Lethbridge high school dance academy students prepare to premiere Khoros
The cast of Khoros, a dance piece that blends ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, house, jazz, modern, break and tap dance.
LETHBRIDGE -- Students at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute High School, are down to a final week of rehearsals before it’s time to 'break a leg' in their upcoming musical production of Khoros.
Since September, 65 LCI Arts Dance Academy students, have been working on Khoros which combines ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, house, jazz, modern, break and tap dancing.
They're a group of artists whose work is just as physical, or more than many athletes.
'Dancers are not only artists but they’re athletes'
LCI Dance Academy Director Geordan Olson says the academy gives her students the opportunity to express themselves with movement in a way that's both artistic and athletic.
“Dancers are not only artists but they’re athletes," Olson says. "I’ve always wanted to have an advanced dance program in the school for kids who really take dance seriously, a place for them to land, a place for them to come every day and feel like they belong, (with a) group of kids that essentially have the same interest as they do.”
Olson says being a dancer takes a lot of grit and bravery because when you do dance as an art form you’re putting your entire body out there for the world to see -- and it’s the only art form you use your body athletically.
A lot of hard work has gone into production for the past five months, particularly when it came to nailing the choreography.
“It’s an insane program…”
The dancers trained with choreographers from Calgary, Toronto Alias Dance Project and even got the opportunity to work with Sarah Dolan, a former assistant choreographer on So You Think You Can Dance Canada and the artistic director of O2 Calgary .
They also partnered up with Director of AKM Calgary Ajay Musodi and Decidedly Jazz Danceworks dancers and choreograpers Shayne Johnson and Catherine Hayward.
LCI dancer and student India Arden says she has met some of her best friends in the program and can’t believe how many cool opportunities the dancers get.
“I’ve been in the LCI Arts Academy since grade nine," Arden says. "It’s an insane program. Miss Geordan brings in so many amazing choreographers for us and has really provided a great dance vocabulary and training for us.”
in Khoros, Arden has a hip-hop dance solo she’s looking forward to and expresses her excitement for the performance saying each year the dancers get better and better and this year’s performance will be hard to top.
The Dance Academy is more than just about dance; it has also become a support group for many of the students and breaks the stigmas about male dancers.
As LCI dancer and student Skye Hepher explains, dance can be many other things and that doesn’t necessarily make it feminine.
“Dance isn’t a gender kind of sport," Hepher says.