Ballet dancers prepare for another overseas excursion 0
Eight dancers, three cities, 10 days.
What may sound like the premise of a romantic comedy is really the newest trip that awaits the dancers at Heritage Ballet.
Following on the heels of last year’s trip to Russia, this time the Haliburton dancers are going to Europe, visiting Milan, Paris and Copenhagen.
Under the direction of Julie Barban, eight students and four chaperones will travel to each city, taking ballet classes and watching performances at each destination.
The cities were chosen because of their connection to the history of ballet, which originated in Italy before making its way to France, said Barban.
From Feb. 7 to 20, 2013, the group will participate in a jam-packed itinerary, with little time to rest.
The dancers, who range in ages 12 to 17, signed up for the adventure because of the excitement and appeal of going to Europe.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Italy,” said Christine Bishop.
For the majority of the group the trip will be a first time visit to all three countries, including Barban herself.
Many of the students have been dancing since they could walk, some making their debut on the stage at age two.
Students such as Madeline Hopkins are looking forward to taking dance lessons in Italy.
While no one is fluent in Italian, many of the dancers have a good understanding of French.
Along the way the group will be staying in hostels, taking trains across the continent and partaking in ballet culture.
“They don’t know how tired they will be at the end,” said Barban, who has planned the itinerary.
The teacher has already secured tickets to see performances at the Paris Opera Ballet and The Royal Danish Ballet and is planning to attend the premiere of La Scala in Italy.
In the months leading up to the trip, the group will be hosting a variety of fundraising initiatives to help cover travel costs.
Car washes, concession stands and a calendar featuring photographs of local dancers are just some of the ideas the group has come up with to raise money.
Last year Barban found the community overwhelmingly supportive of the group’s trip to Russia.
“It is an educational trip, which I think people realize,” she said.
Madeline has decided to put her summer art course to use and has created a Christmas card featuring a watercolour winter scene she painted herself.
Inside the card are the words Peace and Joy.
Proceeds from the sale of the card are going towards funding the dancer’s trips.
The 11-year-old came up with the idea as a different way to get support from the community.
“We were brainstorming ideas on how we could raise money and I’m not good at selling chocolate bars,” said Lynda Shadbolt, Madeline’s mother.
Madeline plans to sell the cards at different places, however, businesses can also order them and include a custom message on the inside.
The card will be made available for sale in the coming weeks. Cards are $3 each or two for $5.
To learn more about the trip or to donate, Barban can be contacted at email@example.com.
For more information about the card and to reserve them visit www.haliburtonyoga/Madeline’s_balletadventure.html.