Calgarians flocking to dance workshops

Dance workshops have been a huge hit in Calgary according to participating members, as students of all ages get involved to increase social interaction and dance development.

Nicole Williams, a University of Calgary student and avid participant in the workshops, said, “It’s a fun introduction to different dancing styles. Some dances will take weeks to learn whereas others are easy and good for workshops that are only a couple of days.”

Most dance workshops occur at the Temple B’nai Tikvah in the southwest, and are hosted by the Student Dance Club.

Local and national dance instructors gather for these events to teach different dance styles including bachata, salsa, tango, merengue, cha cha, and kizomba.

Calgary Kiz Connection hosts similar events, but focuses on kizomba only.

Students can participate in dance social workshops that normally occur over two to three days, or learn the full practice in a four-six week course.

Prices range from $10-$120 for a couple days of dance to a few weeks.

“People can just drop-in and pay $10 to be involved in a social for one night.” Williams said.

Students pay $10-$15 as an entrance fee, learn different styles of dance from professional instructors for one-two hours, then take part in a dance social where students can make friends and practice their new steps,.

If students wish to take part in a longer workshop or enhance their knowledge, then four-six week courses are offered.

“You build upon the skills you learn each week. You get to know your teacher, your teacher measures your progress and then you can improve. I like structure and passion, but also propriety.” Williams said.

The Student Dance Club is one of the highly favoured programs in Calgary that offers high-quality dance lessons with student prices, according to their website. The program was founded at the U of C in 2004 and hosts dance lessons and socials almost weekly.

Dance is life and life is dance: Students practice basic kizomba steps after an introduction dance workshop hosted by the Calgary Kiz Connection on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Calgary Kiz Connection hosts different events to teach basic kizomba steps taught by Erin Bauer and Audi Mpk. (Photo by Ashley Ruz-Peters/SAIT)

Erin Bauer, a dance instructor and volunteer for the Student Dance Club for U of C and Calgary Kiz Connection, said, “I would encourage anyone to come and try some of them. The things you learn about yourself in dance will transfer into your daily life as well. If nothing else, you may just meet some pretty awesome people.”

Bauer specializes in the African style of dance known as Kizomba, which she described as “almost like a big long moving hug.”

Her role in the dance world is teacher, DJ, event organizer, and community builder.

“You may find something that you love in these workshops. The energy, technique, and music is very different in all dances. Salsa is more energetic whereas kizomba is groovier,” she said.

“Dance is life and life is dance, there can never be too much kizomba. – Erin Bauer

Everyone is different and you may find a piece of you that you never knew you had.”

Bauer instructed a three-day workshop at the Glenbrook Community Centre known as Kiz-O-Meter along side Audi Mpk.

For the price of $120 per person, students got to learn kizomba and finish off each night with a dance social to mingle and apply their skills.

“Dance is life and life is dance, there can never be too much kizomba,”

About Ashley Ruz-Peters 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Ashley Ruz-Peters worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.