July 16, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Kelvenar Seppe (13) can show his talent in America at the most prestigious ballet competition in the world: “Stress?  “Dance has a calming effect.”

Kelvenar Seppe (13) can show his talent in America at the most prestigious ballet competition in the world: “Stress? “Dance has a calming effect.”

Seppe Clairhoud (13) from Kelway will be dancing in the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix finals in the US during the Easter holidays. The world’s most prestigious dance competition, but the dancer from the Pirouette Ballet School from Wevelgem is remarkably calm. “But I’m hoping for a top 6.”

The most prestigious competition in the world. With semi-finals in all corners of the globe – from Australia to Japan – the Youth American Grand Prix attracts young ballet dancers from far and wide who want to make it to the finals in America. So only the most talented ballerinas and ballerinas are offered to showcase their talents there.

A 13-year-old boy from the Bayroud Ballet School from modest Wevelgem turned up there? Exceptional. However, Seppe Clairhoud of Kelway can pack his bags for a trip to Tampa, Florida, over the Easter holidays. In the semi-finals in Paris, she finished in the top six in her category. “It’s fun to do,” he says modestly. “It was one of my best singles then.”

Less stress

He doesn’t shout that Seppe is a man. Instead, dance remains primarily a hobby, despite an average of ten hours of practice per week. So entertaining. “I’m not really stressed. Dancing relaxes me,” she says, especially when she’s in front of an audience. “I’m a bit of a stage animal. I need an audience to make me better. That pressure makes me perform better.

Say, at age six, Seppe was skeptical about dancing. “I danced a lot at home, and my mother would dance with a pirouette, so I tried that too. As a kid I was afraid of being bullied. Unfair, because I never had a problem with it. A boy who dances? Actually, it’s already become normal.

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Seven years later a better choice now appears. From November 3rd to 9th he will be on stage in the US following several workshops and performing his solo. “I’m hoping for a top-six finish, but I’ll enjoy the experience anyway. There’s a lot to learn from watching.

Also, the competition is a platform to showcase yourself to internationally renowned schools. Liège, Amsterdam, Monaco and Birmingham may already be ticked off the list, but the finale will take Seppe elsewhere. “Of course I hope to be noticed, although I still don’t know exactly where my future lies. I’ve had the opportunity to start at a ballet school in Amsterdam, but I’m not ready yet. A luxury problem,” she says with a smile.

This is another good aristocratic letter to Pirouette. Seppe is not unique though. A dance group of 8 to 12-year-old girls was also selected for the finals. However, traveling is financially and organizationally impossible. “But there’s a lot of talent in the group,” says Pascale Langedag. “They definitely have more opportunities to explore the world while dancing.”