We are looking for Ballet and Spanish-Flamenco dancers between the ages of 4 - 10 years of age to perform in the 2017 Love To Dance Christmas Concert titled: "Colours of the Heart."
"The purity present in the innocent touch of a child, is magical." ~ VVR
By the bright colours currently on display, it is visible that the flowers planted by the dance students in the Love To Dance gardens (Olde Courthouse, Merritt) were planted with love.
During the month of June, 2017, dancers took a break from their dance classes for a day. Their mission was to create a brilliant display for everyone in Merritt to enjoy, by planting hundreds of colourful flowers, bringing to life a beautiful mixture of vibrant colours.
"The joy of planting and the love and care with which the planting was done, was obvious. Plants are growing at such a speed and are flowering beautifully." ~ Lizette Nel
The Love To Dance Academy would like to Congratulate our Spanish-Flamenco dancers on their exam results.
Twenty-seven, students participated in the annual Spanish-Flamenco exams on February 25, 2017, under direction of dance instructor, Vanessa van Rensburg.
Six "Spanish Stars" (ages 3 - 6):
Alejandra Diez, Sadie Stewart, Danika Fader, Kate van Rensburg, Emmry Horsman and Sedona MacDonald.
Five "Spanish Sparkles" (ages 6 - 9):
Ayla Wall, Alicia Rizzardo, Reese Horsman, Elaina Pickering and Mikayla Manke.
Four "Senior Beginner Level" (ages 9 - 12):
Hannah Manuel, Dani Kuzio, Ronnie Guichon and Triana Clarke.
Twelve "Level Two" (ages 9+):
Megan Voigt, Peyton Rotvold, Michelle Etchart, Barb Scapinello, Danica Guichon, Julia Dobson-Gill, Chantalle Anderson, Miranda Cavaliere, Alexia Clarke, Amy Manuel, Felize Omori and Nia Kuzio.
Our Awards Night, March 10, 2017, welcomed parents and dancers alike. Performances by our Level 2 students were enjoyed by all.
Special Mentions at the Awards event included:
Judges choice: Spanish Star - Danika Fader.
Judges choice: Spanish Sparkles - Reese Horsman and Elaina Pickering.
Highest Score: Senior Beginner Level - Triana Clarke
Highest Score: Level 2 - Felize Omori
Youngest Student: Kate van Rensburg
Bravest Student: Barb Scapinello
A few words captured about our contestants:
Avery: Classical creativity, facing the challenge with poise.
Chantalle: Talented performer.
Danica: Creative mind that kept our attention.
Felize: Humble and committed in the purest way.
Julia: Genuine determination visible through an honest expression.
Megan: Determined and creative, a beautiful bright display.
Peyton - Young but confident, eager to please.
Tirza - Beautifully creative and naturally graceful.
"We as teachers are extremely proud of all the contestants. Their conduct throughout the audition was worthy of praise. Their determination was visible even though slightly shadowed by serious expressions of tension. One cannot blame them, the stakes were high. Their ambitious attempts to do what was expected of them, regardless of skill level, was noted and praised during judges discussions."
Our judges awarded the following LTD scholarships:
- Voigt, Megan: Jazz
- Rotvold, Peyton: Spanish
Based on the judges' scores, the Ballet Scholarship amount will be shared by:
- Omori, Felize
- Anderson, Chantalle
All applicants had to choreograph and perform a dance, to their music of choice. Our judges were especially pleased with one student in particular, offering the Love To Dance Academy a $100, on the spot prize towards tuition for: Tirza Lara.
Special mention: Danica Guichon
Danica's Spanish Choreography was not only bold but also beautiful, filled with moments of light and shade to compliment her choice of music. Parts of Danica's choreography, under the direction of Vanessa van Rensburg will become the 2nd choice medal test dance for the June Medal Test session where current Lvl 2 Spanish students will have the opportunity to enter the 1st choice dance, and in addition, the 2nd choice dance.
Little girls, who love to dance, gather at the Love To Dance Academy in Merritt, once, twice or three times a week.
Whether they swirl and twirl or stomp and clap, music fills every young heart, creating memories in full colour, allowing little girls to grow into beautiful young dancers.
"Nature On Stage"
On November 23, 2016, The Love To Dance Academy wowed audiences with a beautiful display of costumes, choreography, music and a variety of dance styles brought to life by the fifty-five Love To Dance students who performed on stage. Dancers aged 3 - 43 entertained seven hundred plus audience members with a variety of dance styles which included Ballet, Spanish, Lyrical Jazz and Hip Hop.
Due to popular demand, the Love To Dance Academy decided to host not one, but two performances at the Merritt Civic Centre as part of the annual Merritt Country Christmas.
"That was the best 2.5 hours in a long while. Costumes, music, choreography all so perfectly put together. The beautiful, always smiling faces.....the manyhundreds of hours of work. A magical afternoon." ~ Shirley Emmerick
"So awesome!!! We truly enjoyed watching every minute!!!" ~ Tanya Starrs
"That was an awesome concert, beautiful costumes and beautiful dancers. I am so impressed that our little town of Merritt can produce such a professional production. It brought tears to my eyes." ~ Audrey Niehaus
By: Vanessa van Rensburg
Facebook page for Joseph Michael Gatti. His cover photo titled, "Official Fan Page".
Done! I am a fan!
His latest video captioned, "You're only as good as your last show," really got my attention, along with a few couple hundred thousand others. If you happened to miss it, click here...
His mind and body, providing what seems to be limitless amounts of power to his muscle groups conditioned specifically for dance, allowing him to exercise control which is beyond most of us, effortless flight to unimaginable heights and the perseverance to succeed.
