Originally from BC, Naomi began her ballet training under Mary Burke in Richmond, BC. She continued her studies with Janet Gittens at Deas Island Dance. At age fourteen, Naomi moved to Toronto to study at Canada’s National Ballet School. While at NBS, Naomi had the opportunity to attend international training programs at the English National Ballet School, the Hamburg Ballet School, and the Royal Danish Ballet School. She performed in numerous ballets and most recently, Naomi attended the International Summer Dance Intensive at Arts Umbrella in her home province of BC
Naomi joined Ballet Jörgen’s Junior Company at the beginning of the season and has now earned her apprenticeship with the Company. The Junior Company is for dancers seeking their first professional job in a Company and to be eligible for apprentice dancers must complete the Junior Company. Completing an apprenticeship will give dancers a clear understanding of their future both with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen as well as with their overall dance career.
From Junior Company to Apprenticeship with Naomi
Q: Tell us about your dance journey leading up to joining Ballet Jörgen’s Junior Company.
After graduating from Canada’s National Ballet School I moved to Germany to train at the Palucca University of Dance. When the pandemic hit, I had to return to Canada very suddenly because the borders were closing. I wanted to audition for Ballet Jörgen, but my original plan to join the Junior Company was delayed for more than a year because of the lockdowns and restrictions. Training alone at home for so long has been challenging for me, (and many other dancers around the world). When I was finally able to get to Toronto to join the Junior Company I was absolutely thrilled!
Q: Why did you decide to audition?
I was very interested in dancing with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen! I knew the Junior Company provided excellent training, and that it could open up future possibilities with this special Canadian ballet company.
Q: Can you talk about the training you have received and what stands out the most for you? How have you grown as a dancer & artist?
I have really enjoyed learning from multiple top-quality Ballet Jörgen instructors. What stands out for me most is the warm atmosphere both inside and outside of the studios. The leadership here really fosters a spirit of respect, excellence, and encouragement. I am so grateful to have experienced this, and I found it super inspiring!
I was able to expand my artistic scope by learning a variety of works from the Ballet Jörgen repertoire. The dancers here are all beautiful and it has been such a pleasure to learn from them. It was inspiring to learn from a company of dancers who each have their own unique artistic voice. I look forward to developing my own artistry as I begin my career. One memorable experience was dancing Juliet’s solo from Romeo and Juliet. Another highlight was working with Choreographer in Residence Hanna Kiel in the creation of a new contemporary work.
Q: You are now a new Company Apprentice — what are you looking forward to as an apprentice as opposed to a Junior Company dancer and what are your goals?
As a new apprentice I look forward to touring and performing with the company. I’ll continue to work my hardest to improve and represent the company well.
Q: What do you hope for after your apprenticeship?
After the apprenticeship I would love to continue dancing with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen!