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Celebrate Your Family’s Dancer at our Year-End Dance Recital!

Celebrate Your Family’s Dancer at our Year-End Dance Recital!

The dance recital at the end of the year is not an exam or a test. It is a chance for each dancer to celebrate their growth and accomplishments as they finally get to show off their skills on a professional stage! Participants can demonstrate how much they have learned and how hard they have worked throughout their weekly classes while they finally get to share this with their close friends and family. Having this opportunity is incredibly rewarding and the KADC recital is something that the whole family can sit back and enjoy.

What Happens at the Show?

When most people think about a dance recital, the first thing to spring to mind are little dancers in tutus doing ballet. But a dance recital is for any kind of dance. This includes ballet but also includes other styles of dance like jazz, acrobatics, tap, contemporary, hip hop… the list goes on.

A year-end dance recital is an annual event that provides the opportunity to showcase each dancer while demonstrating what they’ve been working on over the course of their lessons. Think of it as a moving art exhibit!

As a member of the audience, you don’t have to know anything about the names of the dance moves or how long it took to practice for the show. Your job is to sit back and appreciate how much training has gone into the dances in front of you. Whether you’re watching advanced students or the tiny dancers who are just starting out.

Where is the Year-End Dance Recital Held?

While some dance schools perform their year-end recital in school gyms or at community centres, KaliAndrews Dance Company hosts the year-end dance recital at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. This theatre is selected due to its professional setting which gives each participant the true, professional dance performance experience.

What Will You See?

Each of our shows focus on showcasing the students. Our students have all worked hard to master this somewhat intimidating art. As part of the audience, you can see just how far each student has come since the last recital, or since starting their first class. Members of our audience and of our recreational dance program will also get the chance to check out what the competitive dancers have done over the year. This is a great way to encourage our students to further their development and to show all of our guests where continuing in our programs could lead one day.

Once the performance is over, it is time to celebrate and focus on what the student did well!! At KADC we also hold an award ceremony close to the end of the show. This is where we recognize excellence within our school and within our classes. We believe in commending a job well done and recognizing exceptional improvement and work ethic by presenting these awards in front of each dancers guests.

Would you like to participate in our year-end recital? Contact us to enroll in one of our dance programs today!

Dance Lessons: What is My Child Learning in Dance Class?

Dance Lessons: What is My Child Actually Learning in Dance Class?

Ballet at KaliAndrews Dance Company in OttawaSometimes at KADC, we get questions about what our dancers are actually learning in the classroom. Are the kids just playing games? Are they practicing for exams? Are they learning new techniques?

KaliAndrews Dance Company is an educational facility, and one of our primary goals is to promote a focused learning environment.

Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions that we hope will give you a better idea of what’s happening in your child’s dance class.

1. What’s the difference between Term 1 and Term 2?

In Term 1, the dancers are taught the steps and techniques laid out in the syllabus for their dance style and grade level (according to The British Association of Teachers of Dancing). This is also where students learn the exam content required for BATD Dance Exams.

In Term 2, students continue to master the techniques taught in the previous semester, and learn to incorporate these techniques into choreography for our annual year-end Recital, held at the Canadian Museum of History.

2. Can new students still join in Term 2?

Yes, of course! Our instructors and assistants will still be reviewing syllabus techniques with the dancers in Term 2, even as they begin working on choreography. KaliAndrews Dance Company accepts new dancers up until the last day of February (Little Steps and Adult dancers can register as late as April).

3. What are dance exams?

You can read all about dance examinations in detail on our Dance Blog here.

4. My child isn’t taking the exam. Should he/she still be attending class?

Yes, absolutely! It is important for all dancers to learn and sustain the syllabus content, regardless of their intention to take the exam. This is the foundation and technique that they progress with each year as they advance their skills.

Students who are not participating in the exam will still be working on these techniques, as our focus is to sustain a good understanding of these skills in order to move up to the next grade/level.

