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By Parvaneh Pessian
Photograph by Sabrina Byrnes
Durham Region
August 11, 2012

Up until two years ago, Eamon Stocks had never attempted ballet. Dancing since the age of 7, the 11 year old from Whitby had dabbled in everything from break dancing to hip hop and jazz before he stepped into his first ballet class in 2010.

“It was a hard (transition) because at first, I didn’t know what they were talking about when they said things like ‘first position’ or ‘fondu,'” recalls Eamon, who was recently accepted into the prestigious National School of Ballet in Toronto.

“The more I did ballet, I found I had a real passion, love and passion for it.”

Located in Toronto, Canada’s National Ballet School is one of the world’s foremost training institutions for aspiring young dancers. The facility attracts students from around the world and is the only ballet academy in North America to provide elite dance training, academic instruction and residential care all on one campus.

“I went there last year for the summer program and I loved it so now that I’m finally old enough to make it in, I feel really proud of myself,” says Eamon.

There are about 150 students in the program, which runs from September to July and combines a professional ballet curriculum with academic classes for Grades 6 to 12. Students spend between two and four hours in the dance studio daily, depending on their age.

“We have different classes every day along with ballet so it’s really intense but it feels really good,” he adds. No stranger to hard work, Eamon won Durham Has Talent at the Oshawa Centre in 2011, singing Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing and has been a member of the Whitby Courthouse Theatre youth group for the past two years. He also takes piano and vocal lessons and recently completed Grade 5 at John Dryden Public School in Whitby with straight A’s.

Eamon is looking forward to stretching his abilities and reaching new heights in dance at the ballet school. “I feel like the only person in the world when I’m on stage performing, especially in solos, and I love ballet because it really works me,” he says.

“I love a good challenge and ballet is definitely one of the big challenges that I have in life.”

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