First Steps

First Steps

First Steps

About First Steps

First Steps is an annual competition and performance of new choreography by senior RWB School Professional Division students. It is designed to increase students’ artistic sensitivity, awareness, and respect for the creative process and is an opportunity to discover if they have a talent for choreography and to give them the tools to explore their potential.

The 2017 performances wrapped up on Saturday, February 18 at the RWB Founders Studio. Congratulations to all of our choreographers for all your hard work and inspiring creations.

1st, 2nd & 3rd Place Awards
Awarded to the choreographers whose works best demonstrate originality and promise.
•Honourable Mention: If You Can Dream It, Anna Smith
•3rd place: Resolution, Cameron Fraser-Monroe
•2nd place: Disasterpiece, Conrad Mueller
•1st place: Look Up, Erin Atkinson

The Paddy Stone Scholarship for Jazz, Tap & Musical Theatre
Awarded to the best work in the Jazz, Tap or Musical Theatre genre.
•Paddy Stone Scholarship: Last Train To St. Louis, Karyn Maertens

The People’s Choice Award is awarded to the choreographer whose work is voted most popular by the audience.
•Peoples Choice Award: Look Up, Erin Atkinson

The Jacqueline Weber Award for Classical Choreography
The Award was established by the RWB School Profession Division Student Association on the occasion of Mrs. Weber’s retirement as Principal of the Professional Division. The Award recognizes the many ways Mrs. Weber has supported and encouraged students in their exploration of classical ballet through choreography and is selected by the jury.
Élégie, Jonah Schroeder

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Award (Selected by RWB School Artistic Faculty)
Awarded to the choreographer whose work best reflects the artistic style and spirit of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.
•RWB Award: Look Up, Erin Atkinson

The Doreen MacDonald Scholarship Award (Selected by the RWB Wardrobe Department)
Awarded to the choreographer showing considerable talent and interest in design.
Thinking Pink, Sarah Snider

Thank you to our jurors Linda Nelson, Jo-Ann Sundermeier, Stephane Leonard, Ray Hogg & Casimiro Nhussi for your time and careful consideration of each piece.

Thank you to the following companies and organizations for their generous donations. Bloomex Canada, Dance International, Dance Media, Dance Current, Harlequin and Gaynor Minden.


More Information


RWB Professional Division Students in the Ballet Academic, Aspirant and Teacher Training Program move through the entire creative process beginning in September and in February they present it to public and a panel of jurors. Although it is a competition, it is open to the public and is family friendly!

First Steps has grown to include the entire student body of the Ballet Academic Program, comprising Levels 1 to 7. Students who do not choreograph or perform are involved in all other aspects of putting on a production, such as:
•Presenting pre-performance improvisation
•Working stage crew
•Working as backstage runners
•Greeting audience as master(s) of ceremony
•Photographers (choreographers at work), when applicable

Students choose the subject matter, length of their piece and style or dance genre. In order to accommodate numerous choreographers, each must adhere to a time limit of up to four minutes, to ensure that performances remain within a reasonable running time. Choreographers may choose to work with recorded music or live musicians and may use already existing or new compositions.

Finally, in coordination with the RWB Wardrobe Department, choreographers choose the costumes that best reflect their choreographic ideas, and with guidance from the Production Department, they design the lighting that will best support their dance.

Through First Steps, RWB School students increase their artistic sensitivity and gain awareness and respect for the creative process, giving RWB School students the tools to become responsible, professional, and open-minded young artists.