Hip hop, jazz and ballet are all getting a boost at Excalibur Theatre Arts Company.
"Exciting news!" said Bonnie Leach, artistic director at Excalibur. "I brought in three examiners to test four of the teachers at the studio. They've been working towards this all summer. They've been studying and preparing for the exam and two of them got their ballet teacher's certification and one got her jazz teacher, and one got her hip hop teacher."
The certification comes from Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PAEC), based out of Toronto. Examiners were Lorraine Bedini and Alda Heniss from Toronto and Irene Booth from Nanaimo.
Leach took her membership exam in modern dance four years ago and encouraged her teachers to gain more education to pass along to the students of Excalibur, she said.
Jesslyn Kuzman and Lauren Brown were both successful in receiving their teacher's standing in ballet, while Sarah Vogt got her certification in jazz and Kimiko Hernandez in urban (hip hop).
"The examiners said to me that they were really impressed with the level of enthusiasm from our teachers and our students at Excalibur," said Leach. "They were pleased to see such young, talented teachers so eager to share their knowledge and show such a deep willingness to learn."
All the teachers at the dance studio took master classes with the examiners in tap, jazz and ballet and went through the entire syllabus with them.
"It was a really inspiring time for us," said Leach. "Because of this new certification we gain the possibility of having students participate in examinations in ballet, modern, jazz and hip hop and we, as teachers, have our own syllabus to work from in the technique classes. It means that we have more training opportunities for teachers and students because we'll be invited to join the PAEC for workshops all over Canada and we've been asked to teach syllabus workshops in B.C. in the future and that offers us more teaching opportunities. It's a big step for Excalibur and it's something we've worked towards for a long time. I'm so proud of these teachers."
Check out Excalibur at www.excaliburarts.com.