New Glasgow’s Emily Yatsynovich has made the cut.
From Aug. 20- Aug. 29, 62 of the world’s finest young dancers – including 19 Canadians – will compete for the coveted gold medal at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD)’s Genée International Ballet Competition.
Yatsynovich will be right there with them.
The Genée, one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world, is open to dancers aged 15-19 who are working within the RAD syllabus. Winners have gone on to dance with some of the world’s leading ballet companies around the globe. This year’s competition is back on Canadian soil for the first time since 2008, with a week-long event in Toronto.
Yatsynovich is a semi-finalist in the competition and will be dancing in front of a prestigious judging panel, including Karen Kain, Artistic Director of The National Ballet of Canada.
Yatsynovich has been dancing since she was three and started ballet at the age of nine. She’s been taking lessons at the Ashleigh Ballet School under the instruction of Janet Bradbury. She continues to explore different styles including character, jazz and contemporary.
She said it’s a bit intimidating to be going to this competition.
“I just do it for fun, but a lot of people at this level are planning to do it professionally,” she said. “Everyone is trying to get their name out there and be big.”
She knows that everyone there has earned the spot and will be bringing their best effort.
But she’s certainly put in the work too, practicing for at least two hours a day, six days a week.
“I just love the feeling of dancing, but also the challenge,” she said. “You can never achieve perfection and there’s always something you can improve on.”
Dancers in the competition will perform three different solos: a 19th or 20th century classical variation; a piece choreographed specifically for the candidate (either by their teacher, a friend or themselves); and a world-premiere piece, which will be choreographed this year by renowned Italian-Canadian dancer and choreographer, Gioconda Barbuto. Candidates then compete for medals in two days of competitions in the semi-finals and final.
For the dance she chose, she will be dancing to Yellow by Coldplay.
“It’s a free moving dance. I get to show my strengths and abilities in it.”
Yatsynovich encourages others who are interested in pursuing ballet at this level to keep pushing themselves. There are many ripple benefits to it she said.
“It’s an amazing thing that kids can do.”