By Jessie Moniz Hardy
The Royal Gazette
February 23, 2015
[Bermuda, British Overseas Territory] – A young Bermudian dancer has won a much-coveted place in a prestigious summer dance programme. Ravi Watson, 10, will be attending the Royal School of Ballet’s intensive course in Surrey, England.
His mother, Sophia Cannonier, is excited because it may bring Ravi a step closer to a career as a professional dancer. “He was chosen from thousands of applicants from around the world,” she said. “The programme is seen as a stepping stone to the Royal Ballet School’s vocational boarding school. At the camp, teachers are able to observe the children to see if they are of the quality that the Royal Ballet School accepts. It is not just something fun to do.”
The Royal School of Ballet is considered one of the world’s great ballet training centres, and accepts students from grade seven (age 11) onwards. Ravi has been taking ballet classes with the Bermuda School of Russian Ballet since he was six. He also takes hip-hop classes at Jackson’s School of the Performing Arts.
To get into the summer camp, Ravi’s parents sent in photographs of Ravi in different ballet positions. He also had to show previous dance experience.
Ravi is looking forward to meeting other boys who share his interest in ballet. “There is only one other boy at my dance school,” he said. “Sometimes people who don’t know me look surprised that I do ballet. They say things like, ‘dance is for girls’.”
During the two-week camp, he will take various types of dance classes including jazz and ballet. He is hoping that while he is in England he will be able to indulge his second passion, football. He is a member of the Devonshire Colts junior team and is hoping that his parents will also sign him up for a football camp.
He joined the Devonshire Colts in October and has found that the ballet training has been a great asset. “I scored a goal using a grand battement, that’s a ballet kick,” he said. “It went over the goalkeeper and into the goal. It was awesome. Whoever plays football out there needs to dance. You should see what I am doing on the pitch. I am doing bicycles and kicks that go nearly up to my head because I am so flexible.”
Ravi said that he wanted to be a “trio tasker” when he grows up. “I want to do football, ballet and I haven’t figured out the last thing I want to do,” he said.
Last summer, Ravi had call-back auditions for the London West End production of Billy Elliot but was rejected due to his height. He also loves acting and had a part in this year’s Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society pantomime, The Pied Piper.
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