An expanded January Evening of Dance takes the stage this week at Oak Bay High.
“We had to make it three nights because last year we had to turn people away at the door,” said instructor Alana Beyer. “Our dance program is a pretty big program. It’s one of the biggest in B.C. We have eight classes that range from beginner to advanced.”
Grade 11 student Kosar Rabie figures she spends about 15 hours a week in the dance studio.
“It’s definitely my favourite part about Oak Bay (High),” Kosar said. “The new facility is amazing but honestly it’s how tight-knit the program is.”
A dancer under “Miss Alana” since Grade 9, she’s a member of the school’s Dance Troupe – the auditioned performance crew – and looks forward to the “incredible” atmosphere of the shows.
“We work so hard during the year in class and it’s such a good opportunity to show our passion for dance and for the program,” Kosar said. “It’s definitely a community. The weekend before the show we have two, five-hour rehearsals. We watch each other’s dances and have fun. It’s incredible.”
Students perform twice a year for their family, friends and peers, in January and May.
“It’s important to have a couple of performances throughout the year. If we wait until May I think the motivation wouldn’t be as strong,” Beyer said. “Dance is all about communication and it’s a performance art. It’s all about expression and our audience is who we’re trying to communicate with, it’s part of the art form. For all the students to be working on a shared goal or a shared vision, they come together and create a close community through that process.”
About 200 students in all grades and styles perform the warm-up this week, and the season finale in May.
“It’s well attended by parents and friends and high school students, but we’d love to have more community show up,” said Beyer. “We love having people from the community attend.”
Night of Dance at Oak Bay High School runs Jan. 24, 25 and 26 at 7 p.m.
“I’m absolutely looking forward to it, it’s so fun,” Kosar said. “Sports at Oak Bay is always a big deal and everyone always shows so much support. It would be nice to have that same kind of support from the community for the dance program, or just for the arts in general.”
Tickets are $10, or $8 for students and seniors and available at the school office, 2121 Cadboro Bay Rd.