Local 12-year-old dances his way to Winnipeg


By Aaron Jahn

Conrad Mueller has taken his first big step on the way to a career in dancing, he’s been recruited by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and now lives and trains in Winnipeg at their facility.

Mueller is only 12, and his mom Stephanie admits it was a hard decision to send him off, but she is very proud of what he’s doing, especially considering he only started dancing three years ago.

“It is hard, it hasn’t really hit me, it will when he leaves again.  I’m just really proud that he’s doing this, I mean at age twelve, who really knew what their career was going to be,” said Stephanie. “I’m really proud of him; he’s just matured a lot.  We text and talk almost every night.  I would rather him be busy than be calling every night saying he wants to come home.”

Conrad is attending a public school not far from the dorm that he lives at with his fellow dancers, and says that he’s not only having fun and making new friends, but that he’s learned a lot since he started in September and one day hopes to teach.

“For the first month it was kind of overwhelming (school), but you get used to it and you start getting into a routine.  For the first two days home I was still in my routine here and I couldn’t get out of it,” said Conrad.  “I think I might go professional, at least for a little while, but I really want to teach.  I really like teaching and helping people out.”


Conard Mueller, 12, has been recruited by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and now lives and trains in Winnipeg at their facility.

“I haven’t really gotten home sick, I’ve found if you keep your mind busy, you won’t think too much about home.  We train six days a week, usually for three hours a day and that’s after school.”

Conrad hasn’t started to perform in ballets yet, they’ve spent much of their time training re-learning the basic moves and techniques they thought they knew.

“I knew how much work I had to put into it, but I’m learning lots of new stuff.  I’m not ready to do a full ballet I’m learning a lot of basic moves first.  Having to relearn a lot of things you think you knew,’ said Conrad.  “They usually focus on our technique and how we stand, that we’re using all the muscles right, they kind of focus on flexibility.  We practice to piano music.  It helps us keep time and helps to count and feel the music so we don’t forget the timing and know the music.”

Stephanie says that she spends a lot of time explaining to people what this means for Conrad, once she tells people it would be like getting drafted into the NHL, they understand the significance of his time in Winnipeg.  She says that he auditioned in 2009, but couldn’t be accepted due to age.

“He auditioned in 2009 in Windsor, but he was too young for the program, so they encouraged us to bring him back the following year, held in October 2010 in Hamilton, we went to Hamilton he was accepted into the professional summer program,” said Stephanie.  “In July he went out and during that time, they put him through his paces and pretty much re-auditioned him and stuff like that, halfway through the program I got a phone call from them saying they definitely wanted to accept him into the full-time academic for the professional division.”

The program is quite rigorous and has advanced classes for students that have completed high school to pursue their dancing dreams professionally, or as certified teachers.


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