Dozens of young, aspiring ballet dancers auditioned for Canada’s National Ballet School at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Sunday.

The audition was part of the school’s 2016-17 Dare To Dream cross-country tour that spans some 20 cities, ending in St. John’s, N.L., on April 2, 2017.

Students from grades 6 through 12 came impeccably dressed in their tights and satin shoes, ready to show off their best pliés, relevés and sautés for lead artistic staff member Alexander Gorbatsevich.

At the end of the day, nine students out of 45 who auditioned in Ottawa were accepted to attend Stage 2 of the audition process.

Gorbatsevich received his ballet training at the Novosibirsk State School of Ballet, one of Russia’s foremost ballet schools. He later joined the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre as a soloist and subsequently joined the Moscow Classical Ballet Company as a principal dancer.

The school also offered an open dance class on Saturday for those who love ballet but did not want to audition.

Sunday’s event was the first in a two-stage audition process for a chance to enter the prestigious school.

Of the hundreds who will have taken part in the audition class, only a small number will be invited to attend a four-week intensive summer school program at the National Ballet School in Toronto next July.

Approximately 175 auditioning students will attend dance classes for the summer month, along with returning NBS students.

“The audition process is designed to be a positive experience,” according to the school’s website, which encourages students “to maintain their love of dancing and to recognize the many training options available to them besides NBS.”

Those who are not invited to join the full-time program are welcome to audition again the following year.

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