Born in Japan, Saeka Shirai trained with the Yuki Ballet Studio under Yuki Morita for 7 years. In 2009 she performed in the Youth American Grande Prix New York finals and in 2011 she competed at the Prix de Lausanne, where she was offered a scholarship to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. She received a full scholarship every year after that until she graduated top of her class, with honors in 2014.
After graduating, she joined the RWB School’s Aspirant program and was able to perform with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Romeo + Juliet, Swan Lake, and Nutcracker. She performed the soloist roles of Chinese Tea and Clara’s Friends, as well as the corps Napoleon lead girl (Swan Lake), Princesses (Swan Lake) and the Young Capulet boy (Romeo + Juliet).
Shortly after a very successful first year in the graduate program, Shirai was offered a contract with the RWB Company for the 2015/2016 and was promoted to Corps de Ballet during the RWB’s 16/17 season. Since joining, she has performed major roles such as the Giselle pas de six and the leading role of Tinker Bell in Peter Pan. In the summer of 2016, Saeka won Silver in the prestigious Varna International Ballet Competition.
Header photo: Rejean Brandt