COCHRANE— Going from dancing in their living rooms in April to performing on the Mitford Park Stage in September, Snap Dance Studios celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special recital on Saturday (Sept. 12).
Snap Dance Studios owner and founder Courtney Sproule said it was exciting to be able to celebrate their 10th anniversary, while showcasing the talented dancers who call the studio home.
“I just feel really fortunate and really thankful and really glad that we got to today,” Sproule said. “It was pretty scary knowing we’re planning this and risking that it could all fall apart again.”
The studio technically had their 10th-anniversary last season, Sproule said, but due to the COVID-19 health measures they were unable to dance together. The recitals were originally planned to take place in May but were postponed.
“With the closure, everyone was just dancing at home zooming with each other. We couldn’t touch or do these dances that we worked on,” Sproule said. “Literally at the point that we closed was when we were supposed to start dancing with them— These kids never saw the stage.”
Sproule said she feels fortunate they were able to host the 10th-anniversary recital at Mitford Park Stage even if it was a little bit later than expected.
Snap Dance Studios has two cohorts of around 50 students who were able to show off their skills on the stage. They began rehearsing together two weeks prior to the show.
“The kids have worked so hard because they're so grateful to get to do it,” Sproule said. “The energy has been unbelievable everyone is so happy— There were lots of tears today because we actually made it here. There’s some serious gratitude from everybody.”
Sproule praised the hard work of the Snap Dance Studios team in ensuring the event could take place based on COVID-19 public health measure guidelines.
She added the Snap Dance parents association raised $1,400 for students who could not afford to dance due to their families being affected by the pandemic. She added individual donations raised $2,200 to sponsor dancers.
“Our model was no dancer left behind,” Sproule said. “This whole thing has made us stronger as a community.”
Snap Dance Studio lead instructor Alia Ruemper said dancers were “super-excited” to show off their skills during the anniversary recital.
“They’ve never danced more passionately— They were dancing from their heart,” Ruemper said. “They’re so excited to be back.”
She added dancing outside was a new and fun experience for the students. It was their first time doing a performance like this and they spent all summer planning to ensure they met all health requirements to keep dancers and the audiences safe.
“They worked really hard and they were interrupted before they got the chance to hit the stage. It’s really exciting for them to finally be able to share what they worked hard for,” Ruemper said. “It’s exciting for them to be with their teammates again after so much separation. Community is such a big part of our core values.”