Bay Roberts dance stu­dio re­mem­bers Quinn Butt

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The new stu­dio at Cather­ine’s Dance Stu­dio in Bay Roberts has ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect such a space to con­tain.

There’s a boom box for mu­sic, a cou­ple of bal­ance bars and a wall of mir­rors to help stu­dents with their form.

This stu­dio is dif­fer­ent from all the rest. It’s ded­i­cated to Quinn Butt and her love of dance. Walk­ing into the room, Quinn’s first recital out­fit is hung in a framed box on the far wall.

There’s lit­tle pink slip­pers, a black vest, be­daz­zled cat’s ears and pic­tures of the five-yearold.

Above the box are the words ‘Quinn’s Stu­dio’ and it serves as stu­dio owner Cather­ine Sim­mons’ trib­ute to her one­time stu­dent. Fit­tingly, the pre-school and kinder­garten classes pri­mar­ily take place in the new stu­dio.

“I think it’s im­por­tant for stu­dents here, and any­one else that comes, takes a mo­ment and think about her,” said Sim­mons. “This will be a re­minder for­ever for this lit­tle girl.”

The stu­dio was ded­i­cated Sept. 11 with both a pri­vate and public cer­e­mony. Quinn’s mother An­drea cut a pink rib­bon to of­fi­cially open the space.

It’s a cer­e­mony that was a cou­ple of months in the mak­ing. Cather­ine ap­proached the fam­ily first and asked if it was OK to name the stu­dio in Quinn’s hon­our.

“(Her mother) gave me the blessing for this space from the mo­ment I men­tioned it to her,” Cather­ine said.

For two years, Quinn danced at the Cather­ine’s. When Quinn and her mother moved to Par­adise, it forced them to find a dif­fer­ent stu­dio.

In the short pe­riod of time at Cather­ine’s, she learned the nu­ances of the art form and ex­hib­ited the en­ergy she be­came known for.

Quinn took the tots and the three-year-old classes.

“Quinn was a ball of en­ergy and hap­pi­ness,” said Sim­mons. “She was al­ways smil­ing, ready to have fun and al­ways paid close at­ten­tion. She was a re­ally keen lit­tle girl from the time she came in.”

The mon­u­ment to Quinn is more than a framed dance out­fit and some sten­ciled let­ters on the wall. The colours used to paint the room are pur­ple and pink, which were her favourite.

They’re colours that are still seen around the area as peo­ple show their sup­port for the fam­ily.

“They will stay pink and pur­ple for­ever,” said Sim­mons. “The shade may change as years go by, but they will al­ways be pink and pur­ple.” There’s some­thing else, too. A por­trait of Quinn hangs next to the door. It’s from a dance recital be­fore she moved away.

Her tutu is polka dot­ted and she’s in the mid­dle of her rou­tine. Arms out and palms fac­ing up­wards, Quinn ap­pears to be ask­ing the au­di­ence for a lit­tle help.

As young dancers learn steps and rou­tines, Quinn keeps a close eye on them.

The pic­ture is there so dancers can wave good­bye to the blonde-headed girl every time they leave the stu­dio.

“It was the nat­u­ral thing to do for her,” said Sim­mons. “This way she can dance for­ever.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Cather­ine Sim­mons (left) and Quinn Butt’s mother An­drea Gosse opened Quinn’s Stu­dio at Cather­ine’s Dance Stu­dio in Bay Roberts on Sept. 11.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Quinn’s Stu­dio is a mon­u­ment to five-year-old Quinn Butt.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

The framed box con­tain­ing Quinn’s first recital out­fit is the cen­tre­piece of the new stu­dio.

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