There are dance students from every province of the Atlantic Region in each of our college dance programmes . All three of our programs are offered in partnership by Ballet Jörgen Canada and George Brown College, in the heart of downtown Toronto.
With a focus on preparing graduates for the diverse professional demands of a career in the performing arts, our educational dance programmes include training in acting and vocal.
These three programmes are: Dance Performance Preparation (P101), a two-semester certificate programme focused on basic technical training; Dance Performance Studies (P102), a two-year diploma programme with more advanced and in-depth professional training and a ballet focus; and Commercial Dance Studies (P103) a three-semester programme with an emphasis on jazz, hip-hop and musical theatre.
Courtney Arsenault and Justin Saulnier are both new students in our P103 program from St. John, NB. Both are thrilled to have made the journey to our programme in Toronto’s George Brown Dance Department.
“I love the programme. It’s fast-paced and it’s challenging, and that’s definitely something you need to get used to if you want to do this for the rest of your life. It’s definitely preparing me for auditions and how my world would work if I were to perform professionally”, says Courtney.
Justin affirmed what graduates and fellow dancers in St. John told him—“it’s a realistic programme, so you’ll be really prepared and very versatile, it’s not just ballet”. “I love that the teachers don’t treat you as their friend. They’re aggressive, and they need to be in order for you to develop to the best of your ability. The teachers here focus on you very well so that you get the right feel of proper corrections. It’s making me want to work harder“.
Allie Higgins from Charlottetown, PEI and a student in P102 says she loves her programme “because I just get to dance so much and there’s a great vibe to the classes because everyone is here to truly learn”. She’s thrilled that her classes give her “such a strong foundation for dancing in a company, but also provide acting and singing components if I want to try musical theatre, or cruise ships!”
Robyn Noftall of St. John’s, NFLD, a dancer in P101 says that her programme is “everything I wanted and even more. I’m getting to reach my full potential. They start with the basics and they don’t move past that until you’ve reached the best place they think you could possibly be”.
Coming from a small town to Toronto, Robyn says it means a lot to her that her teachers “really care about you as a person and what you personally want to do. It’s a really good environment here, and easy to adjust to”.
Robyn words of advice for aspiring dancers across the country is: “If there’s anything in your heart that’s telling you to keep dancing, do it now. Don’t wait! Try it out because you only live once. Even just living away for a year in Toronto is a great experience.”
Her fellow P101 classmate from Halifax, NS, Zoe Davidson encourages her hometown dancers to explore the option as well. “If you want to dance, or think you want to but are unsure if it is really right for you, come to George Brown. It is an excellent place to discover what you want. I heard about George Brown’s dance program through Ballet Jörgen Canada when they would come to Halifax for performances. I did their Student for a Day workshop when they were in town and joined their mailing list to find out about upcoming events”. “ P101 has really helped strengthen my technique and develop a better sense of who I am as a dancer. They genuinely want us to succeed and push us hard because they know that it will make a better dancer. They are an excellent faculty and I am very fortunate to be working with them. I know my training here will stick with me through my future endeavors.”
On a personal note for Zoe, it means a lot to her that “they want us to be healthy and fit but they don’t judge you on size, they judge on technique and performance quality—George Brown gave me a chance.”
“Don’t be afraid!” says Allie, from P102. “I think we have this mentality that we’re at a disadvantage because there aren’t as many opportunities in the Maritimes for dance, but do it anyway! Get involved. Create opportunities! It will only make you work harder, and motivation is one of the most important things for a dancer to have.”
Are you from the Atlantic Region and want more information? About BJC activities? Please contact us at atlanticregion@balletJörgen canada.ca
Are you interested in building your own Ballet Jörgen Canada community hub? Please contact our Artistic Director Bengt Jörgen at artisticdirector@balletJörgen canada.ca
*An enormous thank you to all of our dedicated Atlantic Region volunteers. Without your skills and commitment our work would not be possible!