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Dance like it’s your 30th anniversary at local studio

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Ballet students leap into the air during a summer class at The Dance Centre

JORDAN THOMPSON Enlarge Image

Ballet students leap into the air during a summer class at The Dance Centre Photo Store

The Dance Centre will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this September.

Owner and director Joanne Tokaryk has been a part of the studio since its creation, starting as a ballet teacher. Jazz was later included in the program, and eventually several different genres, such as modern, tap, and hip hop were being taught.

Before moving into its current location at 3025 Ness Ave., The Dance Centre used to be a small studio in the Westwood area. It has been at its current location for the past 15 years.

"Our philosophy really is dance is for everyone, and no matter what age or ability or interest, everyone can partake and enjoy it," Tokaryk said. "It’s a great physical benefit. It’s a great creative outlet."

The Dance Centre offers classes for different levels of skill from preschool age to intermediate.

"The preschool program starts at age three or four," Tokaryk said. "And we also have a competitive stream for the student that wants a little more intensive experience. But we also offer the recreational program for anyone that really just wants to come out and enjoy and partake in the wonderful world that dance offers."

Tokaryk has seen a lot of changes in the dance world since The Dance Centre opened up, such as the increase of interest in hip hop.

"All the kids want to dance like the backup dancers for all the big recording artists," Tokaryk said. "But I’m finding that everyone is really appreciating the basics, which is ballet."

Tokaryk still teaches ballet at The Dance Centre.

"That has been my whole life," Tokaryk said.

In honour of the 30th anniversary, Tokaryk is thinking of giving back to the community with a benefit performance. But don’t mark your calendars yet — the event is still in the early stages of planning.

For more information about The Dance Centre, call 204-832-5992.

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