Aboriginal dance coming to Portage 0
A new aboriginal dance program is starting up in Portage la Prairie.
Classes for the Aboriginal School of Dance will be held starting Friday, Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m., at the Prince Ogitchita Martial Arts Systems (POMAS) gym at the Portage Mall.
Registration already took place for the first class, but individuals can still sign up to take part in upcoming lessons.
Dress for the participants is simply something comfortable.
"It's so they have free movement of their body," said Micheline Berard, a Portage artist who has been learning about aboriginal dance for the past two years.
The Aboriginal School of Dance is based out of Winnipeg and is now opening a new school in Portage.
Berard says it's an excellent dance program.
"I was told about the place. So, then I went to Winnipeg and after seeing what they do there, I realized: Wow, Portage definitely needs something like that."
Berard has been in the School of Dance for about five months and has already participated in five performances with the company. She is also helping with outreach for the school in the local community.
"The response is just wonderful," she said. "For people who see the show, it's just awesome."
Berard, who is Metis herself, became interested in aboriginal dance when visiting Long Plain First Nation.
"When I was introduced to aboriginal dance I just fell in love with it," she said. "The drums especially is what drew me to it, the beats, and actually going to a powwow and seeing the beautiful dancers and how they are respected. It is beautiful."
Learning aboriginal dancing is also a good way for people of all ages to both have fun and get some exercise at the same time.
"Right from little kids to adults, it's a good thing," Berard said.
Buffy Handel is the owner of the Aboriginal School of Dance, out of Winnipeg, and is looking forward to starting up a school in Portage.
"The goal with our expansion is to create more opportunity for people on a multi-cultural level to get actively involved in the fitness portion of the aboriginal culture," she said. "It will enhance the opportunity for aboriginal youth as well."
Handel said those who come to the location in Portage can also find out about the beautiful regalia worn by the dancers, as well as the other programs available through the school.
For more information, see: aboriginalschoolofdance.com