Nathaniel Ritter-Magot has loved ballet since he was three years old. In his preschool years, instead of watching children’s programs, he watched his sister’s dance recital DVDs over and over again, studying and practicing the choreography. “I began dancing at age four and studied other genres, but ballet is, and always has been, my passion,” he says.

Now 13 years old, Ritter-Magot is attending the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School with the help of a Prince Edward Arts Scholarship. His schedule is intense. With academic classes followed by ballet classes and homework, a typical day runs about 12 hours. “You always have to be working,” he says. “I’ve learned a lot in my ballet training and also how to live on your own and take responsibility for yourself.” It’s difficult for him to be away from his home in Regina, but he says, “It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make because it’s my dream.”

Before he even attended the school, Ritter-Magot was cast in RWB’s Regina production of Romeo and Juliet. “I was so impressed! I knew then and there that ballet was my future and Royal Winnipeg Ballet was a perfect fit for me!” he exclaims. In his three years at the school, he has been cast in three of the company’s productions: The Nutcracker, The Princess and the Goblin and The Sleeping Beauty. He says of the shows, “You just learn so much. At first, it was really hard because you have to learn all the choreography, but after one show, you get the hang of it and it was fun.”

His plan for the future is to become a principal dancer in a classical ballet company. He says that dance is important because, “It’s an art. You’re providing people with something to watch, and I want to make sure people enjoy it,” adding, “It’s a way that I get to be happy and express myself through movement.”

Top: Nathaniel Ritter-Magot
Photo: Free Lense PhotoGraphic

Bottom: Nathaniel Ritter-Magot performs with other students at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.
Photo: Stanislav Belyaevsky