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A dream come true - Prep student dances in The Nutcracker

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

***Jenny Weng is a Grade 8 student in the Prep School at Bayview Glen who spent her holiday doing something a little different. She graced the stage for multiple performances in the Nutcracker. This is her first hand account.***

I started dancing when I was 6 years old.
I knew that my passion was ballet because of the way I loved and admired the art so much. Ballet is both very precise and hard. It's hard and requires lot's of determination on the inside but looks elegant and beautiful on the outside. It's trying to make something hard and painful look elegant, beautiful, effortless and easy. One of our family Christmas traditions is to go to the Four Seasons Centre and watch the production of the Nutcracker ballet. From the ballets I knew that one day it would be me up there dancing the sugar plum fairy role, wearing Pointe shoes and a beautiful tutu.

Three years ago I auditioned for Canada's National Ballet School and started to attend classes there. There were hundreds of amazing dancers who attended the audition but there could only be two to three people to get accepted. I was very lucky to be one of the two to get accepted. I was even surprised that they accepted me since I didn't have any experience in ballet when I auditioned, while others in my class started to dance ballet when they were two. I started out at the bottom, but each day I set a goal to catch up to my peers and exceed above them. Day by day, I had to work ten times the amount my peers did, as they all have had at least ten years of training in ballet. I asked for help when I needed clarification and I found the courage to ask my teacher embarrassing questions at my dance level. After three years,I have made some great new friends and amazing experiences.

Now that I look back,  I know that from that audition, the judges knew that I had zero ballet experience or knowledge, but they accepted me because they knew that I would work hard to take the hours to practice and be the best dancer that I can. All of the techniques and knowledge they could provide me with but I was the only person who could give me the determination to work harder than others and eventually succeed.

The Nutcracker was an amazing experience for me. It taught me what it was like to work in the production and what happens behind the scenes. The amount of work to prepare for one performance was a tremendous amount. I had practice every week for about five to six hours at least and even more when the opening of the show was close. I had to miss school for many days because of practices and had to catch up on school work and projects when I wasn't dancing. Although when you get on that stage and do the stuff you have been practicing in the studio, the time and the effort is all worth it. It was an indescribable feeling of joy. It taught me that when you go see a production you don't know how much work and effort was put in it until you're in it. Also one dance step that you thought was beautiful on stage, took the dancer hours and years to perfect and make it beautiful for your eyes to enjoy. Overall, The Nutcracker was an amazing and wonderful experience that I would definitely do again and again and again.