I ever saw, and it was Nutcracker that prompted me to consider dancing professionally,” Sarah concludes.

Not all students in the Recreational Division will choose to dance professionally. However, Nutcracker gives many of them their first taste of being involved in a full-length production while they are at the RWB School.

Carry on the holiday tradition and enjoy Nutcracker at the Centennial Hall from December 19 to December 29. Tickets are available through the RWB Customer Service Centre at 380 Graham Avenue (Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00am – 6:00pm; Sunday: 12:00 noon – 5:00pm) or by calling (204) 956-2792 or 1-800-667-4792 toll free, or by purchasing online on the Royal Winnipeg Ballet website. Tickets for children under 12 years of age are only $25. For more information on special rates for students and families in the RWB School, we invite you to contact our RWB Customer Service Centre.


Each year, the RWB School sends a team of artistic faculty and administrative staff to cities across Canada and the United States to audition students for our Ballet Academic, Aspirant and Teacher Training Programs and, in some cities, to conduct master classes. Every student with a dream to dance or teach professionally is encouraged to attend. Students who participate in the 2013/14 International Audition Tour are auditioning to gain acceptance into Professional Division Summer Session (July 2014), which serves as the second stage of the two-part audition process. We encourage all RD students to consider auditioning and/or attending master classes with our Professional Division artistic faculty as we find this to be a very positive learning experience for all involved. There is an annual Recreational Division Scholarship for Summer Session which will be awarded to one RD student who attends the Winnipeg audition.


All RWB School Dance Ensemble students should have received their annual Manitoba Dance Festival Invoice/Summary. Please read through this information very carefully. Parents are required to inform the School Office of their childrens’ intent to participate by December 7. Once parents confirm with the School Office, teachers will begin contacting students to work out rehearsal schedules. If parents have further questions, they are encouraged to contact the School Office or their childrens’ choreographer.


The Manitoba Branch of the Cecchetti Society of Canada will be presenting a workshop over the weekend of January 17-19. Unset ballet classes will be available for Grades and Standards 1-6 through Majors levels. Syllabus classes will be available at the Majors levels. Conducting ballet classes throughout the weekend will be Cecchetti Society of Canada examiners, Joyce Shietze of Ontario, and Margaret Dalwood of Edmonton.

The Manitoba committee is proud to offer supplementary classes for students throughout the weekend. Character classes will be available for Grades and Standards 1-6, taught by Marijka Stanowych. Majors students will have the opportunity to participate in an African class!

More information regarding the Cecchetti workshops will be available from the RWB School Office throughout the month of December.

Pre-Registration for the Cecchetti workshops can be done through the School Office up until December 22.

All Intensive Training Program students will be expected to attend the workshop as per their commitment policy.


We are pleased to be offering Cecchetti ballet examinations in the RWB School again this year. All students in Primary ballet and those students in Power Movers who are turning 7 by December 31 may be invited to participate in this unique experience. Students chosen to participate will have shown an ability to meet the national standard of technical requirements set forth by the Cecchetti Society of Canada. They will also have the disposition necessary to complete a structured exam class in front of an examiner who will grade the students and issue a certificate and report. The report will outline the positive aspects of their dancing along with areas to continue working on. Invited students will be required to register for an extra ballet class every week starting in January until the exam in April. Invited students will be receiving an invitation in the mail in the coming weeks. Examinations are not necessary to move on to the next level, but are a great way to set goals.


Donating to Winnipeg Harvest is one of the ways that RWB School students can give back to the community. We will have Harvest bins placed outside the School Office throughout the month of December for students, staff and parents to drop of their non-perishable food items. We encourage RWB School families to help out in any way they can, in lieu of holiday gifts for teachers. Most needed items are:

  1. Canned fish and poultry – tuna, or salmon (packed in water) chicken or turkey
  1. Canned fruit and vegetables (packed in own juice)
  2. Canned stew, chili, brown beans
  3. Peanut Butter
  4. Baby Food - jars of chicken, beef, vegetables or fruit, infant cereal such as oatmeal, barley or rice, Formula with added iron (while donations of infant formula with added iron are needed, Winnipeg Harvest supports breastfeeding)
  5. Whole grain pasta/whole wheat pasta
  6. Rice – brown, converted or parboiled
  7. Canned spaghetti sauce or tomatoes
  8. Cereal – high fiber, non-sugar coated
  9. Canned soup – lentil, pea, vegetable


On December 1, the RWB School had the pleasure of performing as a part of Dance Manitoba’s annual Members’ Showcase. This event is dedicated to the promotion of dance and dance education in Manitoba. The Showcase Concert provides an opportunity for dancers to experience performing on stage in a professional environment and for Manitobans to sample the range and diversity of dance talent in Manitoba. The variety of dance disciplines represented at the Showcase Concert include jazz, modern, tap, ballet, hip hop, belly dance and musical theatre, just to name a few. RD students Lia Loewen, Daria McKennitt and Maryn Woo performed Ave Mariachoreographed by Nicole Egeland.


You will have noticed that we have made changes to our front desk and reception areas to better support RWB School students and families after business hours and on weekends. Our front desk personnel will be happy to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have regarding security, tickets, upcoming performances and events and RWB merchandise.


All current RWB School students/parents are entitled to use the RWB parkade at the regular rate when visiting the RWB Building for RWB School classes and rehearsals. Impark employees man the gate starting approximately two hours prior to game start time. Parents/students should inform the Impark employees when they pull up that they are attending an RWB class, at which point they will be charged the regular parking rate. Please note that Impark employees will not ask so this information must be volunteered. We respectfully ask all RWB parkade users not to abuse this service and to keep confidential.


The Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council have launched the first-ever, nation-wide online dance survey, administered by EKOS Research Associates. All dancers, choreographers and dance teachers over 16 years of age are invited to participate. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. If you wish to participate please follow the link survey is a vital part of the Canada Dance Mapping Study. The results will be shared through reports and graphics on the Canada Council web site.