It’s hard to believe that Dancing with the Stars just entered its 18th season in production. It’s incredible to think that this much attention is still being generated by an art form that has been around for a countless amount of time. In fact, the earliest Canadian reference to dance was made by Jacques Cartier in 1534. He wrote in his diary about being approached by “wild men…dancing and making signs of joy and mirth.”

At Performing Dance Arts, we’re amazed at how far society has come since Cartier’s voyage across Chalem Bay. Dance is now a stable Canadian industry, recently popularized by the advent of several reality TV shows, Dancing with the Stars being the most prominent.

More and more Canadians are turning to dance as an occupation, the majority of the dancers being between the ages of 15 and 24. This indicates that it is primarily a young person’s game, which you may think doesn’t bode well for the industry as a whole. But in fact, it’s quite the contrary.

Dance as an industry is surprisingly diverse. Within the art itself, there are different genres of dance: ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and tap, just to name a few. But there are also a number of opportunities that exist around the art: producer, director, choreographer, and manager are all occupations that encompass the discipline. Dance studios, dance schools and private dance classes have been opened to accommodate the growing number of dancers, which means dance instructors have grown to become another important occupation within the industry.

Dance competitions are also very popular and offer another variation of how diverse this industry can be. Competitions such as Thunderstruck and Dance Canada are essentially year-round businesses that themselves offer a variety of opportunities for expression, be it through the art form itself or through organizing these events.

And it must be noted that so many of the young people that decide to take dance classes or find other ways to get into dance do it from a place of passion. For dancers specifically, entering a career can be daunting and extremely competitive, yet they continue to push through primarily on their love for the expression.

At Performing Dance Arts, we dedicate ourselves to teaching and nurturing the passion that is present in all the young dancers we see walk through our doors. The training our dancers receive builds self-esteem, coordination, work ethic, creativity, and a healthy mind and body that transcend the dance floor. We also recognize the role we play in promoting an active lifestyle, something that has been said to be lacking from the lives of young people today.

We’ve been doing this for over 25 years now and have been blessed to witness the many accomplishments of our dancers. Whether seeing a shy teenager blossom into a wonderfully expressive young adult or having one of our students go on to perform professionally, we are proud of all of their achievements.

Dance classes at Performing Dance Arts starts for children at the age of three. What a benefit it can be if your child learns to express him or herself at such a young age! We are constantly inspired by all of our dancers and hope we can return some of that passion.

Sources:

“Dance History,” The Canadian Encyclopedia web site; http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/dance-history/, last accessed April 11, 2014.

Hank, M., “TV Monday: Dances with the Stars returns, switches things up,” O.Canada.com, March 17, 2014; http://o.canada.com/entertainment/television/tv-monday-dancing-with-the-stars-returns-switches-things-up-with-video/.

“Directors’ Message,” Thunderstruck Canada web site;

http://thunderstruckcanada.com/about-thunderstruck-canada/directors-message, last accessed April 11, 2014.

“Dance Canada – Dance Competition in Ontario,” Dance Canada web site; http://dancecanadainc.ca/index.php, last accessed April 11, 2014.

“About Thunderstruck Canada Dance Competitions,” Thunderstruck Canada web site http://thunderstruckcanada.com/about-thunderstruck-canada-dance-competitions, last accessed April 11, 2014.