This week, young artists take the stage in Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Spotlight.  

Featuring the primas and principals of future years, the mixed repertoire program featuring both classical ballet and new works showcases the talents of the professional division students, giving audiences a chance to see their developing artistry before they make the sauté to the big stage. 

“Today’s dancer needs to be versatile to enter the job market,” says RWB School Director Stéphane Léonard. “There’s a necessity to excel in both classical and contemporary works.” 



The RWB Professional Division – or “PD,” for short – is a renowned training program for aspiring professional dancers and teachers. 

Consisting of students, student teachers and the Anna McGowen-Johnson Aspirant Program, there are roughly 80 participants in total, according to Leonard.  

“We have an amazing history and reputation and we really take a young student through the development of a dancer,” he adds. “It’s very wholesome and really complete.”  

For 18-year-old PD student Biana Aceves Jeffrey, it was the calibre of the program that drew her away from her hometown of Edmonton two years ago to come study in Winnipeg. 

The graduating student dances the title role of “Raymonda” in excepts from the Petipa’s classical ballet.  

“I’m very excited... it’s a really expressive and amazing role,” says Aceves Jeffrey.  

Also on the program, a ballet triptych choreographed by a trio of female choreographers, led by RWB Resident Choreographer Gabriela Rehak. 

Spotlight runs from Thursday, May 23 through Saturday, May 25.  

For tickets and more details, visit: