Our Family Scrapbook

Tiaras and Toe Shoes

When I was 10 years old, I started taking ballet lessons. Little did I know then that it would become a lifelong love of mine.

My ballet school was Ecole de Ballet Leduc, the first ballet school in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Our ballet mistress, Yolande Leduc, had been a dancer with the San Francisco Ballet before she began teaching. I loved her!

I only took one weekly lesson until I was 14 and old enough to start bussing downtown at night for more frequent classes. At the age of 15, I was invited to teach beginner classes in exchange for payment for my own classes.

The photo above: Me and one of my classes of young dancers.

When I was about 10, some fellow students and I danced on a Saturday morning kids’ show called Le Club du Samedi. For our auditions, we went to the CBOFT television station on the fifth floor of the Chateau Laurier Hotel, which was always a thrill. There were lights, cameras, wires, and cords everywhere! It was always so exciting to see Yolande Leduc in her expensive fur coat and regular street shoes. I’m happy to say that we succeeded at every audition.

In one of my performances, in which I had the lead, big bubbles were superimposed over me as I danced across the stage, making it appear that I was floating. My mom had to work that Saturday at the Laroques Department Store, but she was permitted to go to the television department to see me perform.

Photo left: Me, age 17. A local photographer photographed me to display in his new shop.

I’m almost 76 now, too old to dance, but in my head and heart, I can still hear the music and smell the rosin.

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