Training young dancers to professionalism is at the centre of the dance academy’s philosophy

After 32 years of providing dancers with the environment for their skills to flourish, Richmond Academy of Dance hasn’t changed its philosophy – motivating students to be the best versions of themselves and train serious young dancers who want to become professionals.

“It’s a long hard-earned path to make every person the best they can be which includes all the graduates that are working professionally today,” says Heather Joosten-Fair and Annette Jakubowski, the academy’s artistic directors.

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“We owe our longevity to staying true to our philosophy of instilling the joy of dance and exploring the potential in every student that enters the academy,” Jakubowski said. “We give everyone personal service and genuine care.”

That depth of commitment, along with an accomplished faculty, is what makes the academy unique.

“Our faculty is made up of true professionals, some of whom are still performing, and provide the highest standard possible to our students,” Jakubowski said.

“Our well-rounded training allows our future dancers and performers to be as prepared as possible,” Joosten-Fair added. “We have award-winning departments in all genres of dance, acting and voice and are the only school in the Lower Mainland to have had provincial winners in all levels of Classical Ballet, Jazz, Stage, Contemporary, Classical Voice and Musical Theatre Voice.”

Keeping the academy fresh and contemporary over its long history has been key as new dance forms have emerged and evolved.

“Over the years, we have expanded by offering Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Hip hop, Voice, Acting, Experimental Anatomy classes, Stage, Body Conditioning, and Injury Prevention Awareness that gives a more scientific approach to understanding the body,” Jakubowskisaid. “When we began back in 1987 we only had Classical Ballet, Tap and Jazz classes.”

Over the years there have been numerous successes as students have earned recognition on many levels and gone on to professional careers. Plus, many graduates have returned to the academy as instructors to pass along their experience.

That connection is part of why the academy’s future is bright as it remains committed to instilling the joy of dance, singing and acting in all students, and producing more graduates who go on to professional careers.

“We are also developing international student-exchanges and will continue to grow as an integral and respected part of the social fabric of the community,” Joosten-Fair said.

For more information on the Richmond Academy of Dance, visit their website or call 604-278-7816.

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