Kylie Sergeant and her mom Tyra are pretty excited to be flying to New York City this summer.
“I’ve never been there, and I’ve never even been on a plane before,” said Kylie, a Grade 4 student at Adams Road Elementary in Cloverdale.
The young dancer’s trip to the Big Apple was earned, as Kylie has been accepted into The School of American Ballet as a summer-intensive student — the youngest of them all, according to a list of the 40-plus attendees.
“It’s a pretty renowned school, so it’s exciting,” said Tyra as Kylie, 9, smiled enthusiastically.
“I was super duper excited when I was told,” said Kylie, who has been dancing since age two. “I was changing in the change rooms over there and my mom was all excited and she walked over to me and told me, saying I was going to New York for the summer intensive, and I was super happy.”
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In Newton, Tyra owns and operates Flora Pigeau Dance Academy, where Kylie and her two younger sisters spend a lot of their after-school time.
“They are there almost every night,” Tyra said. “They used to nap on the office floor. Most meals are there, and lots of homework.”
Earlier this year, Kylie auditioned in Seattle for the chance to attend the summer camp in New York.
“She really wanted to audition for the School of American Ballet,” Tyra explained. “She was so excited that she was able to audition because many summer intensives abroad don’t start until (age) 11 or 12.”
In late June, Kylie will be dancing for six days, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. “When she gets back (from New York), she moves right into six weeks of training, Monday to Friday, before she takes a few weeks off in August,” added her mom.
Tyra also danced at the Flora Pigeau studio as a girl, before she bought the studio from the namesake owner six years ago.
Not surprisingly, Kylie wants to be a professional dancer one day, and the experience gained at the school in New York can only help that dream come true.
“She’s a really driven student and it’s fun to see her explore this, and it’ll be good for her training, apart from what I do with her, together,” Tyra said.
“There are some advantages with her being my daughter and also some disadvantages,” she added.
“You know, when things get busy, she’s pushed to the back of the train, and the other students kind of come first, so that’s a bit tricky sometimes. I have to fit in her in, here and there, sometimes.”
Flora Pigeau Dance Academy’s year-end recital will be held from June 7 to 9 at Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby.
After that, it’s off to New York for Kylie and her adoring mom.
“It’s exciting to go to a new place,” Kylie said with a smile.
“I am extremely proud of her progress of following her dream to become a ballerina,” her mom added.