Kaitlyn Skinner doesn't remember a time when ballet wasn't part of her life.
The 12-year-old has been dancing since she was two-and-a-half years old. This summer, she's making one of the biggest leaps of her young career.
A recent virtual audition earned Skinner a spot in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's summer intensive program. It's the second phase of an audition process for the ballet's year-round program.
“I had always been looking to pursue my ballet career a step further and I had been looking for different possibilities of how to do it. I had been doing my research and I came upon the Royal Winnipeg Ballet," explained Skinner, who's a student at École catholique Sacre-Coeur in Timmins.
After talking with her mom, they decided to audition to see how it went.
“It’s going to be such a just overall amazing experience, especially since I’ll be representing my dance studio, my dance teacher and I’m just looking forward to it because it’s also out of the province. So that means to do something totally different and also so to meet new dancers who have similar passions and similar likings as me. To be in that kind of community, I’m very excited for that,” she said.
The hour-long audition for the prestigious program focused on ballet training. One of the main criteria, said Skinner, was how much passion the performer demonstrated toward dance.
“It’s been part of my life for such a long time. I really just can’t imagine a time when ballet wasn’t a part of my life. Also, my sister loved to do ballet summer intensives that really encouraged me so I thought that I’d try to follow in her footsteps. I just love ballet overall,” she said.
Skinner is at Classical Dance Arts in Timmins five days a week.
Along with ballet, her repertoire includes jazz, tap, musical theatre, contemporary and acro.
She's striving for the sport to be part of her future.
“I’d love to perform, but once that part of the career is done I’d love to go into teaching or anything, just helping the ballet world, organizing events, that kind of thing,” she said.