Contributed photo Veronica Panteluk attended the four-week National Ballet School Summer Intensive in Toronto.

Red Deer dancer attends national summer school

Dancers with others from across Canada and beyond

Dancing for four weeks at the National Ballet School in Toronto this summer was a chance to focus on what was wrong to make it right, says a teen dancer.

Veronica Panteluk said attending the National Ballet School Summer Intensive in July was all about ballet basics, and she’s not the same dancer she was at the start of the summer.

“My weaknesses got stronger,” said Panteluk, 14, of Red Deer.

“I feel my posture got better, and my arms, and my strength, and my legs.”

Panteluk, who has been dancing since she was three, said she started ballet because it looked like fun. Eleven years later, she practices 25 hours a week and still loves it.

“I love to express myself through movement. It’s a great feeling when I dance. It makes me feel happy and alive.”

The Stride Dance Academy student had to audition to attend the National Ballet School and there were 22 Grade 9 students in her class chosen from across Canada, the United States and other countries.

Her teachers included Carina Bomers, whose resume includes working with renowned dancers Karen Kain, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Veronica Tennant. A typical day was spent in ballet and pointe class. There was also jazz class and pool conditioning.

“I’m definitely going to try out again. It was a great summer intensive.”

In 2017, Panteluk attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Summer Intensive.

In recent years, she has won a variety of awards and scholarships at local and national competitions.

Now she is getting ready for the upcoming 2018-19 competition season. Her first competition will be the World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix in Calgary in November.

Panteluk, who attends St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, said she eventually hopes to become a member of the Rockettes at Radio Music City Music hall in New York and do musical theatre on Broadway.

She said she loves ballet because it has helped her advance as a dancer.

“Ballet is probably the most important style. It really helps your other styles because ballet is the base.”

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