5. What is my child actually learning?

Dancers are being taught from the BATD Syllabus. Here are a just few examples of what some of our students are working on:

* Little Steps (Age 3-4): Little Steps dancers are not yet working from the syllabus, however they are being introduced to basic skills from dance styles such as ballet (learning to point their toes, learning the basic plié movement), acro (somersaults, handstands at the wall and basic bridge position with assistance) and creative movement (musicality, team-building skills, co-operation and dexterity are covered in each lesson). Click here to see our Little Steps dancers perform on stage during recital. 


* Grade 1 Ballet (Age 8): In Grade 1 Ballet the students learn techniques such as grand plié, grand battement, petit jeté, posé, and temps levé, just to name a few. Students are also introduced to spotting and basic pirouette techniques, as well as sautés, changements and grand jetés. All techniques and steps from previous grades are carried throughout the class to ensure proper form and understanding of the ballet fundamentals. 



Students begin expanding their ballet basics by being introduced to foot strengthening exercises and terminology. It is important for students to build proper alignment and technical elements before entering into more advanced grades. Click here to see our Grade 1 ballet students perform on stage during recital.

* Grade 3 Acro (Age 10): In Grade 3 Acro, the students are continuing to improve their tricks by learning new advancements, variations and combinations such as head balance from standing as well as multiple variations of cartwheels, back bends and splits. The students will continue to develop their strength and flexibility to help them improve the alignment of each movement and to have better control while executing new balances (such as elbow balance). The young acrobats will develop their motor and spatial awareness skills to be able to achieve a higher level of difficulty presented at the Grade 4 Acro level. Click here to see a competitive acro trio, age 10. 


* Grade 4 Jazz (Age 11): The students are mastering double and triple pirouettes, piqués, continuous chainé turns, pressure turns, sail turns and multiple variations of the above. The dancers will continue to develop their jetés, battements (forward, side and backward) across the floor and refinine the techniques and steps taught within the previous grades. These are all important requirements that dancers need to master before they transition into the new skills that are introduced in the Grade 5 Jazz class. Click here to see a competitive jazz group, age 12. 


We hope the above examples give you a better idea of what goes on in your child’s class behind the curtains, and we’re so excited to show you what our wonderful dancers have been working on at our upcoming Annual Recital at the Canadian Museum of History in June. Important dates, including Recital, are available to you online here at all times, and detailed information about the show will be sent out in the spring.

In the meantime, we invite you to browse our YouTube Channel and our Facebook page here for tons of awesome videos of our dancers. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

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Your First Pointe Shoe Fitting

Your First Pointe Shoe Fitting

Article by Kathleen McGuire | Published in DanceSpirit Magazine, September 16, 2015

Your teacher has finally given you the OK to go on pointe! As any experienced ballet dancer will tell you, your pointe shoes can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. The right fit ensures that you’ll be able to work safely and gives you a solid foundation for your pointe technique. Seeing a professional fitter for your first pair—and coming to your appointment prepared—will set you up for success.

How to Find a Fitter

In many cases, your teacher will recommend a fitter. But what if she doesn’t? “I’d suggest calling a dance store you trust and asking if there’s a professional fitter on staff,” says Josephine Lee, who owns Dancer’s Choice in Irvine, CA (and the affiliated roving pointe shoe fitting business The Pointe Shop). You should also be sure to ask how many brands of shoes the store carries. A qualified store, Lee says, will have at least five to eight different brands. That variety is important: It indicates that the store sells lots of shoes, and it makes it more likely that you’ll be able to find the perfect shoe for your foot.

How to Prepare

According to Kerri Angeletti, who manages The Dancer’s Pointe in Pittsburgh, one of the most important things to figure out before your fitting is what type of padding you’ll be using, because padding can dramatically affect the fit of a shoe. Talk to your teacher about what she prefers. Some teachers will want you to start with a specific type of toe pad, such as a gel pad or lambswool. Others may request that you learn without padding at all. Either bring the teacher-approved padding with you to your appointment or be prepared to buy it at the shop.

It’s important that you come to your fitting dressed appropriately, in a leotard and tights, so the fitter can see your lines clearly. “Your first pointe shoe fitting is your first pointe class,” Lee says. Make sure your tights are convertible, since the fitter will also want to look at your bare feet and toes. And don’t schedule a fitting right after class, Lee adds, because your feet will likely be swollen from dancing, which will change the way the shoes fit.

