The Parksville Ballet School has been nurturing dance students for the past 40 years with Linda Klassen at the helm, but starting August 1 there will be new owners who intend to carry on Klassen’s legacy.
Sarah DeVito and Deena Carl are taking over ownership of the school and plan to continue the dance training program that Klassen has nurtured in the community since 1973.
All of the same dance programs will be offered at the studio when classes resume in the fall, but one thing that will change is the name.
The studio located in Stanford Centre in Parksville will be called Innovate Dance Arts.
DeVito and Carl who are both Parksville Ballet School alumni have taken the skills they honed at the school to become dance instructors themselves.
The pair started the Helix Dance Company five years ago in Parksville and since then they have been mentoring young dancers in contemporary, modern and jazz dance genres.
DeVito has been running the jazz program at the Parksville Ballet School for 10 years and Carl has taught ballet and jazz at the school.
Carl will now be the director of primary and pre-primary dancers and DeVito will be the director of the jazz and contemporary programs at Innovate Dance Arts.
The two have been working hard putting together an amazing team for the 2014/2015 season and coming up with some new classes.
Colette Schilberg will offer intensive Cecchetti ballet and general program ballet while Sarah Switzer will instruct modern dance and ballet and Voula Rounis will teach Hip Hop.
New to the faculty is Jennifer Quibell teaching intensive ballet, Shilo Brockelbank instructing tap and modern stage and Miranda Atkinson another alumni of Parksville Ballet School who will offer musical theatre and voice lessons.
Klassen who will still be on the faculty teaching master classes and teacher training said she is thrilled that Carl and DeVito are taking over the school and she is looking forward to not working seven days a week.
“I am leaving the studio in good hands. Both girls have been dancers in the studio for a long time. Deena started with me when she was five years old.”
Klassen who is proud of the accomplishments her students have achieved over the many years said she is not hanging up her ballet slippers and she will still teach a couple of days a week.
DeVito and Carl have a clear vision for the school and while they admit it will be a lot of work running the studio both of their families are behind them 100 percent.
“Our families are excited for us. This will be a family business and we are taking it on with the full support of them. This is where we grew up and we are passionate about dance,” said Carl
DeVito said between the two of them there are two generations of Parksville Ballet School dance education and they intend to create a top notch well rounded school.
“We want to continue to foster an environment where the love of dance, music and creativity can be explored and enjoyed at every age and at every level,” stated DeVito.
Dance classes from September to June and over the summer break there are dance camps run through the RDN recreation program.
There will be some new programs starting in the fall including a Barre Fitness class headed by Carl.
“I have become a certified Barre Fitness instructor. It is a new craze for fitness that has a ballet twist. It encompass all genres of dance but has a fitness component,” explained Carl.
Other new programs include: Gotta Sing, Gotta Act, Gotta Dance, Acro for dancers, Conditioning Stretch and Strength and Improv movement workshops.
Pre-registration for the 2014/2015 season is taking place June 23 and 24 from 3 until 7 p.m. at the dance studio.
For more information phone: 250-248-9522.