Dancers staying home to learn the ropes

Elev8 Dance Project aims to give big-city training to Victoria dancers

Dancers with the Elev8 Dance Project pose for a promotional photo for White Light Still and Moving

Talented but too young to leave home, pre-professional dancers in Greater Victoria have been honing their skills and forging contacts in the industry with Elev8 Dance Project.

“You get a lot of parents and serious dancers asking ‘Should I go (away) to the ballet?’ … That’s a really hard life for kids,” said Kathy Lang, Elev8’s artistic director. “I thought, if possible, let’s offer it to them on (their) home turf. And I think it’s important to have these girls with their families.”

Elev8 has been running out of the Dance Victoria studios for just over a year.

Lang said she noticed a gap where the region’s best dancers either had to leave home to continue their training, or forgo higher-level training.

Lang, a trained dance instructor herself, has brought choreographers Monica Proenca, Justine Chambers and Conrad Alexandrowicz to Victoria, as well as representatives from Toronto Dance Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to expose the 10 dancers in the group to the professional world they aspire to.

To celebrate the end of their first year, the dancers will perform a show called White Light Still and Moving, tomorrow (June 25) at Metro Studio, 1411 Quadra St. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, call 250-383-8919.

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