OLDS — A 10-year-old Olds resident will be among the performers singing and dancing when members of the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts take to the stage during the Calgary Stampede this year.
Ava Rauw is scheduled to perform during five shows.
It all began back in 2019 when Ava’s mom, Carol, learned of the opportunity to audition for the Young Canadians.
“I mentioned something to Ava about the Young Canadians and she really, really wanted to audition, so I thought it would be a really cool opportunity for her to kind of see what this would all be about," Carol said during an interview.
Ava was eight years old at that time.
“I’m surprised she made it (at such a young age),” Carol said, adding she and her husband Dustan are really proud of Ava.
“And like I said, she loves it, and that’s the important piece.”
Once accepted, Ava began training with the Young Canadians – in-person and online, depending on pandemic protocols at the time.
When Ava was interviewed, it was just a couple of days before her first performance. She was asked if she was getting nervous.
“Yes,” she said.
"What are you doing to calm your nerves?” she was asked.
“Taking big breaths and going through everything,” she replied.
Ava has been taking dancing lessons since she was two years old. She trains with Joy's School of Dance in Innisfail.
Although she sings and dances, Ava said she likes dancing best.
“There's more movement,” she said. “With singing, you just have to, like, stay still. Or like, you can’t move your hands. Well you can, but you can only move one hand. The other hand has to stay on the mike in front of your face.
“If you don’t have a microphone you can just dance and sing, which is really fun.”
When she grows up, Ava wants to continue dancing but she also plans to work at her grandma and grandpa’s business: a heavy equipment contractor.
“I want to work in the office,” she said.
“That could be boring,” she was told.
“I guess,” she said. “Then I would just drive equipment around -- and still dance.”
Carol said she and Dustan are really excited about Ava’s upcoming performances.
"As long as she loves what she’s doing, we are more than happy to support her,” she said.
Carol said not only will she, Dustan and their son be in the audience to support Ava, but so will many, many other family members.
“We’ve got grandparents coming, we’ve got some aunts, uncles, great-aunts and uncles, cousins,” she said.