Ever watched, open-mouthed as Heather Ogden, principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada, executed a perfect pirouette? You, and your kids, can literally follow in her footsteps if you take lessons at the school that trained her, and dozens of internationally famous artists: the Richmond Academy of Dance.
The school was established 31 years ago by Artistic Directors Heather Joosten-Fair and Annette Jakubowski, and offers recreational and professional lessons in classical ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, tap, musical theatre, Pilates, hip-hop, experimental anatomy, acting and voice. There are also ballet and tap classes for adult beginners. What sets it apart? “It’s the calibre, background and experience of the faculty members,” say Joosten-Fair and Jakubowski. “Coupled with the personal care we put into each student’s program, the Academy’s quality and results are unmatched in the city.”
The school has a faculty of 30, all of whom have illustrious dancing and teaching careers, as well as many famous guest teachers. Award-winning choreographer Joosten-Fair specializes in tap, lyrical and jazz and has trained with some of the most famous names in dance. Jakubowski danced professionally with the Stuttgart Ballet, which took her all over the world before she became a registered teacher. Both Artistic Directors give their personal attention to every student. “We guide their goals and aspirations and design individual programs that best suit their needs,” they say. “Whether they are dancing in the recreational or professional program, each of our 500-plus students is an important and integral part of the Academy.”
After 31 years in business, the Directors have seen many students graduate to professional careers around the world. “Richmond Academy of Dance is recognized for training young artists whose graduates are now Canada’s newest and most exciting professionals,” say Jakubowski and Joosten-Fair. But the education goes beyond dance. “Our philosophy is to encourage the artistic potential of every student by providing outstanding training in an environment that balances the learning of life skills and the importance of an academic education with a devotion and dedication to the arts.”
To find out more about Richmond Academy of Dance, visit their website or call 604-278-7816.