Conrad Cahoon, “Mr. Conrad” as he is known to the children whom he has volunteered with over the years, is an outstanding member of the Caulfield School of Dance family, and not only because he literally stands above all of us! Conrad is as kind as he is tall, and his own achievements and incredible journey of personal improvement in dance and choreography have been an inspiration to his teachers and his peers. But what strikes me most about Conrad is how he supports his team members. This is not to say that Conrad is constantly tossing out the generic “Good job” to everyone. Conrad watches the work of his peers with true care and attention and offers them thoughtful and meaningful comments. Then his smile just beams when he sees something that moves him, and he will find a way to express what it was and how it made him feel.
I’d like to say to Conrad, that how he makes us feel, is honoured to have been part of his development into a man and an artist whom I have no doubt will bring many good and wonderful things into this world.
Conrad Cahoon says he remembers being a six-year old beginning to take lessons at Caulfield School of Dance. He remembers at first not knowing anyone. He remembers liking dance, and being in the centre of his primary stage group dance at that year’s yearend shows: “I wasn’t scared to go on stage for the first time, but I also don’t think I knew what was going on.
“From my childhood at Caulfield, I remember enjoying performing, taking classes with other dancers, and the amazing teachers. I remember self-directed rehearsals, being in the first year of Company as a junior, and later starting my first year of ballet. Some other good memories I have from over the years are photo days, being a runner at the yearend shows, being on breaks with friends, being in the first number in the yearend show – the stressful moment you’re waiting for the curtain to rise; and just dancing for so many hours in the studio, doing what I loved.”
At the Youth American Grand Prix Semi-Final in Toronto in March, Conrad was offered a scholarship from Alberta Ballet School when he received a Top 24 placement award for his classical solo. He will accept ABS’s invitation to their two-year Post Graduate Program. “This will be an amazing opportunity for me to mature as a dancer and as an adult in the world,” Conrad says. “I plan to continue to dance as long as I possibly can, because I love it, and can’t imagine doing anything else.”
I asked Conrad if he thinks his performing arts training will help him in his future and he replied: “My training at Caulfield… will affect who I become as an adult because it made me a better person… helped me become mature and confident. I am a stronger person because of dance. It taught me how to be motivated, committed, and passionate about something… has made me healthy, and taught me how to treat my body well… made me more socially and physically aware, and I will use what I have learned from it. If I had not continued with performing arts as a child, I would be a completely different person.”
Conrad says the best thing about his time at the School has been, “the many friends I have made…. At Caulfield I feel like I am part of a giant happy family. Every teacher and fellow student I have met along the way has had a positive impact on me and I have learnt something from all of them.”
Every good thing to you, Dear Conrad!
With love from me and your whole Caulfield School of Dance Family,