Young siblings share a passion for ballet
Ballet is the one thing Olivia and Tristan Currelly always agree on.
Their hope is to become as successful as Megan and Robbie Fairchild, sibling principals in the New York City Ballet.
“It would be wonderful if when we grew up we could join the same dance company,” Olivia said.
Their parents, Julia and Read Currelly, are bemused by their passion.
“I never thought I'd have two dancers,” Mrs Currelly said. “No one else in the family dances. They are entirely self-motivated.”
Olivia started dancing eight years ago, when she was 4. Tristan was so inspired he asked if he could start classes two years ago.
“I asked if boys could dance also, and my mom said yes,” the nine-year-old said.
The siblings successfully auditioned for the American Ballet Theatre's Young Dancer Summer Workshop this year.
“They went with a group from In Motion,” said Mrs Currelly. “I don't know how many dancers are accepted each year, but I know not everyone gets in.”
In Motion students Sarah Francoeur, Layla Williams, and Linnea Kuruvilla also got into the workshop.
It was Olivia's second time with the two-week programme.
For Tristan, it was exciting to finally dance with other boys.
“There is only one other male ballet dancer at In Motion and he's much older than me,” said Tristan.
“I don't mind dancing with girls, but it was nice to make friends with other boys who shared an interest in ballet.”
At the end of the camp, he was offered a place at the Jackie Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre.
His parents declined due to his age. Olivia is in the junior company at In Motion; Tristan is in Performance Plus.
“You are chosen for the junior company if you show dedication or really want to do more,” she said. “Performance Plus is a feeder to the company. We do a lot of community performances. I love helping him with his choreography. Sometimes he takes my suggestions well, it depends. At In Motion he's doing a lot of dances that I've already done, so I can help him with that.”
The pair danced in the same routine last year in In Motion's annual production of The Nutcracker.
“We were brother and sister Clara and Fritz,” said Olivia. “I think we had that brother and sister chemistry.”
Their scene at the beginning of the show required them to fight over a nutcracker until it broke.
“It was so authentic I had to cover my eyes,” laughed Mrs Currelly.
The siblings took private lessons in New York with American Ballet Theatre teacher Richard Bowman last year.
He's since moved to Texas so lessons are on hold.
“We would go up on a Saturday have a lesson, go to sleep and then have another lesson on Sunday and come back,” Olivia said.
“It really helped us with our technique.”
Added Mrs Currelly: “Tristan wasn't old enough last year. This year In Motion took over coordinating students' applications to different summer programmes.”
The BHS student said dance had really taught her self-discipline.
“I have to keep up with my school work,” she said. “I really have to use my off time to do my homework. I can't be messing around.”
The children are often at In Motion until 9.30pm taking classes.
“I also play piano and drum,” said Tristan, who is also passionate about basketball. “I'd love to take guitar also but it hasn't happened yet.”
Olivia said she was deeply inspired by Bermudian dancer Ravi Cannonier's acceptance into the Royal School of ballet this year.
“That's where I'd like to go,” she said.
Her brother would prefer to study with the American Ballet Theatre.