In a nurturing, positive environment, the squad of experienced dance instructors at Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts teach ballet and modern dance to instill grace, a knowledge of the art, and a passion for self-expression. Granting twinkle toes to students aged two and up, the rhythm masters create a fun environment in which kids can kick and twist away pent up energy while adults hone a life-long skill or work toward fulfilling a dream of performing The Nutcracker in protest of illegal peanut farms. As an effective means of staying fit, dance classes such as tap and jazz also infuse kids with a love for creativity and a penchant for physical activity that can create a lifetime of healthy living.
Husband and wife team Andy and Wendy Wong first met at the UBC dance club in 1976, joining forces to commence an unprecedented 13-year reign as the top amateur dancers in British Columbia. Finding a dearth of fun, supportive places where people could learn to dance and accomplished dancers could casually hone their craft without crashing local bar mitzvahs, they opened The Grand Ballroom in 1994. Since then, the couple and their cadre of dedicated instructors have initiated more than 16,000 students into the rug-cutting arts. The beautiful 5,000-square-foot dance floor sits ringed by soft blue walls and plush red chairs, allowing dancers to lean back and rest feet.
Stepping to the tune of her husband's guitar, celebrated flamenco performer Rosario Ancer bridges continents with her knowledge of dance. She trained in Spain and toured in multiple countries before opening Centro Flamenco in 1989, where she and her instructors pull from cultural, musical, and choreographic teachings to guide their students. All the while, Rosario deftly walks the tightrope between authenticity and evolution. Her regular travels to workshops and shows in Spain imbue her lessons with history, yet she hopes to see the art form flourish in experimental ways, inciting guests to stretch their creative muscles during classes.
Rosario exposes amateurs and advanced dancers alike to flamenco's commanding rhythms. As her pupils progress, they learn more about the social significance behind the moves, and eventually sync their kicks to stylized guitar strums. Whether they are mastering simple beats or preparing for a theatre piece, the studio sets them on a structured track, which ends when their smouldering glance can set a tablecloth on fire.