THUNDER BAY – In its 12th season, Dance Dynamics Studio is full of local talent that spans back through generations. Owner/Director Wendy Holmquist trained under the direction of her grandmother Ethel Markall before co-owning Markall’s School of Dance with her uncle. Upon the closure of Markall’s, Wendy opened Dance Dynamics hoping to become as respected and successful as her grandmother was.
It is evident by the successes of the studio and its many students that she is on her way to achieving just that. In 2000 when the doors opened, Dance Dynamics had 3 teachers on staff besides herself, one of her sisters, her daughter Melissa and a senior student who moved with her. Today Dance Dynamics has seen several dancers in the city come up through the ranks and progress on to teaching. Currently along with Wendy and Melissa the studio has a strong complement of 5 other teachers with a possible 6th to join the team later this summer.
The studio offers a full complement of dance disciplines starting with the basics; ballet, jazz and tap and branching out into acro, hip hop, lyrical, modern, musical theatre, and pointe. Over the past dozen seasons they have developed a very successful program which offers all students the chance to foster and develop their personal “stardom”. As the first studio in Thunder Bay to offer the ADAPT dance syllabus, (which is now being offered by 3 other studios,) dance exams have become a fun and successful way to evaluate the dancers’ progress from year to year.
Dance Dynamics does not hold auditions to see who can join the competitive team as they believe every dancer should have the opportunity to explore the competitive dance world. All are given the opportunities to do solos, as long as they demonstrate commitment to their classes and have excellent attendance. By the age of 7, 75% of the students at Dance Dynamics Studio are on the Competitive Dance Track. For those who just want to explore movement with music and discover their inner dancer there is a Recreational program as well.
A basic philosophy that Dance Dynamics shares with many of the top companies throughout Canada and the United States is that it is important in the development of a dancer to explore all the major disciplines – Ballet, Tap and Jazz. As interest grows a dancer should add to these with as many other styles and choreographers as possible.
Parents often asked why their child should take dance. Every style adds an element to the dancer’s dance vocabulary and to the child as a whole. Ballet – strength, grace, and control, Tap – timing, rhythms, musicality, rapid memory recall, Jazz – power, balance, coordination. To excel in any of these, dancers become organized and set schedules to practise outside of class. They learn to respect their bodies and understand the importance of proper nutrition, exercise and rest.
It has been shown dancers generally have greater self-discipline and are better academic students than a child who does not take dance.
Dance also develops character and spirit; to get up on a stage and expose yourself to possible criticism takes huge courage which grows with each year of dance experience. Learning how to handle disappointment without the world crashing down around them and gracefully accept praise are just two skills that dancers take with them for a lifetime.
These skills make dancers are very employable on many, many levels, and the more experience they have, the more confidence and self exploration/ character building they develop.
The current group of senior and advanced students at Dance Dynamics, as in the past, certainly supports this theory with many of them being very involved in school activities, earning many scholarships, participating on the student’s council, in the drama club, playing sports, have jobs outside of school and being straight A students. These girls take ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and acro, or a conditioning class, some of them also take lyrical, musical theatre, modern and pointe. That’s a lot of dancing to fit in with an awful lot life too.
As is evident dance becomes a way of life, and a lifestyle that can encompass your whole family. Whether it be for one semester just for fun, or you have dreams set on the big stage, everyone from 3 – 93 should experience the joy of becoming living art. The saying goes if you can walk (and you don’t even need to be able to do that) you can dance, let the music move you. To learn more about Dance Dynamics Studio check out their website at www.dancedynamicsstudio.ca or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org