Richmond Academy of Dance has been teaching dance, voice and acting for 31 years, but its approach is as fresh and exciting as ever. Here are five ways the school stands out.
1. Its students excel across the board
Some schools produce great ballet dancers, and some are great for singing, but students at Richmond Academy of Dance excel in all disciplines. It’s the only dance school in the Lower Mainland to have had provincial representatives to the BC Festival of Performing Arts in all dance and vocal categories: Classical Ballet, Modern, Stage, Musical Theatre Voice and Classical Voice.
2. The faculty is the best in the business
Annette Jakubowski and Heather Joosten-Fair founded the school 31 years ago after dancing and teaching all over the world. The entire faculty has similarly illustrious careers, as do the many visiting teachers and choreographers. This keeps the school at the leading edge of new disciplines and techniques. “Richmond Academy has played a huge role in my development as an artist, a dancer, an individual and a performer,” says Pamela Schneider, an Academy graduate who’s now with Cirque du Soleil. “My work ethic has stemmed from having trained with a dance company that believes in staying current and keeping high standards.”
3. The graduates go on to great things
The Academy has many grateful graduates who’ve become arts professionals. “Thank you, Richmond Academy of Dance, for helping me achieve my dreams,” says Heather Ogden, Principal Dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. Other alumni include Gregory Pember, a Toronto-based dancer and actor, and Julliard graduate Stephanie Amurao.
4. Every student is viewed as an individual
The Artistic Directors give their personal attention to each student, designing individualized programs to meet their needs and achieve their goals, whether they’re planning a career in the arts, or are taking dance classes for fun, exercise or to meet people in the community.
5. This summer, there’ll be programs for kids at every level
If your child wants to try out ballet, tap, hip-hop and musical theatre, there’s a five-day summer camp for students aged three to twelve this July. If your high-school student has a beautiful voice, she can head to the July Summer Vocal Camp for a week of private coaching and group classes. July also sees a week-long boot camp for students aged 12+ with strong tap experience, while in August the school is running intensive courses for pre-professional ballet/contemporary dancers and musical theatre students.
To find out more about Richmond Academy of Dance, visit their website or call 604-278-7816.