From Pirouettes to Floor-flips, Dance Education Helps Aspiring Young Dancers Perfect their Moves

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© Photo: S. Watkins
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© Photo: S. Watkins
Dance masterclass contemporary credit rana laviolette
© Photo: Rana Laviolette
Dance photo thank you credit

With the help of your generous donations, young dancers had incredible and diverse learning opportunities through NAC Dance Education & Outreach during the first months of 2020.

When Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s (RWB) Wizard of OZ was in town, 17 intermediate and advanced dancers from Ottawa, Gatineau and Montréal attended a 1.5 hour masterclass with Ballet Master and Outreach Coordinator Jaime Vargas. Students ages 14 to 25 were thrilled to receive high-level training from Jaime, who returns to Ottawa annually with the RWB when it performs at the NAC.
Shortly after, 23 young dancers practiced a very different style of dance in a two-hour masterclass at The School of Dance with dancer and choreographer Sovann Rochon-Prom Tep from Dana Gingras’ company Animals of Distinction.

Unlike the ballet masterclass in January where students spent much of their time on their toes, these students stayed close to the ground, relying heavily on their hands as they learned contemporary and breaking techniques.
Sovann, a multi-award-winning break-dancer, shared his secret tips and created an incredible group dynamic.

“It was a unique opportunity for the dancers to learn this style, especially from someone of Sovann’s calibre”,” says Siôned Watkins, NAC Dance Education Associate and Teaching Artist. “The icing on the cake was that they also attended Animals of Distinction’s performance of FRONTERA, where they saw some of the moves they learned being performed on stage by a company of exceptional artists, including Sovann.”

Check out Sovann on-stage performing FRONTERA at the NAC here.

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