Fun is the point at new North Shore dance studio
Dance has given Bill Robertson a pretty fine life.
He has travelled the world, performing with some amazing people in some incredible venues.
He has taught, not only in his studio in Vernon but at other studios, including a couple in Kamloops where he has been visiting and sharing his talents for the past two decades.
Now, he wants to make that impact a bit larger, a bit more tangible and, ideally, inspire others to dance and have fun while they do it.
In fact, Robertson said, if spending an hour in tap or jazz
class does little more than provide people with a social time during which they can enjoy other people’s company and strut their stuff, that’s a good thing.
He’s been busy in unit eight at 1203 12th St. getting things ready for open houses next week as he introduces the North Shore Centre for Performing Arts to Kamloops.
He’ll open the doors — but not the registration desk — on Tuesday, Sept. 4, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to introduce the studio to Kamloops.
Registrations can be made today (Aug.30) at the studio from noon to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Robertson said he’s not taking registrations during those sessions because he wants people to come, try out some of the sample classes he’ll be conducting — not much more than 15 minutes, with the emphasis on fun as you learn — and not feel pressured.
He’ll be offering classes in all dance styles, from ballet through jazz, tap and acro.
Robertson knows dance.
Asked when he got started, he shakes his head and says he really doesn’t remember.
His parents enrolled him at the encouragement of his grandmother, he said.
Grandma was a musician from vaudeville days and she loved dancing and theatre.
Both clicked with her grandson, who has gone on to a career including work in film and television, in choreography and dance and in videos.
A graduate of the Vancouver Film School, as well as having studied dance in Los Angeles and New York, Robertson’s resume includes work with the Honey I Shrunk the Kids and SCTV television series, appearances on stages including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and in plays including A Chorus Line, Cats, Seussical and West Side Story.
The Kamloops studio is an extension of Robertson’s company, To The Pointe Productions.
He still expects to collaborate with other dance studios in the area.
Robertson also anticipates continuing his Dance For Dreams program, which sees his students perform shows as fundraisers for local charities.
In recent years, he has raised $20,000 at the Vernon studio for different agencies.
The most recent to benefit was the SPCA, for example.
He chose the name not only because of the location but because he expects to expand his classes into other realms of production, including theatre and voice classes.
But, for now, it’s all about dance — and Robertson is hoping he can inspire a love for it in others, just like his grandmother did for him.