NEW YORK, NY: Kate McDonald’s dream of training at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York has been made possible in part thanks to a scholarship from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust (NSTT).

McDonald, from Windsor Junction, was one of three local artists to receive scholarship support from the organization. The other two were Charlotte Warr of Fall River and Lucie Schmidt of Lakeview.

The money will be put to good use for McDonald, who at just the young age of 15 has moved away from her family to New York to pursue her dreams. She is currently training in the jazz and contemporary trainer program at Joffrey Ballet School.

Kate McDonald does some modelling in this photo. The Windsor Junction woman received a NSTT scholarship for her modern/contemporary dance. (Photo courtesy NYC photographer Noel Valero)

“Moving to New York City to train at the Joffrey Ballet School has been a tremendous life change for both myself and my family, and also a significant financial commitment,” McDonald told The Laker in a recent interview. “The scholarship support I have received from the NSTT has helped make my dream of training at the Joffrey a reality.”

NSTT is a not-for-profit charity that provides scholarship support to young Nova Scotian artists who are undertaking advanced training in their chosen field of study. Support of developing artists in the province is essential to continue the rich artistic diversity that helps to define our Nova Scotian community.

“I’m incredibly proud and honored to have been chosen to receive a scholarship toward my studies here,” said McDonald.

The Joffrey trainee program is an intensive four year program that focuses on a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre and hip hop.

In addition to excellent technical dance training, over the next four years McDonald will also receive instruction in dance choreography and have the opportunity to work with many accomplished professional dancers and choreographers in NYC.

“Upon graduating from the trainee program I will receive a vocational certificate in dance and choreography,” she said.

McDonald trains seven hours a day, five days a week. It’s not all dance for McDonald—she dedicates her evenings to schooling.

“In the evenings and on weekends I dedicate myself to my high school studies which I am completing through an online correspondence program,” she said.

Besides dancing, McDonald has done some modeling over the past year, working with numerous talented designers and photographers in Atlantic Canada.

“Since moving to New York City, I have participated in a number of dance modeling shoots,” she said. “These shoots have been an amazing opportunity to meet other dancers and artists in NYC.

“During one shoot in Central Park there was a small band of musicians playing. When we started to dance on pointe to the music, a whole crowd gathered to watch. It was such an incredible and spontaneous New York moment.”

Looking down the road, McDonald is squarely focused on what she wants as a career.

“My ultimate goal is to become a professional dancer,” said McDonald.

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Pat has grown up in East Hants, having called Milford, and now Enfield home. He graduated from the journalism program at Holland College in 2001, and has spent time at newspapers in NL and Alberton and Summerside, PEI before becoming a reporter/photographer at The Weekly Press/The Laker in October 2008. He has a rescue kitty named Asha that is much loved—and spoiled. Pat is also our "social engagement guru." Check him out on twitter!