This week, students from West Hill Collegiate Institute shed their backpacks and pencils to take part in a unique workshop that teaches creativity and team building through dance. Hosted at the National Ballet School of Canada, students are participating in the five-day Dancing to Connect program run by New York City’s Battery Dance company.
The award-winning workshop has been delivered to teenage learners around the world with the goals of uniting their communities, empowering their voices and addressing bullying.
"I felt like I'm learning more about how to express myself through movement,” says Grade 11 student MG. "It's expanding my knowledge of the art form itself. Working in a proper dance studio makes me feel more valued as a dance student. The teacher makes me confident in experimenting in new ways."
In addition to expanding their ideas about the possibilities of dance, the workshop also enables students to access training in a studio environment and to receive individualized coaching from professional dancers.
Students describe the experience as life changing, informative, inspiring and very moving.
“It’s a place where you could be free,” said one student. “It was a place to grow.”
Over the course of the week, students are exposed to different perspectives and approaches to dance and they work on a creative performance of their own. Today, students will take to the stage and perform their dance in two showings at the Betty Oliphant Theatre.