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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

Where Are They Now?: 'TuTuMUCH' Star Kayla Steinman

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Many young girls dream of being a principal dancer in a major ballet company, but the road to get there is filled with triumphs and tribulations. That’s the premise of a 2010 documentary called TuTuMUCH.

The film focuses on nine young dancers who are attending a four-week summer intensive at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. They are hoping to get an invite into the year-round professional program to begin their dreams of being a professional dancer.

The documentary originally started as a television series called Ballet Girls in Canada in 2006 and was eventually edited into a full-length documentary four years later. Dance Dish was able to catch up with three of the stars and find out what they are doing over a decade later. This is the first article in a series featuring Kayla Steinman.

Kayla Steinman was best friends and roommates that summer with Sidnie Williams. Steinman was accepted into the professional division after the summer program where she spent three years at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (RWB). Williams was not accepted to the school at the end of the summer intensive.

“I learned a lot and it has benefitted me throughout my whole life,” says Steinman. “There were tough times, but overall, it’s one of the best experiences I ever had.”

From RWB, she went to Alberta Ballet for a few years.

“I started realizing in Winnipeg that my passion for ballet wasn’t as strong as my other classmates,” she explains. “I loved the technical side of it, but I didn’t have that love and passion for it.”

There was also the issue of weight for Steinman, it wasn’t fun having to maintain such a low body weight to stay in the program.

"I had to keep my weight at about 115-120 pounds even though I’m 5’8.5.” The average weight for a girl my height is about 160 pounds,” she explains. “That’s when I began to think: How much do I love this? How much is this going to take from me?”

Steinman was even taking extra classes and working out after class when she realized that she was never going to be the weight the school wanted her to be. When Steinman got home after her time at RWB, she realized what she was missing in everyday life.

“I started to go to public school and I saw all of the stuff that I had sacrificed in my life previously,” Steinman says. “I started to realize that I wanted to be a normal kid and I wanted to see what that felt like.”

She took some time off, but dance was still calling her name.

That doesn’t mean Steinman has completely hung up her dance shoes forever. She’s still teaching three to seven-year-olds their ballet basics.

Even though Steinman made a conscious decision to not pursue a professional career in dance, there are some regrets in the back of her mind.

“When you leave a career where you were pretty good at something and you had a chance to make it, you do question yourself. Why didn’t I continue to pursue it?” she says. “For a while, I just avoided thinking about it.”

Once she was ready to confront her dance past, Steinman had already found a new passion in kinesiology, which “filled that empty feeling inside.”

However, she will never regret the skills that ballet taught her and are carrying her through the next stage of her life.

“Just the work ethic alone, there’s nothing you can’t do,” she sums up. “You work your butt off!”


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