dance ballet jump

Most people, when they think of art, think of pictures or photos on a wall, or a postcard. When you think of dance, what comes to mind?
Possibly one of the most known forms of a dance presentation is The Nutcracker, which has been around for many years, since Tchaikovsky’s contribution in December 1892. It continues to be presented by many ballets full of talent and colour.

The Annapolis Valley is no exception – we have a dance academy that presents us with not only The Nutcracker but many other presentations of the performing arts.

Cadance Academy, now heading into their 35th year, has made many contributions to the community and was awarded the lifetime achievement award from the Chamber of Commerce.

Gaea Jess took over took over as artistic director in 2006 from her mom Linda Jess, who was a dancer herself. Gaea moved to Toronto in 1996 to further her dance career and then expanded into health and wellness. In 2001 she graduated from York University with a double honours degree in dance and kinesiology. Gaea also toured with the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company which enabled her to study different world dances, and now has brought her knowledge to our part of the world to educate and help people.

The Cadance Academy is the only dance school in the Annapolis Valley this year to provide a personal development credit, meaning this class will give students a credit for school. Gaea spoke of it being an honour to be recognized at this level.

She said the auditions for The Nutcracker will start on July 4, and if you add that to the many dance camps (for five year olds to teens), an upcoming recital on June 15 at the Horton Performance Center, along with the many dance classes and yoga and pilates (yes, even fitness), you get a very busy schedule. But as we spoke, she gleamed with her love for dance and her academy, and the passion for her academy was shining.

It is hard not to get caught up in what she is accomplishing and its goal – dedication to quality performing arts education and committed to the development of self esteem.

The academy offers much more than dance classes. What about a themed birthday party from a superhero to a fairy princess? It tries to offer a wide range of selections for the customer to choose from they have something for everyone.

As they say at the academy We dance like everyone is watching!

Article originally published in the Chronicle Herald, written by Paula Huntley.

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