There is nothing more exciting for some children than to have the creative ability to express themselves. Dance is a perfect vehicle to do this. When one thinks of ballet and dance, images of beauty, plies, strong form, ballerina's strength, discipline and confidence come to mind. Youth Ballet & Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan (YBCD) has been helping boys and girls and even adults with their dream of becoming dancers. Whether you are a young child just starting out or an adult taking up dance later in life, no matter what your skill, ability or coordination, YBCD supports every person's dream of wanting to become a dancer and is a great place to start. This month, we reached out to Brenda Bancescu, Executive Director of Youth Ballet & Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan, to learn more about the school.
KB: When did Youth Ballet & Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan (YBCS) begin? How long has YBCS been around?
YBCS: Youth Ballet Campany of Saskatchewan was started in June, 1983 by Vera and Gennadij Adrianow.
KB: Where are your classes held?
YBCS: 1106 McNiven Avenue, Regina, SK
KB: What type of dance programs and style does YBCS offer?
YBCS: We offer Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance exam program, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Rhythm and Movement, Adult Ballet, Adult Modern, Adult Jazz and Yoga classes.
KB:What can kids and parents expect when they are enrolled in the YBCS classes?
YBCS: Students and their parents can expect exceptional instruction from qualified instructors and a family centred program.
KB: What age can kids begin participating in dance programs/classes with you at YBCS? Up to what age can people be to register for your classes?
YBCS: Our Rhythm and Movement classes are for ages 3 and 4 years old. Dancers then start Pre-Ballet at age 5. We also have post secondary Ballet and Modern classes for students who have graduated from high school but still want to dance. We also have a very successful adult program for Ballet, Modern and Jazz. We have one adult student who has been dancing for many years, who is 78 years old.
KB: When and how can kids/parents register? Is it a yearly program (September - May/June) or by season sessions (Fall, Winter, Summer)?
YBCS: Our school runs from September 6, 2016 until the end of May, when we have a year end performance on May 27 and 28th. Registration for 2016-2017 classes began on June 23, 2016 but there are still classes with openings.
KB: How many kids are there in a class? What is the student to teacher ratio?
YBCS: We try to keep all of our classes at 10-12 dancers to one teacher. We do have a few classes that have 14 dancers with a teacher and teaching assistant.
KB: Do the kids have a special performance they participate in for families to attend?
YBCS: Youth Ballet Company of Saskatchewan, which is our pre-professional company, has performances on November 18th and 19th, 2016. We encourage all of our families to attend and support the Company. Youth Ballet & Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan holds year end performances with all the classes at the Conexus Arts Centre on May 27th and 28th, 2017. All our dancers participate with all their classes and we usually have a theme with beautiful costumes. We also have watch weeks for parents to come into the classroom.
KB: My child is extremely shy, would participating in the YBCS and dance help their confidence?
YBCS: Our instructors work with the dancers to help them build their confidence throughout the year in classes. Our mission is to help develop dancers holistically through programs and dance forms accessible to all, with professional instruction and the opportunities to perform at the pre-professional level.
KB: What type of child is the program best suited for?
YBCS: Children who are interested in ballet, modern, jazz and/or hip hop dance.
KB: If my child has a special need, can they still participate?
YBCS: Yes. We have a Modern Adapted class that has been running for many years. The dancers, who range in ages from 17-22 have been dancing together since this class started. In 2015-2016, we started an Explore Dance class for kids, ages 4 - 6 years old, who are on the Autism Spectrum. Kids are referred for this class from the Autism Centre. In 2016-2017, a new class for kids with designated intellectural and/or physical needs from ages 6 to 10 years old will start in September.
KB: What is the main goal the YBCS hopes to teach kids?
YBCS: Instructors at Youth Ballet give professional instruction to all children enrolled in our program and hope to instill a passion in all of our students for the art of dance.
KB: Do classes fill up fast? What if classes are full? Is there a wait list?
YBCS: Many of our classes fill up fast. We do have a waitlist and if there are enough on the waitlist for the same level, we will do our best to add another class at that level. We require a minimum of 6 students for each class.
KB: Does YBCS require fundraising? What type of fundraising is required/expected?
YBCS: Youth Ballet Contemporary Dance does have a fundraising fee of $60 per class to a maximum of $300 per family. This fee is used for helping with some of the costs associated with the rental of the Conexus Arts Centre for the year-end performance. Families can include this fee in their monthly fess, work bingos or sell chocolates.
To learn more about the Youth Ballet & Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan or to register your child for the 2016/2017 dance year, visit their website at www.youthballet.com.
YOUTH BALLET & CONTEMPORARY DANCE OF SASKATCHEWAN
1106 McNiven Ave.
Regina, SK S4S 3X3
Email: ybcs at sasktel dot net