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Local dancers undergo rigorous one-day training

Local dancers undergo rigorous one-day training


A number of local dancers got the opportunity last Saturday, January 24, to train with a professional dance instructor, Canadian Dominique Turcotte.

The local dancers from groups like Arabesque, Avenues Dancers and La Gracia went through a rigorous day of training at the Peace Memorial Hall in Kingstown.{{more}}

The Dance Development Workshop was organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture and overlooked by Dance Development officer Maxine Browne.

Turcotte focussed on elements common to all dance genres, as the workshop attracted persons in the area of jazz, modern and urban dance, among others.

Participants were given instructions on proper warm-up and cool down techniques, proper breathing techniques, proper alignment to facilitate movement in dance techniques, body conditioning exercises and flexibility.

Turcotte, who is a dance teacher specializing in ballet, is also a certified pilates and yoga instructor.

“I love to use yoga and pilates together as complements to classical ballet training,” said Turcotte, a professionally trained ballet dancer who studied at Canada’s National Ballet School and also taught there for four years.

Her wealth of experience in dance also saw her as director of a professional dance school in Quebec City from 1985 to 2009. That school specialized in contemporary dance, where the ballet component was a strong part of the training.

A sailing trip in 2009 is what introduced Turcotte to St Vincent and the Grenadines, where she made friends.

“Today, I saw a lot of talent and if invited, I will come back because there is a lot of material to develop here,” said Turcotte.

Giving advice to dancers and aspiring dancers, Turcotte stressed, “You need to train regularly and do conditioning like aerobics outside of dance training, because if you are training up to five times a week, you are still not getting enough aerobic work. Dancers need to take their own responsibility for their physical development, so their teachers can concentrate on the actual dance technique.”

Turcotte has also trained persons in New Brunswick, Quebec and Toronto. She says, “as a freelance dance teacher, I move around a lot.”

She said that she has not taught in any other Caribbean island, but hopes to do so soon, as well as return to St Vincent and the Grenadines.