Thursday, 10 May 2012 10:39

Dancer came back home to help Lyric celebrate

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Growing up in Swift Current, dancer Kasia Skeoch had plenty of opportunities to pursue her passion at her mother's dance studio.


Her career led her to Toronto, where she both teaches and performs, but she will return to the Swift Current stage as part of the Lyric Theatre's Festival of Excellence April 27-28.

"I was dancing long before I even came around, in my mother's belly," explained Skeoch, who honed her skills at Swift Current's Backstage Dance Company. "I grew up doing jazz, tap, ballet, and musical theatre, and really wanted to pursue a career in dance."

Skeoch is still eager to learn, and learns new dances and techniques whenever they are available. She has earned certificates in partner dancing, such as ballroom, foxtrot and salsa, and has taken workshops in other styles, including Indian and Latin.

"I wouldn't consider myself an expert, but I could teach the basics of pretty much any style of dance," Skeoch said. "It's the thing that came most naturally to me."

For Skeoch, dance was never a hobby, but she wasn't interested in a pursuing a career performing regularly on a cruise ship. She was more interested in learning to teach, and training students to discover the same love of dance.

"It's incredible, being able to communicate with your body. It's very different than using words," she noted. "Being on the stage, where you can't see the people who are watching you, it's like letting them into your world, on the stage. They are there to participate in what you are doing."

Although Skeoch still performs regularly, doing cabaret-style jazzy musical theatre with a troupe in and around Toronto, and competes in ballroom dancing across North America, she is still nervous about her upcoming show in Swift Current.

"Ever since I was in Grade 5, I've taken weeks off school to compete in dance, but most people haven't seen me perform," she admitted. "I've got a bit of anxiety about coming back and saying, this is what I've done with my life, but it will be nice to show people I grew up with what I've spent my life learning how to do."

She is also looking forward to seeing some of the other performances lined up throughout the festival, which will showcase the talents of some of Swift Current's brightest cultural alumni.

"There are a lot of artistic people that come from the prairies, and we have a tendency to make our own way in an arts community," explained Skeoch. "There is always an option to follow your passion, no matter where you are from."

Skeoch is also looking into hosting a pay-what-you-can dance class while she is in Swift Current.

The class will be for both couples and singles who are interested in trying out an hour of dance instruction.

"Finding a way to dance through life makes things a little easier," she said. "Using movement can make things flow better, and helps you look at things in a different way."

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