Kelowna, BC dance studio makes use of train to enhance teenage psychological well being – Okanagan
Laura Elliot of the Creator’s Arts Center Dance School in Kelowna went out of her way to ensure that her dancers can escape the pandemic and continue to express themselves safely both online and in person.
“Over the course of COVID, that became a big part of what I discussed with the teachers, how to keep the students connected and the conversation between them and how we keep the dancing going,” said Elliot, artistic director.
The physical art form kept the dancers in shape, got them out of the house and helped them improve their mental health amid public health orders that left many lonely and isolated.
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“It’s also a creative way to express all feelings: sad, fearful and angry,” said Mia Stokes, 15-year-old dancer.
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“You can express these feelings through dancing without having to express your feelings. I usually don’t talk about my feelings, but being able to dance with my body this way has always helped me a lot. “
For 14-year-old Maddi Ireland, attending a dance class helps her overcome her fear.
“When I’m scared, I just like to come and dance. I just feel a lot better because I can express myself differently, it definitely helped me in school because I don’t have to think about grades and work all the time, ”said Ireland.
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The efforts of Elliot and her team provided a lifeline for both the students and their parents.
“It was huge to get back into the studio,” said Nikki Stokes, Mia’s mother. “[Mia] has just come back to life and to be honest, I appreciate it even more because when she doesn’t have it, she says, ‘Mom, I have to dance.’ “
Elliot has even become a role model for her students and leads by example to nurture the next generation of confident, talented dancers.
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