This past summer has seen several significant changes at The Dance Gallery. Over this time I have searched for the best way to convey to you the roots of these changes and the impact they will have on The Dance Gallery and our students.
Alternatively, I've decided to share with you a bit of The Dance Gallery's history and my own dedication to mentoring young dancers. It is my hope that with a clearer understanding of these histories and an understanding of The Dance Gallery's pathway to the future that families will be able to make informed choices about their children's dance school.
In 1964 I was recruited from England by Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Farrelly, co-founders of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, to teach for them at the Canadian School of Ballet in Kelowna. This early experience was instrumental in my commitment to building a strong technical foundation for all dancers whilst maintaining a high degree of professionalism. Most importantly this period was also where I recognized the importance of nurturing life-long student/teacher mentor relationships.
And so when I arrived in Kamloops over 40 years ago I chose to work for Judy Hunter's School of Dance as it had also been built upon similar standards and values. When I purchased the school and established The Dance Gallery in 1996 I remained committed to technical excellence and began to foster mentor relationships between our current and previous students and our teachers. I continue to work as a practical teaching supervisor for the Royal Academy of Dance with student teachers across BC. The Dance Gallery also provides ongoing opportunities for our young dancers to learn from our previous students who have established themselves professionally in dance companies, the theatre, and as choreographers. These relationships are built upon the provision of a space whereby all students can meet their greatest potential, in a safe and encouraging atmosphere.
It is with this in mind that I can confirm Lori Birk and Marylou Joseph will be integral components of The Dance Gallery as we move forward. Both Lori and Marylou embody the character and values The Dance Gallery aspires to and both share my commitment to the art of teaching and the inspirational mentorship of young dancers. Marylou will continue to lead the Ballet program and Lori will teach and choreograph both recreational and competitive jazz classes as well as lyrical and hip-hop classes.
The Dance Gallery remains an established business built upon a set of standards and values that have evolved from being a constant presence in the Kamloops dance community. Welcome back to a new season - we look forward to seeing you next week. And remember dance is your soul in flight!