A Collingwood dancer's career dreams are on pointe with her latest successful audition, which earned a spot in the cast of a professional touring production of The Nutcracker.
Sarah Beattie, who has trained at Fleet-Wood Dance Centre since she was two years old, is part of this year's Ballet Jorgën Christmas production, which tours 12 Ontario cities for 21 performances in November and December.
Ballet Jorgën is a professional touring ballet company based in Toronto known for its Canadian content, including Anne of Green Gables - The Ballet.
The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition will feature 16-18 company dancers and nine-11 local young dancers filling nine to 13 roles.
Beattie said each of her three auditions for the Nutcracker were a little bit different with the audition groups dwindling through the process. She was asked to learn and perform a number during the audition. She said it was nerve-wracking but exciting to get the call back letting her know she was successful. She doesn't know which role she'll be dancing yet, but said she'll be performing for half the tour dates.
Beattie, now 12 years old, has been in The Nutcracker before. Last year she was the Snow Princess in a production by Fleet-Wood Dance Centre.
At Fleet-Wood, Beattie trains in ballet (the Cecchetti method), contemporary, jazz, acro, musical theatre, modern, and pointe.
"I just love doing this because it allows you to move freely and express yourself ... I couldn't imagine my life without it," said Beattie, who attends Mountain View Elementary School.
She aspires to a career in dance, first as part of a professional company and one day as a teacher.
Sharron Fleet, owner of Fleet-Wood studio and one of Beattie's teachers, thinks the young dancer is poised to get that career she's hoping for.
"She's terribly talented and she works hard," said Fleet, adding Beattie was also "born with all the right stuff."
Beattie is one of a few Fleet-Wood dancers who have earned places in professional productions, with some past students studying at the National Ballet School and enjoying careers as professional dancers.
Beattie puts a lot of credit back onto her teachers at Fleet-Wood.
"Without Fleet-Wood and, especially Ms. Sharron, I wouldn't be doing this," said Beattie. "They've helped me so much."
Ballet Jorgën's Nutcracker: The Canadian Tradition, features backdrops of Canadian landscapes and winter and summer animals and sights that Canada is known for as a re-imagined version of the well-known ballet set to the same Tchaikovsky score.
For more information about the Nutcracker performances, click here. The tour does include two shows in Orillia.