If you’re returning to Halifax and have dance experience, it can be daunting to find a class in this little city. Trust me, I was you once. Trying to get used to the small town feel, your muscles aching to get back into shape, looking for that class where people show up to set up their own goals, and dance with an open mind and body.
For those with dance experience (don’t let the pro’s tagline discourage you…no VIP backstage pass required) there are plenty of morning classes available.
Let’s start with contemporary class. Ranging in difficulty levels and various techniques from across Canada and the World, you’ll find the dedicated dancers convening on Thursdays at The Conservatory for classes hosted by Kinetic Studio. Though not intended as a secret, these weekly morning classes have been running for a while now and a small group partakes in them when they are in the city. Some of the most recent teachers sharing their knowledge have been: Rhonda Baker (a fan of the Axis Syllabus) Lydia Zimmer (a gentle and self directed improvisation class) and Bridget Lappin ( a physically demanding and dynamic framework).
The Conservatory is beautiful and just being in the space is refreshing. Not sure if you should join? The group is very welcoming and if you feel you’d like to participate in warm up and hop in and out of exercises according to ability, that’s totally fine. Just make sure you have enough training to know how to take care of your body so you’re dancing safely!
Mocean Dance likes to contribute classes whenever they are in rehearsal at Halifax Dance. A fun way to get to know the professional scene and what projects they’re working on, Mocean’s warm-up classes are a variety of technique, floor work, across the floor combos and contact improvisation. Classes are offered throughout the year and are mainly advertised on their website and Facebook, so check out this link to stay updated. These classes also happen in the morning and once in a while, you can combine them with the Kinetic for a full week of morning classes! Your body will love, er maybe hate you for it. I have to say, by Friday a full dance week makes me feel like I’m flying high!
Speaking of flying high, a course offered by Sara Coffin will help you reach your aeronautic goals with Contact Improv on Sunday afternoons. Well versed in leading a class of mixed levels through the ins and outs of body awareness and weight sharing, Sara has the ability to inspire dancers to trust their instincts. With this trust partners are able to lift each other with ease, navigate in and out of sometimes precarious moments and listen and provide each other with kinesthetic support.
Another weekly drop-in you can count on is the professional Hip-Hop class every Tuesday evening at Halifax Dance. Alexis Cormier leads this course as a start to the rehearsal for The Woods, our local Halifax Hip-Hop company known to perform for Live Art Dance and public events around town. I’ve experienced Alexis’ choreography and from what I know, her upbeat personality and challenging moves are sure to get you breaking a sweat!
And of course, there are Pro Ballet classes. Halifax dance hosts one every Wednesday evening. You’ll meet former professional ballet dancers, currently working professionals and teachers keeping up with their technique. A full barre complete with helpful corrections followed by centre and allegro work. Attending consistently every week will help improve alignment flexibility strength and turn out all while keeping you motivated. Morning classes do happen, although it’s a good idea to email the reception to inquire about times and frequency of these classes, usually held on Monday and Wednesday.