Collingwood Dancers and Pianist Make a Musical Pointe! February 12 was a special night at Fleet-Wood Dancentre when twelve young girls arrived to receive their first pair of pointe shoes, learned to tie them on, and rose on the tips of their toes for the first time.
Preparation for this magical evening began years ago at the age of five when they first learned to pointe their toes in a straight line. Seven years and hundreds of classes later, they developed the physical strength, technique and erect posture to be able to balance on a pointe shoe surface of an inch and a half wide.
They all stood on the tip of their big toe, supported by the “block” of the pointe shoe, layers of paper and glue covered in beautiful pink satin.
They will spend a year or more “at the barre” learning to rise and lower correctly. This excited group of dedicated young ladies is all part of the pre-professional program and takes seven hours of classes a week at Fleet- Wood Dancentre.
They were joined by fellow alumni and dancer, Colin Eccles who began his training at Fleet-Wood in 1993. By the age of 18 he achieved the Advanced One Level in Cecchetti Classical Ballet. But this evening he was in the room to play for them as an accompanist as Colin also holds his Grade Nine piano working at on Grade 10, with The Royal Conservatory of Music.
Colin recently returned from Canada’s National Ballet School where he attended the “Musician’s Mentoring Program”. The week long course involved twelve hour days where he observed the professional pianists playing for the ballet students, but also was challenged to play two classes a day. His dance training was invaluable as he understood what type of music and tempo was necessary for each individual exercise. He particularly enjoyed playing for the “Teachers in Training” students, some of whom he had grown up with in the dance world.
Congratulations to Colin Eccles, Tessa Brown, Alex Catton, Elora Evans, Avila Holland, Danielle Langlois, Shealynnn MacDonald, Ellie Powell, Kelly Ann Rasmussens, Ameris Rudland, Jessica Ryerse, Sarah Wildeman, and Kyla Wills. Teachers Sharron Fleet and Elizabeth Lougheed, and all your fellow artists at Fleet-Wood say “Bravo!”