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One of the greatest rewards for artistic director, Tanya Bakala, is when a student who was home grown at the Mission Dance Centre goes out into the professional dance world and returns to share their talent with the next generation of new hopefuls.
This winter season, David Denton Protsack is this returning student. Protsack, a handsome young man will dance the role of the prince in The Nutcracker along with the dance students of the pre-professional program. Mission Dance has been blessed in the past years with students such as David coming back to partner with the young and up and coming ballerinas.
What a treat and wonderful experience for these teen female dancers who have the opportunity to be partnered by a professional dancer! Not many teen girls have such a special chance to step into the role of Clara or Sugarplum Fairy and to be partnered by professionals.
The Mission Dance Centre strives to make dreams come true. This year we have the role of Clara danced by Taria Soames (mat) and Anna Baerg (eve). The role of the Sugarplum Fairy will be danced by Anna as well in the matinee performance and Annette Bakala for the evening and public school performances.
One of the mandates of ambitious artistic director is for Mission Dance to service the community of Kelowna by making the training and performances accessible to all who love dance. Proceeds from the silent auction at this year's Nutcracker performances will go to the Mission Dance Centre's scholarship fund. David was a winning recipient of such a scholarship when he was training at the centre before going on to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. The other way that Mission Dance likes to give back is to make the performances affordable to parents with children, so tickets for children 5 and under are free admission.
Ms. Bakala strives to make dance affordable whether you are a dance hopeful or an audience member.
All of this passion that Ms Bakala has for dance was ignited years ago when believe it or not she met the great Rudolph Nureyev backstage in Toronto when he was performing with the National Ballet - now there was a prince in the flesh! She saw his greatness and electrifying presence during the brief backstage meeting and has been mesmerized ever since.
Holding on to that little girl's mesmerized moment and never forgetting that one single person can emit so much beautiful and powerful energy Ms. Tanya holds the belief that each of us has this capacity within us...when living our passion.
This little girl went on to become a professional dancer herself, holding the memory of the amazing Nureyev.
But why is holding this production of the Nutcracker so important to this passionate former professional dancer? Now, as a mentor to ballet students, the poised artistic director holds the space for each student to experience themselves in all their grandeur of who they are, on and off stage! Ms. Tanya works very hard to nurture not only dancers but also strong and confident individuals.... Knowing and respecting the fact that some of them will become professional dancers while so many others move on one day to use the tools they gained from dancing at at the Mission Dance Centre to become the person they are ultimately destined to be. It is important that each performer experiences themselves just as Rudolph Nureyev had the passion and conviction to experience himself. Bakala says, each person has the capacity to make their own dreams to come true and I am there as a support and a gentle wind that blows them in the right direction when it is their time. Just as life presents both sunny days and storms, so too do students experience this on their journey of becoming their own person and a dancer.
Ms Tanya considers this part of her job, as their teacher and artistic director, to guide them through the good and the bad.
Performances coming up:
Dec 1st 12pm Public School
Dec 2nd 2pm matinee
Dec 2nd 7:30pm evening
3261 Gordon Dr (Evangel Church)
Tickets: Eventbrite or at the door or call 250-764-2222