January 2014 Recreational Division Newsletter

Jan 02 2014 | Posted in Recreational Division Newsletter


Three Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Recreational Division students recently had an exciting opportunity to embrace their love of the stage in the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of the family-favourite holiday classic,A Christmas Story, this past December

Ben McIntyre-Ridd, Montana Lehmann and Omar Benson all say their experience taking classes at the RWB is helping them shine in their young acting careers.

Ben, who is in his first year of jazz and musical theatre classes, had the starring role in the acclaimed production – the ever-mischievous, Ralphie Parker.

“I think it’s great being able to train in musical theatre because I’m learning both singing and dancing,” says twelve-year-old Ben, who has been acting since the age of seven. “I think as I continue to act, being trained in dance will help me a lot on stage and I’m excited to continue dancing at the RWB.”

Like Ben, seventeen-year-old Montana Lehmann is new to the RWB and started taking ballet and jazz classes this summer to round out her acting experience.

“I think dance lessons have really helped me when I’m on stage,” says Montana, who played the understudy role for Helen and Jane, two of Ralphie’s classmates. “My dance training has helped me to be more fit, agile and aware of myself.”

For longtime RWB student, twelve-year-old Omar Benson, being on stage is not a new experience. He’s participated in RWB’s production of Nutcrackertwice and has been taking jazz, ballet, hip hop and musical theatre classes at the School since the age of four.

“To be an actor you have to be fit and dance has really helped me with that,” says Omar, who played the understudy roles for Ralphie, Randy and Flick. “My musical theatre classes especially have helped me with my presence on stage and to project my voice.”

Omar says he’s especially grateful for the support of his dance teachers at the RWB School and feels his participation in the MTC production wouldn’t have been possible without them.

“My teachers here at the RWB School have really helped me get where I am now,” Omar concludes.

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.


Sunday, January 26, 2014
Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet
380 Graham Ave
Winnipeg, MB

9:00-10:00 am Audition 10-12yrs
10:00-10:30 am Q & A
10:30-11:15 am Audition 13+yrs

If you are interested in auditioning, please contact the School Office or visit 2013/14 International Audition Tour for more information. Please note that the Recreational Division Scholarship for Professional Division Summer Session will be awarded to one student who is currently registered in the RD.

There is a special information session exclusively for Recreational Division students and parents. It will be held on Thursday, January 23 from 6:15-7:15 pm in the 2nd floor boardroom. Every family planning to audition is encouraged to attend as this is a great opportunity to ask questions about our Professional Division programs. Your are asked to sign up at the School Office in advance for the information session although everyone is welcome to attend even if they do not sign up!


Working with and learning from different teachers is absolutely critical in a dancer’s training. The RWB School is pleased to announce that on Sunday, January 26, Professional Division artistic faculty will be conducting master classes. These classes are open to all students of the Recreational Division and parents also welcome to sit-in and observe! The schedule is as follows:

11:30 am-1:00 pm Ballet Master Class ages 10 to 13 taught by Arlene Minkhorst
1:00-2:30 pm Ballet Master Class ages 14+ taught by Roman Rykine

If you are interested in participating, please contact the School Office or visit 2013/14 International Audition Tour for more information. We strongly encourage all Recreational Division ballet students to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.


The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School is pleased to welcome back Kelly Bale from her maternity leave. Miss Bale will be back in studio at the beginning of January and, effective January 23, 2014, she will resume the role of Recreational Division Principal.

Also effective on January 23, 2014, Nicole Egeland will transition from the role of Interim Recreational Division Principal to a new role – Recreational Division Vice-Principal. In her new role, Miss Nicole will provide support to the Recreational Division Principal in all areas pertaining to the successful operation of the RWB School Recreational Division.

It is our hope that, with this new structure in place, we will be able to work more efficiently, and better position the Recreational Division for a future of growth and development. Please join us in congratulating Miss Bale and Miss Nicole.


Don’t miss First Steps, the RWB School Professional Division’s annual student choreographic competition – now in its 24th year!


Saturday, February 15 2pm + 7:30pm
Sunday, February 16 2pm
Tuesday, February 18 7:30pm
Wednesday, February 19 7:30pm
Thursday, February 20 7:30pm

TICKETS: Adults: $10* Students / Seniors: $5*


Saturday, February 22 7:30pm


*Fees + taxes are not included

Tickets will be available through the RWB Customer Service Centre as of January 20, 2014.


As part of the Quantum Arts Program, 40 students from the Winnipeg School Division will be selected by their academic teachers to attend ballet, jazz and modern classes at the RWB School from January 28-March 20, 2014.

Classes will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 pm. The program will culminate with a demonstration at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from all participating disciplines within the Quantum Arts Program. We are pleased to have Denise Belzile and Nicole Coppens teaching the program this year. We appreciate the generous contribution from the Children’s Heritage Fund which make this program possible at no cost to the students.