The blood that runs through my veins is filled with music notes and intricate dance combinations. Saying that, I have respect for any individual, despite their chosen field, who strives to be the best at their craft. Driven by passion, dedication, self-motivation, the will to succeed, and a responsibility to execute their God-given talent to the best of their ability.
To those of you who are still debating whether dancers are athletes… Yes, dancers are athletes and more. Words like strength, technique, stamina, endurance, power, ability, mental maturity, commitment, focus, and a high tolerance for pain come to mind when you think of an athlete. When you think of a dancer, though, those words are accompanied by words and phrases like musicality, artistry, creativity, versatility & the ability to defy gravity.
Dance because you are passionate.
Dance because you are strong.
Dance because you are an individual, not an average statistic.
Dance for the love of movement.
Dance for the love of music.
Dance for the love of expression.
Be true to yourself and what you were created for.
Obstacles in any shape or form, are just there to improve your ability to leap!
JOSEPH MICHAEL GATTI, Professional Ballet Dancer, former Principal with Corella Balletin Spain and Cincinnati Ballet and currently a Principal Guest Artist.
From Joseph Michael Gatti:
"Thank you so much for sharing my video and thank for respecting this art form and acknowledging that dancers are athletes as well.
Back in December I had a very bad injury completely breaking my foot. There is a small documentary about it on my page called “You Against You.” Last Breath.
Anybody who has had a bad injury knows how hard and stressful it can be. I worked on strengthening areas of my body to help protect myself from future injuries. Learning from my past physical therapists I worked with throughout the many years I have been dancing, has been very important to me. I’m so thankful to be back stronger then ever dancing now.
”The Important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”
The Love-To-Dance Troupe wowed garlic lovers at the 2016 Garlic Fest, Merritt B.C., which attracts vendors and visitors from across the province.
Miranda, Peyton, Felize, Alexia, Amy and Nia inspired the crowd with their display of fancy footwork to the tunes of crowd favourites, "Cruise" and "Watermelon Crawl," so much so that numerous spectators joined in when the "dance floor" was opened to "Achy Breaky Heart."
The Love-To-Dance Troupe, along with students from the Love To Dance Academy will be performing during the annual, Merritt Country Christmas Week, bringing to life their passion for nature through dance.
We would like to invite everyone to attend our performance titled: "Nature On Stage," at the Merritt Civic Centre, November 23, 2016. There will be two performances. Times to be announced.
By: Vanessa van Rensburg
The Love To Dance Academy would like to introduce our new Student Teaching Assistants for the period: September 7, 2016 - November 30, 2016.
We received several applications from Love To Dance Students and after careful review, observation and interviews, the three available positions have been filled.
- Alexia Clarke
- Julia Dobson-Gill
- Felize Omori
In these three students we identified the following characteristics, which is absolutely crucial for the program to be a success:
- Tremendous dedication
- Ability to accept critique
- Care and compassion toward other students
- Kind and gentle approach to younger students
- Helpful at all times
- Level of maturity
- Excellent attendance
- Pride in being a part of the Love To Dance Academy
- Loyalty towards the Love To Dance Academy
- Genuine love for dance
WOULD YOU LIKE TO APPLY FOR THE STUDENT TEACHING ASSISTANT PROGRAM?
Students interested in applying for the next teaching assistant program (Starting December 7, 2016) must submit a letter of application to the Love To Dance Academy Program Director: Lizette Nel. Students' acceptance into the program is based on a review of their application letter, personal characteristics and eligibility. Students may apply for a maximum of 2 Student Teaching Assistant hours per week.
Applications must be received no later than November 25, 2016. Please submit using one or both of the methods below:
- Via E-mail with a subject line: STUDENT TEACHING ASSISTANT APPLICATION
- Hard Copy, envelope addressed to; The Program Director: Lizette Nel.
By: Vanessa van Rensburg
3 Camps, 7 Instructors, 42 Enrolments, 45 Hours = 5 Full days of Dance and Craft FUN while learning new dance styles, and costume and décor design skills!
"A big thank you to all of the teachers and parent helpers for put together such a wonderful summer dance and stage craft camp. Alexia enjoyed every minute of this week and looked forward to going every day. Seeing her and all the kids enjoying themselves was such a joy." - Dawn Nutbrown-Clark
The Love To Dance Academy welcomed local dancers, dancers from out of province and out of country to their 2016 Summer Dance & Craft Camps, August 15 - 19, 2016.
"Ali can't get enough dance. 4 hours a day in her camp and is so mad at me when I come to pick her up because she wants to stay longer. Thank you to Lizette Nel and Vanessa van Rensburg for your care and Guidance." - Candice Rizzardo
Instructors included: Selena Voigt (Dance Fitness), Bronwyn Kettleson (Acro Arts), Jake Evans (Hip Hop), Kaitlin Mathis (Highland and Tap), Allison Guichon (Costume & Décor Design), Vanessa van Rensburg (Stage Décor Design), Maria Thuveson (Costume Design).
"Thank you so much for putting on such a fantastic week of stage craft and dance! Nia and Dani had an absolutely wonderful time, and I enjoyed watching them show off all they had been taught! It was also wonderful to see so many new faces! It has got us all looking forward to another year of dance!!" - Alison Kuzio
An amazing time was had by all and the Love To Dance Academy would like to thank all the participants, parents, instructors and volunteers! Special mention to the individuals who sourced and donated tap shoes to the Love To Dance Academy, allowing most of the dancers to experience Tap in it's true form, during the Friday Tap classes!
"Thank you guest teachers, and especially Lizette and Vanessa for organizing such a wonderful variety of activities and dance styles for all the participants! They all seemed to enjoy it, at least my girls certainly did!" - Allison Guichon