Rossland’s Sophie Hargreaves off to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Hargreaves, 11, is off to study dance at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

You’d think that Sophie Hargreaves comes by it all pretty naturally. After all, her mother is Renée Salsiccioli – professionally trained dancer and Instructor from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Professional Division.

On the contrary, it’s been through Sophie’s own determination that she’s earned a scholarship to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Professional Division Summer School and an invitation to attend the National Ballet School summer program in Toronto.

Unlike other 11 year olds who may be encouraged by their parents, Sophie has been driving this.

“She’s been around the studio all her life, but learned how to do her own bun at age five because I was just too busy” explains her mother, Renée Salsiccioli.

If you have never experienced the art of the ballet bun, let me tell you that it’s a pretty impressive feat for any 10-year-old to master, let alone a five-year-old with baby-fine hair.

She’s kept her mother’s old pointe shoes under her pillow since age five. Although she knew very well that going en pointe before age 11 isn’t good for young bones, we have it from Renée that Sophie “would stuff the toes of my old pointe shoes with socks and dance around in her bedroom at two or three in the morning.”

Luckily she had linoleum flooring.

Like any good Kootenay girl, Sophie loves skiing, but her passion is listening to music, creating choreography and dancing and her dream is to go to a professional school for training. If she could, she would be at the studio all the time.

Dance requires a certain body type at the professional level as well as coordination and musicality, but the determination and drive of the student is definitely an important component for success.

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