Penticton dancers ready to strut their stuff

Penticton School of Dance showcasing dancers this weekend in end-of-year recital.

Penticton school of Dance students Olivia Ranson (right) and Catrina Withler (left) rehearse the Snow Waltz on Wednesday at Cleland Theatre in preparation for the recital this weekend.

Penticton school of Dance students Olivia Ranson (right) and Catrina Withler (left) rehearse the Snow Waltz on Wednesday at Cleland Theatre in preparation for the recital this weekend.

Penticton School of Dance will be showcasing their youngest dancers to performers from their Academy at the Cleland Theatre this weekend for the end-of-year recital All the World’s a Stage.

“Referencing the much-loved quote from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, All the World’s a Stage is a celebration of our cultural diversity and the many styles and flavours that diversity can inspire,” said Penticton School of Dance artistic director Krystal Garib.

The production is a way to celebrate the achievements of the students this year.

“The faculty and I are so pleased with the progress our students have made this year. We are all looking forward to showcasing their talents and hard work on stage,” said Garib.

Those who make it to the shows this weekend will see ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, Bollywood, contemporary, african dancing, popping, locking and break dancing styles. Garib said there is something to suit everyone.

“Even for the boys. We have lots of boys dancing this year. We have a huge boys program at the school now,” said Garib.

This includes the Dream High Crew, who Garib spotted dancing on the street during the Penticton Farmer’s Market. She decided to sponsor them when she took over the Penticton School of Dance last summer.

“That was so they could start to study and get them off the street and into the studio to learn other forms of dance,” said Garib of the dance crew. “It is an opportunity for them to adapt to being in a theatre, on a stage and picking up other styles of dance.”

Garib was once a student at the school and has seen lots of successes in her first year as owner. This year was also the successful launch of the Academy at Penticton School of Dance.

Approximately 15 students took part in the comprehensive B.C. Ministry of Education approved program that is similar to the Okanagan Hockey Academy. Students, mostly who aim to be professional dancers or instructors, spend the morning on academic studies then take dance instruction in the afternoon.

“It has been a great opportunity for our students who have all done very well. It is a huge confidence builder for the students,” said Garib.

In addition to dance curriculum, classes also incorporate lessons in dance history, performance art, yoga, health and nutrition. To further augment their training outside the classroom, students have the opportunity to take part in various workshops, competitions and recitals throughout the year.

“Whether our students wish to pursue a career as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, or to simply enrich their lives with this challenging and beautiful art form, this program is designed to help them become the best dancer they can be,” said Garib.

Garib said the school will also have a summer intensive where the students will have the opportunity to perform during Peach Festival.

A summer dance battle will also be held during the festival in August and is open to all dance genres.

Performances for All the World’s a Stage take place June 1 at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Penticton School of Dance, at suite 221, 1475 Fairview Road or call 250-492-4440.