YOU Dance Apprentices Photo Credits

Miyoko Koyasu. Trygve Cumpston. Photos by Sian Richards.



YOU Dance Apprentices
Miyoko Koyasu & Trygve Cumpston 


What was it like to be on tour with YOU dance?  

Miyoko Koyasu 

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.

Trygve Cumpston 

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 experience.

How 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.

What inspires you?  


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 inspired.


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 sponsored by

RBC Emerging Artists Project 

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 anonymous donor.