“Dancing with Ballet Jörgen is a life changing opportunity! The positive energy given by the company dancers is so inspirational. This experience made me feel like there is no limit on my ability to dance and made me feel so alive!”
– Emma Strus, 2017 Swan Lake Local Participant, Saskatoon
Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is committed to educating and inspiring young dancers across Canada, and a big part of that is our Local Participant Program. This season, over 500 student dancers between the ages of 8 and 17 will have the chance to perform on stage with our professional company, in Nutcracker and Swan Lake shows across Canada and the United States. In order to learn about the impact our LP Program has on young dancers, we sat down with Emma Strus, an 11 year old dancer from Saskatoon, SK and 2 year veteran of the LP Program.
How long have you been dancing?
I’ve been dancing since I was 3. My mom’s a dance teacher and my Grandma’s a dance teacher.
What’s your favourite style of dance?
It varies depending on what I’m doing. I like ballet a little bit more though because it’s different to learn, you learn more technique than all of the other styles of dance.
What was your first experience as a local participant like?
Last year I was the Rose Bud Child. It was really cool, I’ve been in some other ballets but this company’s the best in working with the children’s roles. It was really amazing and it was so cool to be back stage and watch too. I was a little bit nervous, but really excited!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned working with Ballet Jörgen?
I’ve learned so many new things! I’ve learned that it’s important to respect the people you’re dancing with and that you’re not way better than everyone else. There’s always someone better than you and you look up to them because there are some really amazing dancers in this company.
What advice would you give to other dancers who want to be local participants?
Just don’t be afraid and let your spirits loose and dance!
What’s your dream ballet role?
I really, really have always wanted to be Aurora in a big ballet, and I got to last year. Aurora’s always been one of my favourite Disney princesses.
Is there anything you would like to say to the dancers at Canada’s Ballet Jörgen?
It’s just been so amazing and thank you, because as soon as I came home from the ballet I worked so much harder. It’s just been really inspiring!
Thanks to Emma and all our local dancers and their families for their support, and for helping bring our shows to life!