Dancers of all ages will be back at the barre as the Northern Lights Dance Academy heads back to class this month.
Now in the third season of its second generation, the school is headed by Tammy Dowell, who acts as lead instructor and organizer.
Dowell was inspired to restart the academy three years ago after taking her daughter, then 3, to see the Winnipeg Ballet perform in Flin Flon.
“She wanted to go on stage [and] wanted to dance,” said Dowell. “She’s what triggered the idea.”
Inspired by her child’s desire, Dowell sat down with a board and made the decision to reopen the Flin Flon academy.
Dowell had attended the school as a child, before it was disbanded.
“It went really well when I was [younger],” she said, “and it’s been really good and exciting.”
Now a trained dancer, Dowell says she’s looking forward to the season and passing on her love of the art.
“There’s something about music that I love. I can’t play an instrument to save my life,” Dowell said, “so I love to dance.”
Passion for dance
Dowell’s passion is contagious.
“When someone sees someone else dancing and you see the whole crowd and want to go,” she said. “You can move wherever you want.”
Northern Lights Dance Academy has added a tap class this year, for a total of four classes offered. Younger dancers begin with ballet and jazz, and beginner hip-hop and beginner tap are available for older dancers.
Dowell doesn’t expect all dancers to come out as prima ballerinas. “It’s a recreational dance school. It’s not somewhere to get your ticket and (take) your exams,” she said.
As long as they give it a try, she’s happy. “We give them the dance steps that they learn, and how they put their own style into (it) is great.”
Classes are about to start, with the first held on Monday, September 22.
As they learn and progress, students dance their way toward two recitals. Dowell says they will learn the basic steps and then work on their dances for performance.
Still time to join
Since the reopening of the school, Dowell has seen roughly 100 students each year.
“The numbers are unreal,” she said, pleased. “We were wowed the first year.”
The Dance Academy was one of the organizations represented at the City of Fin Flon’s Registration Under One Roof last weekend. With enrolment ongoing, Dowell doesn’t know how many students she’ll have for the upcoming season. She hopes to remain near the 100 mark, but says she won’t be turning anyone away.
“We won’t be putting a limit on (any classes) other than on our tap class,” she said.
Dowell is still accepting registrations, and said the doors will be open to sign dancers up Monday evening.
The Northern Lights Dance Academy is open to both male and female dancers.