Dancers from both Diamond Dance Academy and Aurora Dance Academy joined forces for a dance workshop put on by Marquis Dance Academy in Winnipeg.
The workshop brought in different instructors to teach ballet, hip-hop, contemporary and jazz. This is the second time the workshop has been offered in Thompson, the first being during spring break in March.
Wayne Santos, the hip-hop instructor, says in the few months since they were here last, he’s noticed an improvement. “The people that are here this time are the people that are really hungry and want to learn. We really want to establish a presence here and try to offer a service they don’t usually get, like these workshops.”
The attendance this time around was lower and they believe it’s because it’s summertime in Thompson.
The workshop took place at Juniper School from July 9-12, and dancers were separated between younger and older dancers.
Kaleah Crump, another choreographer, said even the younger kids have improved and are picking up moves better this time around. “They’ve grown a lot. They pick up choreography better. They were really good before, but now they know how to execute it better. They listen to their music more. We focused on musicality, too.”
The dancers from Thompson were encouraged to try all the different genres of workshops, but were allowed to stick to just one if that’s what they wished to focus on.
Santos says he’s happy he was asked to come teach new faces, and to see what people in the north are capable of. “That’s the most rewarding thing as a teacher. Seeing the people that are actually taking what you’re giving them, applying it, and then using it.” He continued by saying dancers in Thompson have what it takes to make it big. “There were people that you throw certain moves at and it didn’t fly over their heads. I totally think anyone can do it, and that’s why I like coming here. If you want to do it all you have to do is put your mind to it and work.”
Therese Santos, the director for the dance workshop, hopes for better attendance next time they travel to Thompson, and hopes parents continue to push and encourage their children to dance. “When they dance, that’s all they think about. They’re present, and it can be a good stress release.”