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Dance-happy dreamer gets down and dirty starting to show up as the snowmelts away. “I amoffering to scoop the poop and wa- ter flowers for people who live inmy town,” reads the notice for Ben’s Dare to DreamSer- vices at www.bensballetdream.wordpress. com. “I am ready to work for money to pay for National Ballet School summer school.” That is the offer. He will show up with shovel, rake, and a plastic garbage bag to collect every single piece of doggie doo-doo, or kitty patties sitting around the yard before they soften up and start to raise a stink. He has the blessing and encouragement of his parents, Leigh and Sandra Craig-Browne, for his efforts because they know their son has the will and determination to make his dream come true. He’s already made an impression in the ballet community, winning


Dance. It’s all Benjamin Craig-Browne ever really thinks about and it would be the dream of a lifetime for him to become a professional dancer. But as the old saying goes, “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride.” Young Ben- jamin has no intention of wasting his time wishing for his dream to come true. The 10-year-old artistic entrepreneur is rolling up his sleeves and getting down and dir- ty to make his dream a reality by training and practising his dance moves and also offering a unique spring-cleaning service to homeowners who have big dogs for pets and a backyard full of canine bathroom souvenirs

Dare to dream. Benjamin Craig-Browne loves to dance more than anything in the world and his dream to be a professional dancer can get a little closer to reality if he can earn enough to pay for a summer school session with the National Ballet School. —photos Craig-Browne Family

guest roles for children’s parts in special holiday productions in Ottawa of The Nut- cracker with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the NAC Orchestra’s Trick or Treat with a Beat, and as a page boy in a limited engagement of Sleeping Beauty earlier this year with the visiting Hong Kong Ballet. Now he has a chance for a summer school session this year with the National Ballet School. He passed the audition for entry into the summer school session registration list. Now he needs to get together the $4500 to cover tuition and other costs. His parents have committed $1000 themselves for his tuition but that still leaves $3500 to find. With the help of his parents, Benjamin has an online fundraiser pledge drive linked through his website. But he does not want to rely just on the generosity of others. So, he has his “pooper scooper” service in place. As far as he is concerned he will do what he has to do to

make his dance dream a reality. There is nothing he likes more than to dance. “I love to dance, because it’s fun,” he explained. “It gets you warmed up. I like most types of dance. I’ve done tap, ballet, hip hop, and I like playing the dance game, Dance Central.” He is a past member of Rockland’s Extra- vaDanse Academy and is at present enrolled withThe School of Dance inOttawa-Orléans. At his website, he has begun a blog to tell about himself and his adventures in dance. “Of course I want to be a professional dancer,” he said. “My dreams are to be able to travel the world, dancing in a lot of places, being Ben, me, and being able to perform in all sorts of cultures.” Anyone wishing to help Benjamin live his dream with either a pledge or a “poop scoop” job, can either get in touch through his website, email sandra.craigbrowne@, or phone 613-446-8760.

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