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Alberta Ballet to offer free youth classes at Red Deer YMCA

Multiple generations of ballet students have emerged from Tacoma City Ballet. (Photo by Morf Morford)

The Alberta Ballet is set to offer free ballet classes to youth later this month at the Red Deer’s Northside Community Centre YMCA.

Free beginner ballet classes will be offered at the YMCA once a week until Nov. 27 and are available to kids, ages 6-9 and 10-16.

“Alberta Ballet’s program at Northside Community Centre YMCA brings such a unique opportunity for our community,” said Vicki Wilson, General Manager, Northside Community Centre YMCA.

“The initiative aligns with the YMCA’s commitment to deliver inclusive programming that allows our youth to discover their passions as they develop physically, socially, and emotionally.”

“Through exceptional expertise and accessible programming, youth will have increased opportunities to participate in arts and culture programming they may otherwise never have considered,” added Wilson.

“We have already seen the positive impacts this program has on our community and are excited for more children and youth to have these experiences as we continue working with Alberta Ballet.”

The classes are designed for local youth who experience barriers to participate in dance, the arts or other recreational programs. These barriers can include cost, sense of belonging, and transportation, to name a few.

Classes are offered at no charge and no previous dance experience is needed which opens the door for low-income families take advantage of the opportunity to let their kids explore a new activity.

Taryn Samson, Director of Alberta Ballet’s Community Programming, said the collaboration with the YMCA is increasing access to dance for youth of all ages and experience levels.

“Exposure to dance is extremely beneficial for all ages, helping to improve coordination, musicality and self-confidence,” Samson said. “Parents whose children have taken part are grateful to see their kids moving and having a good time, making new friends.”

“Having these opportunities, it’s just amazing to be able to let our children experience things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. To have something that is here, available and free and accessible to everyone is priceless– it is really just such an asset to the community.”

Registration is open to 30 youth, referred by local youth serving agencies, schools and the YMCA. Classes started Oct.16 and run once per week until Nov. 27.

About the Author: Red Deer Advocate Staff

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