Deep thanks to scholarship recipient Aidan Vaudreuil for sharing his reflections with us on his art and passion. Aidan was also the recipient of the 2020 Robert George Jackson Award for exceptional commitment and potential in dance.
@aidan.vaudreuil (Instagram Page)
What are your earliest memories of dance?
I always had an interest for the spotlight from a young age. I remember putting on performances for my whole family at least twice a day! I first wanted to take actual ballet classes when I was 8 years old after seeing the nutcracker on the television. I saw the elegance of the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux and immediately asked my parents to sign me up for classes.
What has been my greatest challenge in relation to ballet?
My greatest challenge would have to be pushing myself too much at times. Ballet is very intense and has very strict guidelines for how movements/variations should be executed. The bar is set so high in the dance world and is constantly being raised. I find myself getting caught up trying to be perfect; it's all I can think about. Ballet isn’t only a physical sport/art form but mindset is very important too. I find myself having a mindset of “never enough” meaning I always need more. It's important to celebrate victories too. I sometimes forget that ballet is more than just perfect technique, it's a way to express emotions and to tell a story.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years, in relation to ballet?
I hope to be in a classical ballet company either The Royal Winnipeg Ballet company or another company somewhere in the world; performing and showcasing everything I worked for and working towards. I see myself continuing to push myself but also having a sense of accomplishment. I want to mentor/support other young dancers as others have done for me. I hope to be an inspiration to other dancers as well.
What aspects of ballet “fills ups my cup” the most?
Being able to do what I love everyday brings me joy. Honestly, all aspects of my art form “fills up my cup” but especially performing. Either it's a ballet or just a teacher watching ballet class. I love showcasing everything I worked for/working towards. I love performing, the lights, costumes, rehearsals, long days, and quick changes all give me butterflies. The thought of people paying to watch me dance is mind blowing. Every performance is a breath of fresh air.
How have you managed practicing ballet during the pandemic?
In the early stages of the pandemic (March-July) everything was online. Which was a big challenge getting used to dancing in my living room. Since everything was online I also had the opportunity to take ballet classes from dancers all around the world and from many world renown teachers. I also started working with my amazing mentor Elizabeth Lamont (Second Soloist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet) alongside my regular internationally renowned teachers, dancers, choreographers in my professional division classes at the RWB. It was a big challenge to adapt, but I learned so much. In September we started dancing in the studios of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet building, the only downside was dancing with a mask on. It took time getting used to but overtime I built up enough stamina to wear masks during long rehearsals.
What does receiving a Talent Trust Scholarship mean to you?
Receiving the scholarships allows me to attend the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s professional division school. This program immerses me in many classes including classical ballet, contemporary, modern, character, variations, conditioning, pilates, strength, nutrition, art, and drama. It means that I am supported by the entire establishment and having NSTT believing in my dance abilities. I can’t express my gratitude enough for the support I received by the NSTT. Thank you so much!