What to Expect

Angeletti recommends allowing at least an hour for your first fitting. “You need to try on a variety of different shoes so that you can really feel the differences between them,” she says.

The fitter will usually begin by getting up close and personal with your feet. She’ll analyze the line created by the top of your toes, the width of your metatarsal and the length of your toes and feet. Then, you’ll begin the Goldilocks-like process of trying on shoes, searching for the pair that’s just right. In addition to looking at the shoe on pointe, Angeletti has the dancer plié in second position—“the position in which the foot is longest,” she explains—to determine if the shoe’s length is correct. As a pointe beginner, it’s especially important that your shoes fit well on flat as well as on pointe. You’ll start out spending relatively little time on your toes as you build strength.

How to Get the Right Fit

To describe the perfect fit, Lee uses a saying she first heard from a Capezio shoe designer: “The pointe shoe should mold to the foot like a cast.” Your shoes should feel tight, but your toes shouldn’t curl under and you shouldn’t feel pinching in your metatarsal. “Be very vocal about how you’re feeling in each shoe,” Angeletti says. Now isn’t the time to be agreeable. Your fitter needs as much detail as possible in order to get you the best, and safest, fit.

Nervous about speaking up—or just about the fitting process generally? Mackenzie Cherry, a student at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, got a confidence boost at her first fitting because her whole class went as a group, which made her much more comfortable. If your class isn’t going on an excursion together, consider asking a friend if you can schedule your appointments together.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t think your first pair is “the one.” It’s important to remember that this is a process. Lee points out that many dancers continue to change their pointe shoes periodically throughout their careers as their abilities and preferences change. And to answer one of the most frequently asked fitting questions: Does it hurt? “It’s a little painful,” Mackenzie admits, “but if you’re excited about being on pointe, you don’t really think about it.”

Common Fit Problems—and How to Solve Them

Pressure on the big toe
Josephine Lee, owner of Dancer’s Choice in Irvine, CA, says that too much pressure on the big toe can mean you’re sinking into the box, a problem that can be solved with a more tapered shoe. But it also may depend on your foot shape. If you have a long big toe, it’ll always bear more weight on pointe. As you train, you’ll gain strength and learn to lift up out of your shoes, which will alleviate that feeling.

Pinching in the metatarsal
“You need a wider box,” Lee says. The width is correct when your feet are nice and flat on the floor, without being able to wiggle inside the shoe. Some dancers need a more triangular box—one that’s wide at the metatarsal but tapered at the toe—to keep them from sinking into the shoe.

Sickling
Lee says sickling on pointe may be a sign that a dancer is struggling to get up over her box and is pushing over her pinky toe to compensate. A softer shank can help you stand fully and correctly on pointe. The downside is that softer shoes wear out faster. But, Lee says, “it’s better than learning bad habits.”

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What Makes KaliAndrews the Best Ottawa Dance School

What Makes KaliAndrews the Best Ottawa Dance School

If you’re looking for the best Ottawa dance school, look no further than KaliAndrews Dance Company. We are often referred to as the best Ottawa Dance school for our facilities, end of the year shows, experienced teachers and the success that former students have gone on to accomplish.

We offer dance lessons for both children and adults. Lessons can be taken for recreation or they can be taken to nurture dancing talent for those who aspire to become professional dancers. We provide students with a variety of different class options, including: jazz, hip hop, tap, limbering, ballet, pointe, lyrical and contemporary dance. Circus-based dance styles are also taught, including: stunting, tumbling, acrobatic dance, contortion and aerial arts.

Starting with Little Steps

Little Steps classes are for children aged from three to four years old, with a maximum of 15 students per class. Each class has one certified trainer and one teaching assistant. These classes introduce children to a range of styles and techniques so they can choose for themselves what they may want to learn more thoroughly. All KaliAndrews’ instructors are above 18 years old and they have all successfully taken the British Association of Teachers of Dancing associate’s exam in the style(s) they teach.

