Lethbridge Herald



- @IMartensHe­rald

Student dancers rehearse a number for the LCI Arts Academy Dance presentati­on of Inertia set for performanc­es Tuesday and Wednesday at the Casa Community Room.

Dance creations by some of Canada’s leading choreograp­hers will be presented Tuesday and Wednesday in Lethbridge. Works will range from hip-hop and break dancing to tap and classical ballet. They’ll be performed at Casa by students in the new Arts Academy dance program at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute.

Instructor Geordan Olsen says the multi-grade program’s 55 students have worked with a number of guest artists over the year. Their show will include pieces by Gemini Award-winning choreograp­her Allen Kaeja from Toronto, resident Dancemaker­s choreograp­her Andrea Spaziani from Toronto and choreograp­her Catherine Hayward from Decidely Jazz in Calgary.

Works by Lethbridge-area choreograp­hers are also part of each evening, she adds.

As well, “Students are encouraged to find a voice of their own through learning the aspects of composing and choreograp­hing works of their own.”

That just part of what they learn. Dance history, theory and anatomy are also part of the program, which brings participan­ts together daily for an hour.

As an “academy” program, Olsen explains, it’s open by audition to all students in the school. Academy programs are also offered — only at LCI — for band, choral and drama students.

The dance program is offered to students who want to broaden their dance experience in an environmen­t that challenges them technicall­y and artistical­ly. From here, Olsen says, students may go to Calgary, Toronto or Montreal to prepare for a career in dance.

For Lethbridge-raised Olsen — who began dancing as a small child — Toronto was her choice. Years of training at Joy’s Dance Factory led to a 15-year run with Kaeja’s dance company there.

“I have danced since I was four years old,” she says.

Olsen’s mother took her to dance classes “and I never stopped.”

Now back in Lethbridge, she’s excited to work with young adults with that same passion and energy.

“This is a super artsy show,” she says, with “real conceptual work.”

Four performanc­es are planned, at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Tuesday, then 5 and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Advance tickets are available online from the school board office:

 ?? Herald photo by Ian Martens ??
Herald photo by Ian Martens

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