A Career Come and Gone (Part One)

Posted September 5, 2014 by

Living a life of a normal child, till the age of 10 that is... my life course changed before my eyes. I came home from school one day after seeing a production performed by a touring group with the National Ballet of Canada at our Elementary School. I announced to my Parents (adoptive Parents), that I wanted to become a ballet dancer. My Mother passed me the phone book and said, look up some dance schools and give some a call. I grew up in London, ON and the first place I called was Dorothy Carter’s School of Dance Arts, later to become known as Victoria Carter’s London Dance Centre. Before I knew it I was attending evening classes 2 to 3 nights a week and all day on Saturday’s. I was accepted under full scholarship, as at that time, I was the only male dancer in the dance school. In time, we began performing recitals every other year, mostly at H.B. Beal S.S., later to become the secondary school I would be attending. At the age of 13, I became a suitable candidate to perform Fritz in the Nutcracker Ballet. This came about from attending summer school at Vorp’s Summer School of Dance in Toronto, ON where I met the Artistic Director of Dance Detroit, with whom I performed in this production. I took part as the only Canadian citizen in this production for the next 5 years.

As time progressed I continued my studies in dance along with getting my education…………the bullying became so intense, that my grade school teachers suggested I perform at my grade 8 graduation. I accepted and gained some respect from many who teased me over the years. Unfortunately, this all began again once I entered into secondary school. Just prior to this however, I also was a Navy League Cadet, through the encouragement of my eldest brother (step brother). In time I had to make a decision to carry on with being in the Navy, or choose to carry on with my chosen career as a classical ballet dancer. Of course I chose the latter, which created some friction in my relationship with my brother. I eventually won him over when he came to see me perform in Toronto once I began my career professionally.

Just before my professional career began, I had gone back to school to complete my grade 12, after dropping out at one point. My training for dance lasted 10 years, at which point I began accepting contracts with various Canadian Dance Companies, which lasted another 7 years. The four companies I was with during this time was; Atlantic Ballet Company, Halifax, NS, Alberta Ballet Company, Edmonton, AB, Les Ballet Classiques de Montreal, Montreal, Que and the Ontario Ballet Theatre, Toronto, ON., performing lead roles with all four companies.

My Idol was naturally not a prominent male dancer, but rather a female. Evelyn Hart grew up in Dorchester, ON and attended her dance training with Dorothy Carter’s School of Dance Arts. Evelyn eventually became the Prima Ballerina for several years with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg, Man. I eventually met Evelyn during my attendance with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Summer School Programme. Evelyn put me up at her home during part of my stay so we naturally became like brother and sister…………..(to be continued)