YOU Dance Apprentices
Miyoko Koyasu & Trygve Cumpston
was it like to be on tour with YOU dance?
The YOU dance shows are always exciting to
perform because the young audiences are always very immediate and honest in
their responses. Being on tour was wonderful, because we are like a team that
has travelled to bring ballet to cities where big companies don’t tour. We
heard from the children themselves, and their teachers and parents as well, how
eager they were to explore dance and art. Overall we felt privileged to be able
to inspire people with what we can do as dancers. I was honoured to have been a
part of expanding culture in Canada.
The cities we visited felt similar to where
I grew up in Iowa: even though there might not be a lot of exposure to the
arts, there is still a great interest in it. It was exciting for us to share
ballet with the students who had never seen it before. I felt that we were able
to break down some stereotypes of ballet. The students really became involved
and I noticed the boys had a lot of energy and were eager to move as much as
they could. Some of the boys were shy to admit they liked ballet but secretly
gave me a thumbs up. It was exciting for us to see how open they were to the
have you grown through your YOU dance experiences?
Through YOU dance, I’ve learned more about
managing life as a professional dancer.
I’ve discovered how to take care of my body to keep it healthy and how
to remain mentally healthy as well. Through the challenges I’ve encountered,
I’ve learned how to deal with problems and I feel stronger as a person, as a
dancer and as an artist.
With the number of YOU dance and National
Ballet performances this year, plus the additional performances on tour
throughout the year, we were challenged to our limits. But it’s been satisfying,
and it has taught us how to maintain ourselves, how to keep pushing and how to
find even more motivation to keep going.
Dance communicates human emotion very well,
expressing through movement what cannot be put into words. I like communicating
on that kind of level. In making the transition to a professional dancer, I’ve
realized my focus has evolved from my technique and ensuring that I look good
to a focus on the art. In performance we as artists convey ideas and emotions
to the audience, and if the audience feels good, then we are motivated and
To me dancing reveals an artist’s
personality. I like to watch other artists to see what they expose about
themselves and to experience a connection with them. I like communicating with
people and am happy that I have had opportunities to go past technique to work
on a greater expression.
The RBC Apprentice Programme is
YOU dance is supported by The
Ontario Trillium Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation, The Honourable Margaret
Norrie McCain, O.C., The Woodbridge Company Limited, BLG Foundation and one