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Giving back one experienced dance step at a time

Sea to Sky Dance Collective welcomes new contemporary ballet dancers; donates to community and preps for 2022 performance.
When Dayna Goldman moved to Squamish from Montreal, she was eager to find a dance collective for experienced contemporary ballet dancers in the Sea to Sky Corridor similar to the one she loved in her previous home. 

But she soon found there wasn’t anything like the Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company she was with for four years while she was in university back east. 

“They offer drop-in classes by donation and it would take us about a year to put together a full-length, professional-level dance performance, and all the proceeds from a performance would go to a charity,” Goldman recalled. 

Her background was in competitive gymnastics, even competing internationally until she was about 17. Later, she transitioned to contemporary ballet dance at the Montreal collective.

Instead of such a collective in town, she found dancers like herself travelling to the city for advanced workshops.

“That is often what happens. If you don’t follow the professional route, you are often stuck with beginner classes — which everyone can benefit from, but it is nice to challenge yourself sometimes too.”  

Wanting something for the corridor, Goldman decided to launch the not-for-profit Sea to Sky Dance Collective in November of 2020, mirroring the collective she left behind, with proceeds from classes going to various charities. 

“I felt like Squamish was the perfect place and community to get something like this started with the hopes of expanding the local dance community for a good cause,” she said. 

Contemporary ballet dancers train together weekly at the Squamish Dance Centre

The collective is open to dancers who are 14 and up.

And one-hour drop-in classes at the centre for those hoping to dance occasionally are by donation.

“The Squamish Dance Centre has been incredibly supportive,” Goldman said, adding the collective doesn't have to pay to use the space.

“[Centre owner] Sara Constantin has just been incredible. We look at their schedule because obviously their kids’ classes and their main programming is the priority, but right now, they have space for us Sunday evenings.” 

The collective has put on contemporary ballet sessions, and next, they are hosting jazz-technique classes. 

The new session of open-level drop-in jazz technique classes to 1980s and 90s hits starts this Sunday from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

All proceeds will be donated to the Howe Sound Women’s Centre

Drop-in classes are open to beginners, Goldman noted.

“We do have quite a mix. We have made the level accessible so that people leave there getting some technique, feeling good about themselves and not be too overwhelmed. But also, those of us with more experience are still getting something out of that class,” she said. 

After the open-level hour-long, drop-in class, collective members stay for extra rehearsal time to collaborate and create choreography together. These are pieces that they are hoping to perform in the collective's first benefit production in 2022 in support of Girl in the Wild.

Girl In the Wild Adventure Association is a non-profit organization that provides free outdoor retreats and camps for teens who identify as girls. 

“We are looking for more dancers with experience to join the collective,” Goldman said. 

Those interested can start by registering for a drop-in class. Email Goldman, who is the director, at to express interest and dance experience. 

“It has been really nice in a year to get to know all these people in the community. A lot of them were in a similar situation. They maybe grew up dancing and then stopped for university or once they started working and it has been maybe five to 10 years and feels really strange to get back into it, but it is amazing to see their faces light up when they are like, ‘Wow, my body remembers what to do! I haven’t done a pirouette in years, but I can do it,” she said. “It has been this really nice platform and space to connect with dancers that are new to it or who haven’t done it in a while because of the lack of opportunity in the area.” 

COVID-19 protocols are in place for dancers, including proof of vaccination. 

Follow the Sea to Sky Dance Collective on Facebook and Instagram. 

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