Inspiring Generations through Dance

Meet Sidney, Ruben, Jonah, Angela, and Yu Rong—one family, spanning three generations, with dance and Canada’s National Ballet School at its heart. They dance in different ways and with different aspirations, but together they are discovering how the art form builds connection, appreciation, and kinship for each other and their community.

Brothers Sidney and Ruben dance in NBS’ Professional Ballet/Academic Program, where they train to hone the artistry and athleticism that will prepare them for careers in dance.

Both boys started dancing in NBS’ Young Dancers Program, a part-time recreational dance program for children and youth. Through their hard work and perseverance, Sidney and Ruben auditioned and were accepted into the Professional Ballet-Academic Program.

For them, ballet is an opportunity to feel a sense of dedication, focus, and accomplishment with the support of a like minded community.
“With my brother starting to dance first, it made me want to do ballet,” says Sidney.

Ruben thinks an important part of their shared experience is the rewarding feeling they get from learning something challenging.
“When I dance, at the end of the day I feel like I accomplished something big,” he says.

Their parents, Angela and Jonah, know exactly what they mean. Both have taken classes in NBS’ Adult Ballet Program, and have gained more appreciation for their sons’ dedication and how the community at NBS encourages their growth through Olympic-calibre dance training.

“It really makes me proud because I see the effort they put in and the pleasure it gives me as a parent. There’s a real connection there,” says Jonah.
The brothers and their parents agree that one of the most fulfilling parts of dance has been the way it makes them feel.

“Dance makes me happier,” Sidney says. “It makes me feel stronger.”

Jonah and Angela also learned how different types of dance can offer similar, meaningful benefits. They recently joined Yu Rong, Angela’s mother, during a weekly NBS Sharing Dance Parkinson’s class. Several years ago, Yu Rong was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and Angela registered her in the Parkinson’s classes with the hope that dance would benefit her mother. Through the program, Yu Rong has found a sense of community and a love for dance and music.

Yu Rong says the supportive community of her dance classes helps her feel happy and welcome.

“When I dance I feel very relaxed and very comforted. Every week I look forward to going and seeing the friends that I make,” she says.

Beyond how dance benefits each family member individually, it has helped them connect with each other. Every week, Sidney and Ruben share a lunch with Yu Rong in the NBS cafeteria after her Parkinson’s dance class, giving them the opportunity to spend more time together in an environment they all love. Jonah says that dance has created an opportunity to form stronger emotional bonds as well.

“We each have our different interests in the family, but we have a common point at this time. We come together once a day at our supper table and get to discuss things that we now know that we can relate to. It’s a common theme in the house that really does help bind us together,” he says.
For Ruben, the experiences of his brother, parents and grandmother are key to why he believes anyone can be a dancer.

“What makes someone a dancer is the effort they put in when they dance or how they like to dance. Since our whole family dances it makes it easier for us to talk and communicate. I think dance connects us as a family.”


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