For the love of the dance
For the past 25 years, Dancestreams Youth Dance Company has been enriching the training of career-minded dancers on Vancouver Island, and seeing the successes year by year — and they’re not done yet.
The award-winning company will hold its annual master classes and auditions on Sunday, September 11 at Vibrant Studios in Nanaimo.
This past season the dancers, who hail from Qualicum Beach, Campbell River, Port Alberni, Nanaimo and Duncan, were fortunate to have new works set on them by Canadian dance icon Serge Bennathan, Karissa Barry, Amber Funk and Sara Coffin.
The group meets every Sunday throughout the season in Parksville for six hours, where company members are treated to master classes with guest teachers and choreographers, workshops on nutrition, career planning, pilates
A hallmark of the non-profit program is the access to some of Canada’s most sought after choreographers and teachers, with the opportunity to perform in the annual regional tour and periodic foreign tours which have included China in 1994, Los Angeles in 1998 and 2001; Belgium in 2003 and Germany in 2003 and 2008.
The repertoire includes works by Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award winners Wen-Wei Wang, Joe Laughlin, Bengt Jorgen as well as Bev Aitchison, Shay Kuebler, Louis-Martin Charest, Hannah Stilwell and a host of others.
Dancestreams alumni have gone on to professional training and careers around the world, including Ballet BC, Ballet Kelowna, Ballet Victoria, Cirque du Soleil, London Studio Centre, Julliard, English National Ballet.
Last season’s graduate, Elizabeth Elwood from Qualicum Beach School of Dance, has been accepted to the National Ballet School of Canada Teacher Training Program in Toronto beginning this fall.
As an emerging artist, she was featured in the May edition of The Dance Current magazine, and was winner of the A-Channel’s Amazing Kid scholarship.
Dancestreams also awarded Elwood with the coveted Aitchison Award and scholarship for outstanding professionalism and contributions to the company.
Bursaries were also awarded at the annual Dancestreams Dance Odyssey to dancers from 15 Island dance schools.
On September 11, Island dancers will have the chance to take classes with Monica Proenca, the co-director of Lamondance of North Vancouver, for ballet and Claire French for modern.
Brazilian-born Proenca has performed and choreographed with many International companies and continues her collaboration with Science Friction Productions, directed by Shannon Moreno and Farley Johansson.
Dancers don’t have to be auditioning to take advantage of these classes for dancers, aged 13 to 18, but those wishing to audition must take both.
Advanced dancers age 11 and up are welcome to attend. If there is sufficient interest, a junior company will be considered.
Pre-registration is appreciated by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit www.dancestreams.ca.
— Submitted by