July 25, 2017
They may live next door to the School, but Jim and Jim are more than just our neighbours - they are among our most enthusiastic and steadfast supporters. Read their reflections on their history with NBS and their recent experience championing Assemblée Internationale 2017.
Jim Scott and Jim Robertson are NBS’ neighbours and have lived right next door in the Radio City complex for the past 10 years. They were big dance fans in the 1960s and 70s, but lost touch with the local dance scene over the intravening years. On discovering that they were so close physically to NBS and that the School welcomed them to events and workshops, has meant they’ve been able to rekindle their love for the art form over the past 4 years.
They say they’re lucky to have NBS right next door and feel a deeper interest develop as they’ve observed students in the Professional Ballet Program evolve in their training at the School.
Supporting the Assemblée Internationale 2017 (AI 17) was a natural extension of their growing appreciation for NBS. Additionally, it provided them with an opportunity to support the global dance community through funding one of the visiting AI 17 schools. With 21 schools participating in AI 17, Jim and Jim helped ensure every school had ‘supporters’, facilitating each of them to come to Toronto for the festival.
They chose to support the National Ballet School of Cuba as it was a natural fit - they love to travel and Cuba was a destination they planned to visit. Their initial interest in Cuba came during the 2015 Pan Am Games, held in Toronto and they recently had a trip to Cuba in June, 2017 and got to visit the Cuban school while there!
Jim and Jim took advantage of the benefits of being a ‘school supporter’ by visiting NBS each day of the AI 17. Their highlights included… “Watching all the classes, seeing all the different teachers and different teaching styles”, they say, “Through this, we’ve gained so much more knowledge about dance”. Jim Robertson mentioned a pivotal moment when he realized that a “plié” is a verb, not a noun and how necessary they are for providing the power for jumps. Ongoing learning is important to them, and the enrichment they’ve experienced through the AI is keenly felt.
Jim and Jim are proud that they were able to support a school, and pleased that through their contribution they also benefitted from the experience. Their ballet education has expanded and they’ve made new friends. Their passion for travel and NBS has come together through the AI and as part of their future travel plans, they’ll be sure to check out ballet schools in any place they visit. As they say, “if there is a ballet school there – we’ll go”!
Jim and Jim with delegates from the National Ballet School of Cuba at NBS' Assemblée Internationale 2017.