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FROMTWINKLE,TWINKLE TOSUPERSTAR MCMA.CA ManitobaConservatoryofMusic&Arts 204-988-7650 Musicclassesforallages,instrumentsandskilllevels OPENHOUSE:September1&3,6-8p.m. CONTEMPORARY BALLET JAZZ AFRICAN TAP HIPHOP BREAKINʼ CREATIVEMOVEMENT CLASSES forages2toadult THESCHOOLOFCONTEMPORARYDANCERS NATIONALLYRENOWNEDPROFESSIONALPROGRAM AFFILIATEDWITHTHEUNIVERSITYOFWINNIPEGBA(HONS)DEGREEAVAILABLE 104-211BannatyneAve. 204-452-1239 EXCITINGJUNIORPROFESSIONAL&GENERALPROGRAMS By Donna Maxwell for the Free Press TV programs like So You Think You Can Dance? and Dancing with the Stars have raised the profile of dancing over the last decade, and instructor Shelley Shearer says it's definitely made people more aware of how challenging, and beneficial, dancing can be. S hearer is the owner of Shelley Shearer School of Dance, which is celebrating its 30th year in Winnipeg offering all types of dance. As a former professional dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Shearer says the recent boom has brought more people to the dance floor, but notes Winnipeg has always had a respect and love for dance. She's seen a lot of changes over the years, but says a dance class is still essentially a dance class. What makes it more important these days is the fact it takes kids away from technology for a part of their day and develops not only physical skills, but personal relationships. "Dance I think, as a place in a child's development, may be more important now than ever," Shearer says. "Technology has a place, but it's so addictive. "Dance is one of those few things, along with music and sports, that take children into an environment not driven by technology. In fact in a dance class they don't bring their cellphones into the classroom and they have to have a human interactive experience." Shearer says her students gain important life skills in dance class, and she's always running into former students who tell her the classes have helped them in their careers. Current students tell her the class helps them deal with the stresses of teenage life, which can be great. "There's a lot of pressure on kids today… they feel stressed," Shearer says. "When they come to the dance class there are challenges, it's a disciplined environment, a structured environment but they find it de-stressing." For the first time this year, Shearer's students can register online for classes, which start Sept. 8 at 125-133 Scurfield Blvd. Visit to register. Lucy Reveco, owner and director of L.A. Dance Academy, is excited to be offering aerial silks classes this year along with all the other disciplines. She says her new location in the Ridgecrest Mall has 20-foot ceilings, making it ideal for aerial. "The really unique thing about our studio now is that we have the aerial silks," Reveco says. "As far as I know I am the only dance studio in the north side of the city that actually has this." Reveco hired teachers to hold an aerial workshop last year and it was a big hit, with both competitive dancers and recreational ones signing up. "We had waiting lists," she says. She's since purchased equipment and hired instructors, all certified by the Manitoba Gymnastics Association, and in September will begin offering aerial silks and acro classes, along with the hip hop, jazz, tap and other classes L.A. Dance has offered for the past 11 years. Reveco says skills developed through aerial go hand in hand with dance and it's great for building core strength and flexibility. During last year's workshop, she says students from age eight all the way up to adults participated and enjoyed the class. A 10-week, Sunday afternoon aerial silks class will be offered this fall, along with all the other dance disciplines. You can register online at ladanceacademy. com, call 204-334-0080 or drop in at 2405 Main St. Over at Kickit Dance Studio, co- directors Lori Watson and Robert Boger are looking forward to another great year of dance. Watson says they have about 900 students — from age two up — enrolled each year and they offer all styles of dance. They're really excited about a program called Funky Boys, which is for six- to eight-year-old boys, and instructed by Boger and Robert Pili. "It's been very successful. We've had a lot of boys come through that program and now they're taking all styles of dance," Boger says. "It's been a great way to encourage young male dancers to get into the world of dance." Watson says boys come from all over the city to take the program because they feel comfortable in a class of all boys, and being instructed by two males. Boger agreed. "I feel like through that program we gained a lot of boys. This year we even had a competitive boys' group of 15… which is really exciting," he says. Of course, girls are welcome at Kickit, and Watson says everyone who takes classes at the studio, whether they're recreational dancers or someone hoping to pursue dance as a career, is treated the same. "I think one thing that kind of makes our place unique is we really have a great family atmosphere. Everyone here is part of the Kickit family, whether you come once a week or you're a full- time competitive student. Everybody is welcomed and it's really a fun, friendly atmosphere for both parents and students." Registration for classes can only be done in person at the studio, located at 986 Lorimer Blvd., unit 3. ❚ Students get moving at Shelley Shearer School of Dance. Phil Hossack photo Below: Students take part in classes at Kickit Dance Studio. Kickit Dance Studio photo 2 B a c k t o S c h o o l , M u S i c & D a n c e … a n D M o r e ! - S u p p l e M e n t t o t h e W i n n i p e g F r e e p r e S S - S at u r D ay, a u g u S t 15 , 2 0 15

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