Doing it for the love of movement
© Svjetlana Vrbanic/The Aurora
Class participants at the Dansing Performance Studio work on a jazz routine. Shown here are (from left) Shelley Sheppard, Dawn Kennedy, Trudy Gulliver and instructor Cindy Byrne.
Labrador City — It’s not only good exercise, it’s fun. Four times a week dancers from Labrador City go through their routines at Dansing Performance Studio.
The dancers range in age from three to adult, running the gamut from experienced to beginner, but they all share the same love of music and movement.
Dancing is one of the most fun activities you can do, says instructor Cyndy Byrne, and she has a special connection with the music. Byrne was a gymnast in the past and she always liked mixing it up with the music on the floor routine.
“Most kids come to me and say they practiced at home, so it’s encouraging for them to stay active, be involved with their friends and in a social atmosphere, and to improve on their musicality,” she said.
“Some people come to classes mostly for a workout and social aspect, and other people are die-hard dancers and are here to learn every step, making sure they get it down to a ‘T’,” she added.
Dawn Kennedy has been dancing since the studio opened. Up until now her preferred style has been tap, but this is her first year doing jazz.
With jazz, she said, a dancer can interpret the music differently instead of focusing on precision.
She said Byrne always tells her to stop thinking about what she’s doing and to feel the music and go for it.
She likes the way Byrne teaches, she noted, showing the moves at a slow pace, more quickly with the music, and then reviewing trouble spots.
Byrne has been involved with the Dansing Performance Studio, which was opened by Leanne Haye in 2005, for the past four years. This is her first year teaching.
In the past, jazz and tap were the main dances taught, but this year Byrne has added modern to compliment jazz.
Byrne said jazz is sharper and on the beat, while modern is more free flowing and lyrical.
The studio has a fall and a winter session, and what students learn throughout the year they get to showcase at the Labrador West Arts and Culture Centre in the spring.
Byrne said interest in dancing has grown and this year there are over 200 students in the classes.
Practice makes perfect, she says of her students, and a willingness to learn, but all of it comes together in the end.
Kennedy said the girls really get to laugh at each other and do help one another out a lot.
“Not counting the exercise itself, it’s just so enjoyable—a chance to do something that’s fun and just getting out with the girls,” Kennedy said.
She really enjoys performing, she said, and to see other people enjoying something you worked so hard on.
She said she’ll keep up the dancing as long as there’s a place to learn.