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Training Expansion

The School of Alberta Ballet announces a new Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream By Jillian Groening
  • School of Alberta Ballet / Photo by Paul McGrath
  • School of Alberta Ballet / Photo by Paul McGrath

Keeping up with the fast-paced evolutions in today’s dance landscape, the School of Alberta Ballet (SAB) has announced an extra program to its training system. The Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream will run alongside the school’s ballet training program and will prepare students for the differing demands of a career in contemporary dance. The program launched in September 2015 for students in grades eleven and twelve.

Integrating both dance training and academic programming while students are in high school, the Contemporary Stream is the first of its kind among Canada’s conservatory ballet schools. Similar to how institutions such as Canada’s National Ballet School or Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School offer professional division programs training students in classical ballet, SAB now offers another training path for young dancers, but completely dedicated to contemporary techniques.

“The only way it differs [from SAB’s ballet stream] is that the dance training will be contemporary,” says Danielle Bartha, publicist and promotions officer for SAB.

Daily contemporary classes as well as training in partnering, contemporary dance repertoire, choreographic composition and body conditioning will make up the program’s schedule. It will, however, also include “a strong, classical ballet component that will ensure students are well equipped in many movement forms and have gained from the postural, structural and movement benefits of classical ballet,” according to an SAB press release.

The Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream is spearheaded by Artistic Director Edmund Stripe and Head of Contemporary Dance Graham McKelvie. The program aims to extend beyond teaching students contemporary technique and prepares them for a career in the field of contemporary dance work.

The number of positions in Canadian classical ballet companies cannot accommodate the number of graduates from professional training programs. This new program focuses on providing young dancers the skills and insight needed to fledge a career in today’s multi-faceted dance environment.

The Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream is now accepting students entering grade ten.

Learn more >> schoolofalbertaballet.com/professional-division/contemporary-stream.html


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