Some gifted dancers who train in Parksville took their skills to the next level during an intensive dance camp earlier this month.
Innovate Dance Arts in collaboration with Helix Dance Theatre Society provided an opportunity for serious dancers aged 12 and over in their Summer Intensive 2015 enrichment program.
Sarah DeVito and Deena DeVito-Carl operate both the Innovate Dance Arts studio in Parksville and the pre-professional dance company Helix Dance Theatre.
Four years ago they decided to take advantage of their professional network with the dance company and bring a wonderful opportunity to the Island for dancers wanting to push their artistic and technical abilities.
Dancers taking part in a two-week summer intensive camp July 13-24 had the opportunity to work with high calibre artists from all over the word.
Participants from Qualicum Beach, Parksville as well as Port Alberni, Nanaimo, Port McNeill and Salt Spring Island not only improved their dance skills, but got to train with some stars of the dance community.
Week one featured guest teachers and choreographer Megan O’Shea out of Toronto and Makaila Wallace who has been dancing with Ballet BC for more than 10 years providing their expertise.
Dario Dinuzzi from Italy and Heather Laura Gray from Vancouver, two highly sought after choreographers and artists brought their many years of experience to the Parksville studio in week two.
The dancers took part in a rigourous training schedule dancing daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day taking daily classes in ballet with Dinuzzi, and modern, contemporary with Gray.
Dinuzzi has danced with Aterballetto, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens and Ballet BC.
Gray has danced with Response Dance, Restless Productions & Dancers Dancing, as well as having great commercial success working for TV and film as a dancer, actor and choreographer.
Although Innovate Dance Arts has some highly-trained permanent staff, DeVito said they are also committed to providing an exciting array of visiting guest instructors.
“This allows students to continually evolve as they master different styles, becoming more brilliant, well-rounded dancers.
“It also nurtures the talent of up-and-coming choreographers, as they create new group and solo work for our talented students,” she said.
DeVito said providing exciting instruction is conducive to technical and artistic progress.
Helix Dance Theatre Society is a non-profit organization supporting a pre-professional youth dance company that encourages dancers to move beyond studio technique.
DeVito said Helix fills a void in the area by providing dancers who crave more of an opportunity to work in a totally different setting and express themselves through movement.
They seek out guest artists to teach master classes, workshops and set choreographic works on company members and this year DeVito said the girls were fortunate to have Dinuzzi and Gray as their mentors.
Eleven of the 16 senior company members had the opportunity to work further with Gray in creating a piece for Helix’s 2015/16 performance tour.
Through Helix’s generous network and sponsorship of professionals, the partnership with Innovate Dance Arts provided a summer intensive camp with outstanding instruction for serious dancers aged 12 and up as well as some memories to last a life time.