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Canada's National Ballet School shifts to online auditions

Last Updated Dec 13, 2020 at 1:48 pm PST

(Canada's National Ballet School @NBS_ENB)

In the era of COVID, Canadas' National Ballet School has had to move the in-person audition process online

Generally, about 175 students are chosen from the audition process every year

Typically, the school holds in-person auditions in more than 20 cities across the country

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Everyone is being forced to adapt during this pandemic, and one of Canada’s largest ballet schools is no exception.

Mavis Staines is the artistic director and CEO of Canada’s National Ballet School. She says they’ve moved the audition process online, and that means students vying for a spot will be trying out over Zoom.

“I think these unprecedented times have led to completely new strategies,” said Staines.

“Amazingly it’s actually proven easier than we anticipated to get a sense of the students and to help them be clear about the qualities that we want to see. And then if a young person has a challenging time in the audition because of internet instability or other things that might crop up — we just arrange a follow-up assessment.”

Typically, the school holds in-person auditions in more than 20 cities across the country.

Staines adds, at this time, there is a need now more than ever for artists as the world copes with the pandemic.

“In the periods of time after global wars or previous pandemics, there has been a renaissance in the arts and especially dance. And I think that dance is something that brings people really deep, kind of emotional reharmonizing, rebalancing.

“So I think the role of dancers going forward is going to be more important than ever. And that’s the young people auditioning now. We’re going to create the leaders of the next renaissance.”