Mirna Zagar, of The Dance Centre, Talks the Power of Dancing

Dance has many proven benefits

It gets you moving in rhythmically fun and healthy doses. It stimulates you mentally as well as physically as you move to the music.

The Dance Centre, located at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, is more than a venue to dance in. It’s a place to unleash your soul and express yourself through various dance forms.

They’re hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 10, 2016, veiw the full schedule here.

Tell us a bit about The Dance Centre

The Dance Centre is dedicated to the development of the art of dance in British Columbia in all its expressions and forms—from cutting edge contemporary works to the rich traditions of dances from diverse cultures. The scope of our work is unparalleled in Canadian dance: in addition to our public performances and events, we offer resources and programs which support choreographers and other professional dance artists.

Our beautiful building, Scotiabank Dance Centre, is regarded as Canada’s flagship dance facility and is a hub of activity, drawing thousands of people every year.

Why is dance so important to the community?

Dance is an inherent part of each culture and society; people express themselves through movement even when they feel they are still. Watching and experiencing dance can offer insight into other cultures, either through the dance style itself or by meeting new people. Studies have confirmed that dance brings balance to one’s life; it sharpens intuition and intelligence, reduces stress levels, and increases strength and flexibility. You get all that and meet interesting people too!

Dancing offers a creative outlet for individual expression. It lets us harness our energy and reshape our inner feelings. We become more at ease as we navigate ourselves in relation to others. As we dance with people, we cooperate, connect, and create together, and we do so as individuals, and it’s our individual efforts and actions that matter in the creation of a larger whole. It’s more than just moving to the beat. It’s art. It’s life!

What have been the most interesting workshops and classes at The Dance Centre recently?

Earlier this summer we presented 12 Minutes Max: this program supports the creation of short new works (no longer than 12 minutes!) by young, up-and-coming choreographers, and audiences get the opportunity to see the results in performance. We co-presented a show with the Dancing on the Edge Festival. This event featured work by one of our Artists-in-Residence, and recently we presented the Lola Award—a biennial Award worth $10,000 given to a senior choreographer—Rosario Ancer, Artistic Director of Flamenco Rosario.

We’ve also just announced a series of dance and spoken word workshops for refugee and immigrant youth, which starts in the fall.

What can visitors expect to experience at the Open House on September 10?

A lot! The Open House is a wonderful way to explore dance of all sorts, with free classes and studio showings taking place from 11am-5pm. Try out the wide range of classes offered—anything from Voguing, Métis Jigging and Swing to ballet, POW WOW and bellydance. There’s something for everyone for sure.

Other highlights include a performance of Brazilian dances and capoeira by Aché Brasil, a studio showing with Co.ERASGA, and a workshop on injury prevention with Anderson Performance Clinic. Later in the evening, the public can enjoy two of Vancouver’s most exciting contemporary dance artists—Ziyian Kwan of dumb instrument Dance and Vanessa Goodman of Action at a Distance—in a shared triple bill of their work, titled Simile.

Whether you physically participate in dance or take it in through the eyes, The Open House offers visitors a chance to really BE in the moment: Follow the movement, allow yourself to open up to a new and different experience, and most of all—have fun! That’s what it’s all about. We really look forward to welcoming the public on this exciting day!

What inspires the work at The Dance Centre?

First and foremost, it’s the people we interact and engage with, the artists, and the public. We learn each day about what matters to people, and we embrace the challenge of ensuring that the dance we present matters, and are committed to finding ways and partners to do so. Through and with dance, we have the opportunity to facilitate change and connect different communities, to empower people to be bold(er), and more open to the new and the different… And, of course, we are inspired by supporting artists to share their world, and supporting those who share our values and goals so that together we will hopefully contribute to enriching the world and society we live in today, and for the future.


One Comment Add yours

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