For Andrea Simpson-Fowler, the show title Dancing Through Life sums up the goal of Leaping Feats Creative Danceworks and its partner organizations – to teach lifeskills through dance.
“We use it as a metaphor,” explains the studio’s artistic director.
“Often we use things that happen at the studio and try to draw parallels for the kids in real-life situations,” she adds.
“If you are choreographing a dance and you’re having trouble coming to an agreement about a creative choice with your friends, that’s normal. That’s real-life stuff, learning how to collaborate, how to make the right choice and how to come to an agreement.”
Dancing Through Life has two separate components, with Repertory students (“basically our kids who are really committed”) performing May 26 and 27 at 7 pm.
The Recreational students (“the little cuties”) perform Saturday May 28 at 7 pm and Sunday May 29 at 1 pm, with some of the more advanced dancers appearing as special guests. All shows are at the Yukon Arts Centre.
Simpson-Fowler calls the recital “the funnest, most amazing final report” the dancers could have.
“It happens in one night, under lights, with an audience and applause and all that stuff, so it’s really kind of a positive finish to the year.”
The shows offer a variety of dance genres, including jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop and breakdancing.
“This year we have something really special. We’re doing our first classical ballet, and it’s excerpts from Peter Pan. And it’s the first year we’re going to have kids en pointe.”
With over 500 students and an eclectic menu of options, Leaping Feats is set to welcome a new permanent breakdance instructor from Korea, named Bboy Taiyo.
“We’re really lucky to have him working with our breakdancers, because he’s a world champion,” Simpson-Fowler says.