Kimberley Dance Academy plans big season

New intructors; new classes from ballroom to acro offered this season at KDA

Jacqueline Morrow returns to Kimberley after 12 years teaching abroad to instruct Modern and Classical Ballet classes at the Kimberley Dance Academy this year.

The Kimberley Dance Academy (in the former Chapman Camp School building) is always a beehive of activity in the winter months, but this year there is so much planned, it may never lock its doors. As well as the standards like Tap, Modern, Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz and more, this year the Kimberley Dance Academy has added Acro, which is a combination of gymnastics and dance, Ballroom for adults, and a brand new musical theatre class.

Academy director Leslie Lindberg has rounded up a stable of gifted instructors and she can’t wait to get at it, beginning with registration night at the Dance Academy on Wednesday, September 5 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday, September 6, from 5 p.m to 8 p.m. There will be a dance supplier on hand on registration night for all your needs, from shoes to leotards.

“We have so much new this year,” Lindberg said. “Ballroom, Acro, Glee classes, lyrical. It’s so exciting. And we have a good influx of new people. I’m really looking forward to this year. We’re going to go pretty much seven days a week at the Dance Academy.”

Randy Tapp will be attempting to entice adults out for Saturday night ballroom classes. He will instruct with his partner Kim Bombardier.

“There is more interest in ballroom right now,” Tapp said.

It is quite likely that Dancing With the Stars and similar shows have people more aware of ballroom, but both he and Lindberg are quick to point out it’s a double-edged sword.

“Those shows sometimes give unrealistic impressions of what ballroom should be,” Lindberg said. “The idea is fun,” Tapp said. “If it’s not fun, it’s not being approached properly.”

Tapp says men are as interested as women in learning how to dance and he promises he won’t be dressing anyone up in sequins.

“The idea is to work in couples, teach people to dance so that they can dance with confidence anywhere. Our focus will be on adults on Saturday evenings. We want it to be a social time — fun rather than difficult. If you’re a little unsure, there’s no pressure.”

Lindberg is very excited about the new Acro program, to be instructed by Kristin Sharpe. It’s not gymnastics, Sharpe explained, but there are elements of gymnastics.

“This program was developed with the assistance of Cirque de Soleil,” Lindberg said. “You start at three and develop a good, solid base. Starting as a teen would be challenging.”

Lindberg said she wanted to offer more to students because if they have dreams of making it in the professional world, they must have skills in multi genres. In fact a statement from Rick Tjia, Senior talent scout for Cirque du Soleil says just that. “Cirque du Soleil sees acrobatic training for dancers valuable in the same light as it sees ALL multi disciplinary training for dancers valuable for today’s (and tomorrows) artistic workforce. To work in the dance milieu today, mastering several disciplines is almost a necessity; for Cirque du Soleil multi disciplinary is an absolute must for the majority of the dance roles.”

That required diversity is another reason Lindberg is so excited about the theatre/show choir class to be taught by local voice instructor Marta Zeegers. This course will focus on performance, choreography and singing.

“Everybody can sing,” Zeegers said. “We think this course will be a lot of fun.” The show choir course will go Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. and will work on a production number for the big Dance Academy Key City Theatre show in the spring.

Lindberg is also interested in enticing more boys into the Dance Academy and with that in mind will be offering street jazz lessons. “It’s not really hip hop, it’s what you see on videos and the popular dances on TV. We will be offering a boys only class. We encourage young boys and men not to be shy but come down and try it out.”

The Dance Academy will have an information table set up at the mass registration night hosted by the College of the Rockies Kimberley Campus on September 4, 6 and 10, 2012, but she would prefer people register at the Dance Academy. “We’d like you to come down, see the studio and register, everything you need will be here.” For full class schedules and more information, see kimberleydance.com

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