Paige Anderson is Artistic Director of Laszlo Tamasik Dance Academy, which offers classes across multiple disciplines for children and adults at every level. Here, she explains how dance can benefit you.
1. It’s great exercise
You can burn 400 calories an hour with a leisurely run, compared with 450 for a ballet class and up to 600 for hip-hop. Dance is also great for your flexibility and your core strength.
2. It requires discipline
“I always say there’s a huge element of time management to it if you’re doing it at a competitive level,” says Anderson. “A lot of what we do is goal setting, which is particularly great for kids. Say they want to be able to do the splits by the end of summer, we figure out how they can achieve it. It teaches them to work for things.” It’s also good for keeping young people on the straight and narrow. “It helps kids stay on track in terms of being healthy and staying out of trouble because they’re busy doing something they enjoy,” says Anderson. “They also have support – a dance family.”
3. It’s all about strong, not skinny
The old-school approach may have focused on how you look, but modern dance is completely different. “These days it’s really cool to have muscle and show your strength,” Anderson explains.
4. There’s a focus on community
Anderson was born in Powell River and returned after training as a dancer and then working as a professional ice dancer, choreographer and coach. “I’m from the community, I came back to the community, I live in the community, I participate and want everyone to participate,” she says. The academy’s shows have become big local events. “We always sell out in advance these days – it’s not just the parents who come, it’s the general public,” she says. Performers from the school also participate in local events, and to ensure that everyone has a chance to experience dance, Anderson offers $8,000 of scholarships each year.
5. It’s incredibly varied
The dance academy offers ballet, jazz, hip-hop, tap, musical theatre, voice, acro-dance, modern, contemporary and tumbling. “Siblings often come to our performances and think a particular dance style looks cool so they’ll take classes. After that they’re in an environment where they’re exposed to so many different disciplines and then want to try out different genres,” Anderson says.
To learn more, visit Laszlodanceacademy.com or call Paige Anderson on 604-414-8650.