Devon Hackett lines up in front of Suzy Vining

Devon Hackett lines up in front of Suzy Vining

Adults going back to ballet at Saanich dance schools

“Adults come in wanting a work out, looking for something a little different, or maybe they wanted to dance as a child,” Karen Clark says.

Big dreams of becoming a ballerina may fill young minds everywhere, but a career in dance is not the aim for everyone entering ballet lessons. Interest is also growing among recreational adult dancers in Saanich.

Maureen Eastick, founder and artistic director of Pacific Dance Centre, a 90-student ballet school based at St. David By the Sea on Cordova Bay Road, trains elite young dancers, while also offering adult classes to people of all abilities.

“No matter who I’m teaching, the people want to be there, but even more so for adults because they don’t have to come; it’s just pure pleasure for them and they enjoy the exercise,” Eastick said of what she calls an artistic, emotional and intellectual form of expression. “Anybody can try it. You don’t have to wear the pink tights and a black leotard if you feel more comfortable in yoga pants.”

Like Eastick, Karen Clark of Karen Clark Dance Studio in Royal Oak, sees continued interest from the older set while she prepares her younger dancers for annual competitions.

“Adults come in wanting a work out, looking for something a little different, or maybe they wanted to dance as a child,” Clark said. “They look at us like we’re crazy when we ask them to perform, but once they do, they’re back in droves and they absolutely love it.”

Cordova Bay-trained teen dancers go international

Two Saanich teens will spend the summer dancing at prestigious U.S. ballet schools after impressing recruiters in Vancouver and Seattle.

Students of Pacific Dance Centre, 15-year-old Natassja Marc and 16-year-old Brooke de Armond, were both accepted into summer intensive programs for the Boston Ballet and American Ballet Theatre schools last week.

Eastick has seen more than 100 of her dancers go on to professional careers in dance since she founded the relatively small school in 1978.

nnorth@saanichnews.com