Teaching the Next Generation of Dancers in Currie
September 22, 2021
Some Calgarians may be surprised to learn that there is an internationally recognized ballet school right here in Currie. Since 2015, H/W Ballet has been teaching dance to students of all ages and abilities. H/W offers programs for young dancers at the beginning of a serious dance career, adult dancers looking to improve their skills and fitness level, and everyone in between.
What is H/W Ballet?
The Hattori/Williamson School of Ballet was founded by Galien Johnston-Hattori, Yukichi Hattori and Tara Williamson in 2016. As Yukichi and Tara approached retirement from their performance careers, they were inspired to create a world-class ballet school in their home city.
“We love that [Currie] has the history of the barracks behind it. Ballet also has long traditions and history, so it felt right.”
When choosing where exactly in Calgary they would want their studio, Currie was an obvious choice. The founders felt that the community’s sense of history aligned perfectly with the concept of a ballet school, which is similarly steeped in a long tradition. Plus, it was also a great practical solution. With dancers coming from all quadrants of the city to learn and practice at H/W Ballet, a convenient central location was a must-have.
Teaching and taking ballet lessons in Currie
For teachers, students, and parents alike, dance lessons in Currie are a wonderful addition to an active lifestyle. The drive to the studio is quick and scenic, no matter where you’re coming from. For parents with a young dancer taking lessons, there are lots of family-friendly things to do in the area. Enjoy a stroll through one of many greenspaces while waiting for pick-up, indulge in a meal from a local restaurant, or make a day out of it by bringing the family dog for some exercise in the off-lease bark park!
“We are so lucky to get to spend our days in such a vibrant community.”
What’s next for H/W Ballet?
Much like every other school or gym, teachers and students at H/W Ballet have experienced several closures and re-openings over the past year or so. In the upcoming 2021/22 school year, the school is hoping for an experience closer to “normal” for their students. In particular, they’re hoping for a return to in-person performances so the students can share their skills and love of ballet with their friends and family.
“We hope to have a year where we can realize our growth through this experience, reunite in our shared love of dance, and, fingers crossed, get back out on stage. Because the theatre is where every dancer really loves to be.”
One thing that will never change for the team at H/W is their dedication to their art. Many of the teachers involved in the school had to leave their homes as young children to pursue ballet at a serious level. Now, this group of dancers are committed to creating a space for the next generation of dancers to practice, perform, and achieve their dreams right here in Calgary.
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