Thursday, July 21, 2005

dance umbrella Now Part of Confederation Centre s Youth Educational Programming

David MacKenzie, CEO of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, is pleased to announce that dance umbrella, a Charlottetown based dance training program, will become part of the Centre’s youth educational program effective immediately.

“We are very excited about the addition of dance umbrella and its excellent staff to our programming,” says MacKenzie. “We are committed to encouraging young people s love of the arts. To this end, developing new and expanding existing youth educational programming at the Centre is at the top of our priority list. This collaboration with dance umbrella will allow us to offer a greatly expanded arts education program to our future artists.”

Peggy Reddin, director of dance umbrella, will take on a new role at the Centre as Director of Dance Development. She will be responsible for overseeing the transfer of dance umbrella to the Centre and extending the program to run from early September to the end of May each year. Reddin will work under the direction of Anne Allan, artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival, for dance development of The Festival, and she will also explore opportunities to expand dance programs at the Centre. A graduate of the National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program in 1986, Reddin is well known for her work in dance education and is very involved in the local arts community.

“I am so pleased that dance umbrella will have a permanent home at the Confederation Centre of the Arts,” says Reddin. “We have operated out of the Centre for the past 15 years, but to actually be part of the organization will give us the opportunity to enhance our programs and to work more closely with other programs at the Centre. This will also allow us to bring in more guest teachers and choreographers, and to further develop a core youth performance group.”

Since the founding of dance umbrella in 1988 by Reddin and Julia Sauvé, thousands of dance students have gone through its programs. The program has grown from 50 students the first year to more than 300. Former students have gone on to perform with the Confederation Centre’s Young Company, the Charlottetown Festival, and the Toronto productions of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, to name just a few.

dance umbrella offers a variety of programs, including creative movement for preschoolers aged over three years old, ballet, modern dance and jazz. New this year will be a dance for musical theatre program, designed to teach students movement in the context of musical theatre.

Classes, which begin September 12, will continue to be taught in the Centre’s MacKenzie Theatre and Elizabeth Mawson Rehearsal Hall by Reddin, Sauvé, Dianne Campbell, Wanda Naylor, Buffy Wallace and Anna Lacroix. New to the teaching staff for this season is Megan Alford, a former student of dance umbrella and a graduate of the dance program of George Brown College in Toronto. Accompanists for the classes are Estelle Reddin and Dorothy Dahn.

For information about registration for the upcoming year, please contact Peggy Reddin at the new dance umbrella telephone number (902) 629-1196.

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