Shuswap Dance Center dancers Beth Ralston, Richelle Zurowski, Heidi Boileau and Genevieve Reynard, and instructors Carolyn Wonacott an Chelsey Klim were recently in London to advance their education and see the sights. (Photo contributed)

Young Shuswap dancers broaden education and horizons

Group from Shuswap Dance Center undertake summer training in London

A group of young Shuswap dancers had an opportunity to broaden their education and horizons during a recent trip to the UK.

Shuswap Dance Center dancers Beth Ralston, Richelle Zurowski, Heidi Boileau and Genevieve Reynard were accepted into the Bird College Conservatoire for Dance and Musical Theatre in London, England for their dance summer intensive, Aug. 4 t0 9. They attended classes in musical theatre, contemporary, ballet, tap and jazz, working with professional dancers from London’s West End shows and dance companies.

The week culminated in an hour-long performance at the Orchard Theatre, showcasing choreography from the week in all genres. The girls also danced at the famed Pineapple Dance Studio in London’s West End the following week.

Shuswap Dance Center teachers Carolyn Wonacott an Chelsey Klim attended the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) teachers course at the University of Chichester in England at the same time, learning updated syllabus work and connecting with teachers from around the globe.

“These types of learning experiences for our dancers are invaluable in creating connections for dance careers in the future whether it be as teachers or dancers,” said Wonacott. “Working with industry professionals is an amazing experience and allows our Shuswap Dance Center dancers to dance at a professional level and get a taste of the opportunities in dance around the globe.”

Read more: Spectacular shows from Shuswap Dance Center

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Every year, Wonacott takes her dancers on a trip to study in New York, Las Angeles or Europe, incorporating sightseeing into the experience as well. This year we not only saw London but Paris and St. Malo, France as well. They also saw the Bolshoi Ballet from Moscow perform Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House in London, and caught the new west end show Aladdin as well.

Shuswap Dance Center classes start Sept. 9, including classes in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, and tap for both children and adults. Also offered are I.S.T.D ballet and modern Exams, a December show, a June year end show and four competitions/festivals per year. Shuswap Dance Center dancers perform at the Salmon Arm Children’s Festival on Canada Day and at the Salmon Arm Fair each year as well.

Registration takes place at the studio, at 590 Okanagan Ave SE, Aug. 28 and 29 and Sept. 4 and 5 from 4 to 6 pm. For more information, visit



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Shuswap Dance Center dancers Beth Ralston, Richelle Zurowski, Heidi Boileau and Genevieve Reynard attended the Bird College Conservatoire for Dance and Musical Theatre in London, England for their summer dance intensive, Aug. 4 to 9. (Photo contributed)

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