Adult Lessons

Adults can also find their dancing feet with lessons for mature students. Choose from lessons in aerial arts, hip hop, limbering or ballet. Dance lessons are a fun way for couples and friends to spend time together and a great excuse for a party to show off those dancing skills.

Aerial Arts

Aerial silks and hoop lessons are open classes that focus on developing basic to advanced skills. Students are taught using modern circus techniques, commonly seen in Cirque du Soleil. Ballet classes are also open classes for those who have no previous experience in this style. Classes for those with some experience are also offered.

Hip Hop

If hip hop is what you are interested in, you will learn and have fun in a freestyle class that teachers the moves used in this genre including breaking, popping, locking as well as modern moves. The class is tailored beginners but there is also room for those who have some experience.

Limbering/Stretching

Contortion at KaliAndrews Dance CompanyLimbering classes are also available at our Ottawa Dance company. This classes are ideal for those looking to push themselves to higher levels of fitness. Students are taught stretching and strengthening techniques. Students work in pairs to help each other perform different moves using various props like yoga blocks, chairs and Pilate’s rings. Students also perform exercises for strength including planks, push-ups and sit-ups.

And More!

You can conveniently register online for children and adult classes. Discounts are offered if you register for multiple sessions up front. Summer and fall classes are both available. Every year in June, KADC holds an annual recital at the Canadian Museum of History that features recreational dancers, competitive dancers and guest performers. Contact us today to learn more about our programs or to register.

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Which Styles are Taught in General Kids Dance Classes?

Which Styles are Taught in General Kids Dance Classes?

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Young children learn a lot through play, especially with games they can play freely in open spaces. Kids dance classes have a number of physical and emotional benefits for young dancers, while creating an environment they enjoy. The skills that children learn in kids dance classes help them to become more open, attentive and well-rounded adults. Dance is a precise art that requires dedication, focus and team work. Whether they take lessons for fun or go on to become professional dancers, the positive traits that will remain part of their character.

Little Steps

This dance class is for children aged three to four years old. These classes help to give little dancers an introduction to different styles, while helping to develop their ability to concentrate and fine tune motor skills. The skills of hip hop, acro, jazz and ballet are all touched upon in kids dance classes. Children also learn creative movement, dexterity, musicality, co-operation and team-building skills. Classes have no more than 15 dancers, to give teachers and teaching assistant’s time with each child one on one.  

The benefits of Hip Hop, Acro, Jazz and Ballet classes for kids

There are many physical benefits to kids dance classes that stem from different styles. Hip hop is an exciting and upbeat form of dance that allows dancers to focus all their energy into fun movements. Young children will be happy to recognize the popular music that is danced to and create their own freestyle moves.

Acro dance is far more physically demanding than other kids dance classes, but this is taken lightly in Little Steps. Children will learn how to tumble, do bridges, cartwheels, and walkovers that won’t hurt their bodies. These moves help them to develop physical strength as well as cardiovascular health.

Ballet and Jazz are sister styles that share many fundamental skills. Ballet is the more reserved of the two skills with an immediate focus on foot positions, body lines, and gracefulness. If your little dancer generally lacks patience, Jazz might be more their speed. Jazz is far more upbeat than ballet, with more exciting music and techniques. Both styles will teach dancers basics of traditional dance, and allow them to develop these skills.

Fun Endings

At the end of the school term, your young dancer can look forward to the KaliAndrews year end show, where they can show off the exciting moves they’ve learned. For children nearing the age restriction of Little Steps, parents can begin to enrol them into more advanced, style specific classes. Younger children will be welcome to reenrol in Little Steps, and learn more fun dance fundamentals next year. For more information on kids dance classes and how to enrol your child, contact us today!

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Studio Profile

One of the most unique dance studios and schools in Ottawa, Ontario! We offer a wide variety of lessons in traditional dance styles such as Ballet and Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop. We also specialize in circus-based dance styles such as Acrobatic Dance, Stunting, Tumbling, Contortion and Aerial Arts.

Get In Touch

KaliAndrews Dance Company wants to hear from you!

2664 Lancaster Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1B 4T7
Email: info@kaliandrews.com
Hours: Mon-Thurs 4-8 PM and Fri 4-7 PM