The Manitoba Branch of the Cecchetti Society of Canada will be presenting a workshop over the weekend of January 17-19, 2014. Unset ballet classes will be available for Grades and Standards 1-6 through Majors levels. Syllabus classes will be available at the Majors levels, along with a class for teachers.

Conducting ballet classes throughout the weekend will be Cecchetti Society of Canada examiners Joyce Shietze of Ontario and Margaret Dalwood of Alberta.

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 African and Variations classes! An Improvisation class with Claire Marshall will also be available for Grades and Standards 1 through 3 students.


Joyce Shietze, Fellow & Examiner CSC-CICB

As an active examiner with the Cecchetti Society of Canada, Ms. Shietze also holds the designation of Fellow and is one of few holding the Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma. Retiring from teaching in August of 2008, Ms. Shietze has enjoyed a longstanding career as a teacher with the School of Alberta Ballet, Director of the Teacher Training Program with the Quinte Ballet School in Belleville, Ontario, and as a Founding, Co-Artistic Director of The School of Dance (Ottawa) holding the title of Principal from 1978-2000. Early in her career she studied and taught for Canada’s National Ballet School (Toronto). Her pedagogy encompasses creating a children’s syllabus and teacher training program while at The School of Dance, as well as the exploration of historical dance, character dance, and the further development of her passion for classical ballet with master teachers such as Celia Franca, Glenn Gilmour, Olga Evereinoff, and Margaret Saul. Acknowledging her contribution to teaching she was the 1996 recipient of the Council for the Arts in Ottawa’s Award of Excellence in Teaching. Currently Ms. Shietze is the Chairman of the Cecchetti Society of Canada and is a trustee of the Margaret Saul Scholarship.

Margaret Dalwood, Fellow and Examiner, CSC-CICB
Originally from Alberta, Ms. Dalwood began her training at Alberta Ballet School with Ruth Carse. She continued her professional studies in England and is a graduate of the Arts Educational School. After returning to Canada, Ms. Dalwood taught in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Professional Teacher Training Program, as well as the Senior Ballet Levels for their Intensive Program. Ms. Dalwood has been a guest teacher for the School of Alberta Ballet and Reharsal Assistant for Alberta Ballet. Ms. Dalwood continues to travel across Canada guest teaching Summer Intensives and workshops. Ms. Dalwood is a Fellow and Examiner for the Cecchetti Society of Canada and is the Artistic Director of Cecchetti Dance Theatre in Edmonton, an Intensive Training Ballet Program.

Marijka Stanowych, Licentiate CSC-CICB
Since graduating in 1999 from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division Teacher Training Program, Ms Stanowych has been teaching in both the Recreational and Professional Divisions of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. As a dancer, she was one of the first in Manitoba to successfully complete her Advanced 2 Cecchetti dance examination and most recently was awarded her Licentiate teaching designation within the Cecchetti Society. Along with her professional studies at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ms Stanowych trained professionally in Kyiv, Ukraine under the tutelage of TetianaAchykian and Vladimir Dvorovenko at the Choreographic School of the Ukrainian State Ensemble named after PavloVirsky. Besides her Classical ballet and Character Dance teaching experience, Ms. Stanowych possesses over 20 years experience in Ukrainian Dance Education. With her professional dance training, performing and extensive touring experience, Ms Stanowych has become a highly respected and much sought after guest instructor and leader in the Ukrainian arts community. Ms. Stanowych has adjudicated dance festivals in Manitoba and Alberta and in 2008 was an artistic faculty member at the Cecchetti International Classical Ballet Competition in Calgary, Alberta along with senior teachers Diane van Schoor, Murray and Nancy Kilgour, Raymond Lukens and Edmund Stripe. Presently, Ms Stanowych teaches ballet and Pointe for the Recreational Division and the Teacher Training Program within the Professional Division of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Along with her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Stanowych has choreographed for the RWB Recreational Division, Professional Division In Concert and Ballet in the Park productions as well as for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She has also prepared and rehearsed Professional division students for performances of Sleeping Beauty with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company

Additional Professional Guest Faculty will be teaching throughout the weekend, including Claire Marshall and Caroline Gruber!


The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School is pleased to offer ballet exams in the Cecchetti Syllabus for select levels. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 2 ballet classes per week of the same level to be considered for these exams. These decisions are made by students’ ballet teacher and are based on their progress, attendance and focus. Invitations will be sent out in the coming weeks. The exams will be in April and, in preparation, a maximum of four Sunday exam rehearsals will be scheduled during the months prior. These Sunday exam rehearsals are mandatory and will take precedence over Festival rehearsals.

Upon completion of an examination, students will receive a certificate and detailed report from the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Please be aware that ballet examinations are NOT mandatory to advance to the next RWB and Cecchetti level (with the exception of Intermediate and Advanced exams). For more information please speak to your ballet teacher.