Melody Parenteau

Melody Parenteau

Bringing together dance in Nelson

A new dance studio opened in Nelson this week with the mission to bring local dance instructors together under one roof.

A new dance studio opened in Nelson this week with the mission to bring local dance instructors together under one roof.

The Dance Connection, located in the West Arm Plaza, opened its doors on Monday, offering a variety registration-based and drop-in classes for children and adults with more programming being developed for September.

Some of the instructors working out of the space include Lynette Lightfoot offering ballet and Zumba classes; Michelle MacLean focusing on tap, jazz and hip-hop dance styles; Melody Parenteau who leads Essentrics, a type of stretching workout for dancers; and Slava Doval with her unique FolkFusion classes.

And there’s more to come. Lightfoot says there’s been interest from instructors wanting to teach belly dance, ballroom dance and highland dance styles.

“We want to have as many classes and as much variety as we can,” she explained. “We’re open to suggestions — if there’s a type of dance you’d like to see offered, we’ll try to get it on the schedule.”

The instructors agree that Nelson has long been in need of another dedicated dance studio, particularly one with a sprung dance floor.

“Having the right dance surface is key,” MacLean said. “You get a better grip and less impact on your joints on the sprung floor.”

Another feature that’s hard to find in temporary studios is the floor-to-ceiling mirrors that assist with teaching.

“We have a very understanding landlord who’s let us install everything we need to turn this into a great teaching space,” Lightfoot said.

Classes will cater to all experience levels, from recreational to advance lessons for dancers preparing for festival performances. There will also be classes specifically for musical theatre actors who want to improve their dance skills.

For a schedule of classes, drop by the The Dance Connection or email thedanceconnection@outlook.com.