Growing up, I never imagined dance would turn into a career. I thought dancers were earthy with deep thoughts and of course, broke. What about that sounded appealing? After seeing the movie ‘Flashdance’, I hurried to Harbour Dance Centre (HDC) to perfect my moves. Unfortunately, like so many teens in high school, my social life became the priority and dance was swept to the side. After graduating university with a degree in Human Kinetics, I landed a job with a new Vancouver sports team that required dancers/cheerleaders. Was there a budget for dancers/cheerleaders? No. However, in a staff meeting, all the owner heard was ‘moe’ and ‘dance’ in the same sentence and before he knew it, his team had its own dance squad.
Panic set in. As a ‘living-room’ dancer for over 10 years, how was I going to get my technique back? I was so happy to learn that Harbour Dance Centre was still in business, so I signed up for class. It wasn’t until after the class that I realized I never felt more like myself than I did in that class. I was ‘home’ again. Why was I wearing a power suit with nylons at a nine-to-five job when all the joy I wanted to feel was in that class?
It didn’t take long to re-train and start auditioning. I knew something was right when I started booking work. And the work was fun! I got to wear sweatpants almost everyday. Training turned into teaching and teaching turning into choreography. That led to work with dance companies, industrials, and film.
And now I’ve come full circle. Harbour Dance Centre, the studio that brought me through my teens and was there for my return to dance after university, is now my second home. I have become a partner at Harbour when one of the original owners retired – which included taking on the Directorship of The Intensive Training Program. As anyone who has made the long, exhausting climb up the HDC stairs knows, reaching the top floor feels like a feat in itself - but for me it went beyond that. I do not have the legs that go on for days. I do not have the tricks where I can fly into the air and land on one knee. What I do have is the adoration and passion for dance and I want to help people of any age or skill to ride this amazing train.