Pemberton Dance Studio is wrapping up a busy year with two shows at the Maury Young Arts Centre on June 11.
The first, Delightful Decades, will feature both the studio’s recreational and competitive classes performing a variety of genres, from hip hop and acrobatics to jazz.
“That’s a celebration of inspirational music that our students and our teachers found exciting, across the board,” says Anna Kroupina, who runs the studio.
The second, The Seasons, features its ballet dancers—spanning from its youngest members to the studio’s three teachers.
“It’s mainly ballet and we go through all the seasons, kind of a mishmash of different classical music that Anna has pulled from various composers and orchestras. It’s quite a variety in there,” says Angela Waldie, another dance teacher. (Danielle Poupart rounds out the group.)
Adds Kroupina: “It has a few surprises about what each season holds for many of us, not just around nature. It’s around events we have happen during those seasons, in our lives, with our families, and overall. So, we’re touching on a wider concept.”
While the year-end shows are slightly smaller in scale than their post-COVID comeback production of Alice in Wonderland last year, the studio is also already gearing up for the fall, when it will produce a Sea to Sky corridor-wide take on The Nutcracker.
Auditions took place in late May and early June with both young dancers and adults, spanning the entire corridor.
“We had dancers from Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton come and try out for roles, and we can’t wait to be onstage and to bring all the pieces together, all the dancers together, and all the families together to reunite our community even more,” Kroupina says.
That show will also take place at The Maury Young Arts Centre before Christmas.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity, even open for adults,” Kroupina adds. “We [welcomed] adults with dance backgrounds to come and try out for us. We are hoping for a community Nutcracker, reuniting dancers of different ages and different backgrounds.”
Looking back on the dance year—the studio’s second without COVID restrictions—a couple of other highlights stand out for the teachers.
For one, they have a student was accepted to the Canada acrobatics team that was bound for the World Acrobatic Championships in Mexico two years ago. That trip will finally happen this July.
“We are in a small town, we are in a small bubble and pushing our students for scholarships and auditions and just going out there into the bigger world is definitely our mission as dance educators,” Kroupina says.
For Waldie, another rewarding achievement this year was watching some students delve into improv dancing.
“This year we were part of a competition that offered improv as a [genre]. For myself, that’s new for me. I’d never heard of that before. So it was interesting rehearsing with these girls who, at first, were really reluctant and weren’t sure if they were going to even sign up for it—it’s pretty scary putting yourself out there,” she says.
“Everybody did a really great job, which I think is one, super scary, and two, it really kind of brought them out of their shell. Now, it’s one of their favourite things they love to do in class.”
While the studio is running some summer camps for dancers, it’s also welcoming new students for the 2023/24 year in August.
“We love what we do and we hope to attract more people and more kids to experience that,” Kroupina says.
Catch The Seasons on June 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre. (Tickets are $12—search Year-End Dance Recital - “The Seasons” on eventbrite.ca.) Delightful Decades runs from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. (Tickets are also $12 at eventbrite.ca. Search Year-End Dance Recital - “Delightful Decades”.)
For more on the studio, visit pembertondance.ca.