The National Ballet of Canada‘s adult dance and fitness programme, In Studio, just turned 10 this September! In Studio classes are held at The Walter Carsen Centre where the artists of the National Ballet train and rehearse. It’s an incredibly unique experience to take class in professional studios use the same hallways with dancers, sometimes getting glimpses of rehearsals.
The programme offers a variety of dance and fitness classes, including Ballet from beginner to advanced levels, which is accompanied by live pianist. The programme also offers Pilates, Yoga, Contemporary Dance and Full Body Barre. They are even offering virtual Zoom classes for clients who may not be able to attend in-person.
In Studio is a place for students to reconnect with old, forgotten hobbies or achieve new goals. It’s really inspiring to hear about students learning a new hobby, like dancing ballet, at different stages in life. Some even have stopped dancing but this programme gives people the opportunity to continue fulfilling their childhood dreams.
Director of In Studio, Kate Kernaghan, chatted with us recently so we can learn more!
Celebrating 10 years of In Studio Fitness & Dance Classes:
Who are the classes for? Do we need any experience?
Kernaghan: At In Studio, we offer classical ballet, pointe and contemporary dance, as well as Pilates, barre (fitness), essentrics, yoga and breathwork. We welcome students of all levels, whether it’s to try an absolute beginner ballet class or something more advanced, such as pointe.
OH! I love essentrics! What a great workout and very complimentary to dance. Can you tell us about the In Studio instructors and their backgrounds?
Kernaghan: Most of our dance instructors have professional dance experience or have a high level of teaching experience. They have either danced professionally for several years or have been a guest dancer with several companies. We are very lucky to have current and former dancers from The National Ballet of Canada teach several of the classes, including First Soloist Calley Skalnik, Second Soloist Larkin Miller and former First Soloist Tanya Howard
What are some of the benefits of adults joining the In Studio classes?
Kernaghan: There are several physical benefits to taking In Studio dance classes, including improved posture, flexibility and overall strength. Ballet is shown to help with cognitive function and memory, as well as improve your mood, coordination and musicality. But the thing I notice the most in my students is how happy they are to be a part of the In Studio community. The friendships and comradery amongst students and teachers are so beneficial for everyone’s mental health.
Are there any prerequisites/experience in joining?
If you are an absolute beginner, we have specific workshops for exactly that level. We do recommend students take the Absolute Beginner Ballet workshop before moving onto our drop-in classes so they are aware of basic technique that will make their time in class more enjoyable and beneficial.
Why did the National Ballet of Canada decide to offer these classes beyond dance?
Kernaghan: The National Ballet saw an opportunity to engage our community, offer fitness classes accessible for students of all dance levels as well as make use of our studios at The Walter Carsen Centre when the company dancers weren’t rehearsing. In Studio offers a one of kind opportunity to train in spacious, professional facilities at The National Ballet of Canada.
How are you celebrating this special 10 year anniversary?
Throughout the year, we will expand our offerings and provide different and fun styles of dance with guest teachers. Additionally, keep an eye out for special discounts scattered throughout the year!
If anyone is on the fence about ballet, or a new type of movement, Kernaghan says, “Just try a class! In our 10 years, we’ve seen hundreds of students fall in love with ballet, Pilates, barre, and only want more. It can really bring such joy to your life and we’d love to have everyone in our studios!”
To find out more about the fitness and dance classes visit www.national.ballet.ca
*Kate Kernaghan with In Studio Participants. Photos by Karolina Kuras. Courtesy of The National Ballet of Canada.