“Cramming 15 girls into a living room may not be the ideal ballet studio, but it was a gold mine of life skills,” explains Caitlin.
She has danced with couches substituted for ballet barres, in outdoor ice rinks with cement as the dance floor, and rehearsed Swan Lake in unheated garages in freezing temperatures. Her mom used to drive her and her sister three hours every Saturday before the break of dawn to give them the opportunity to dance.
“Eventually I watched Vaganova Ballet videos from YouTube to learn more, as that was the tool at my disposal,” states Caitlin.
After High School she studied at Alberta Ballet, with teachers from England, Paris Opera Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. She furthered her training at Victoria Academy of Ballet.
“I was given the opportunity to represent my country, Canada, in international ballet competitions, the biggest being IBC Varna 2016. For those I trained in my parents’ garage. Imagine, dancing Odette in a space the size of your bedroom at subzero temperatures.”
She danced with Ballet Etoile Canada for two seasons.
“Somehow along the way, I fell into teaching. I currently teach at Dawson Creek Dance Company,” she said. “Teaching and coaching students is an entirely different experience to performing, and one I wouldn’t trade!”
alive “with the breeze of summer and stars as lights — I felt something that I'd been missing, life."
For Caitlin, there is a fine line between passion and obsession, and she believes the key to enjoying dance is defining that line. The best lesson she has learned — and is truly still learning — is that dance does not earn her approval from people she so longed to be approved by.
“I've spent most of my life chasing a career that I truly love, but for the wrong reasons. Now I am discovering a more honest relationship with dance,” Caitlin said. “This, in turn, is teaching me a deeper lesson of personal conviction and growth.
"Dance has only served as the training ground for this to happen - I've learned that there is more to life, and more to me, than just being a dancer - something I never thought I'd say.”
Dance opened her eyes to look beyond the surface and ask questions, questions like, "what is the purpose?"
Caitlin stopped viewing dance as a taskmaster, an entity to measure herself by.
Through the years she found the answer was so simple. “Dance is something I enjoy, and no one can take away something that has been given as a gift unless you give them permission.”
This is why she wants to share it, not for her own benefit and personal gain, but “...as a servant to others, in whatever capacity that is, however it changes over the years.”
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