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Canaan girl to spend July training in classical ballet in Toronto

Emmanuelle Kinsman, being interviewed for her eligibility to join Canada's National Ballet School (NBS) in Toronto. After failing her first audition to join the school, she spent a year training, auditioned again and is spending the month of July training at the prestigious Toronto institution in classical ballet. CONTRIBUTED
Emmanuelle Kinsman, being interviewed for her eligibility to join Canada's National Ballet School (NBS) in Toronto. After failing her first audition to join the school, she spent a year training, auditioned again and is spending the month of July training at the prestigious Toronto institution in classical ballet. CONTRIBUTED - Contributed
CANAAN, N.S. —
Emmanuelle Kinsman and her determination to dance are a lesson in perseverance and hard work.
Her father, Joe Kinsman, is the model of the proud parent, with abundant praise for his daughter’s tenacity in the face of some fairly unforgiving odds.
Emmanuelle started dancing when she was eight years old, and started ballet at age 10.
Two years ago, that love for ballet motivated her to apply for the Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) in Toronto – an audition that ultimately did not see success.
But Emmanuelle knew how to bounce back. She made it a goal of hers to prepare, audition again – and get accepted to the NBS a year later.
Under the tutelage of her dance teachers, Kelly Perl and Jennifer Smith, she devoted the year after her first audition to training, to learn and perfect what was lacking the first time she tried.
Emmanuelle put steady, persistent effort into improving her dance over the course of the year between her auditions.
“She spent twice as much time in the studio, specifically working on ballet. She went from one class a week to two,” Kinsman said.
“Everyone who knows Emmanuelle knows that even when she’s not in the studio, she’s still dancing.”
Specifically, Emmanuelle worked on her point work on her toes, footwork and flexibility, with an emphasis on posture as well.
“She did that because all of those things are evaluated in the audition,” said Kinsman. “She went back knowing what to expect after her first audition and knew how to prepare.”
Ultimately, Emmanuelle’s hard work paid off. After a second audition, she was accepted by the NBS.
“Once you haven’t been accepted, it’s that much harder to be accepted in the future,” said Kinsman.
It was no walk in the park Kinsman noted, adding that NBS has a “very harsh way of doing things,” referring to the auditioning process.
“The first year Emmanuelle auditioned, they selected dancers invited to the school right at the end of the audition,” Kinsman said. “They’d bring the dancers into a circle and announce who they’d like to invite. The rest are encouraged to work hard and keep dancing.”
Despite the overwhelming odds against her, Emmanuelle prospered and nailed her second audition, doing so alongside more than 20 other TBS hopefuls.
The 12-year-old’s successful audition was in October, one made memorable by the wretched conditions of the weather the Kinsman family had to brave to make it to Halifax.
“It was that freak snow and ice storm that was the day of the auditions. We drove into Halifax in that storm,” Kinsman said. “We were trying to get to the audition with buses sliding down the street sideways.”
In addition to the bad weather, the odds weren’t in Emmanuelle’s favour, either.
“A lot of kids who audition never get accepted. They go back, and the older they are when they audition, the harder it is to be accepted,” Kinsman.
It’s in his daughter’s personality to be undeterred by failure, Kinsman said.
“Emmanuelle is a perfectionist, puts a lot of stress on herself and wants to succeed. It was a really good day for her when she made the audition.”
Her usual dance schedule entails more than 10 hours a week of practice at the Dance Conxion studio at McGee Lake, with three hours of that practice specifically devoted to ballet.
Kinsman recalled a great deal of stress, as they made their way this past October through the early snow storm that struck just before Emmanuelle’s audition.
The Canaan resident will spend the entirety of July at TBS, with the majority of her training being in classical ballet.
“They provide a lot of training year-round, but in the summer, it’s just ballet-intensive,” Kinsman said.
The summer program Emmanuelle is attending is technically the second part of the audition process to attend the school full-time.
“Every child dancing there this summer is being considered for the school’s full-time program,” said Kinsman, who demurred when asked if he’d let Emmanuelle attend full-time.
“I’m not saying we’re going to send her (to practice full-time), but it would be a big accomplishment, and we know she will continue to work hard and do her best in the summer.”

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