Calgary Dance Scene Meets Cirque du Soleil for Insightful Exchange


A unique event was recently held in Calgary where revered dance instructors and distinguished dancers were given an insightful peek into the world of the grand spectacle that is the circus. The who’s who of Calgary’s dance scene rubbed shoulders with the members of Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza, a revered theatrical troupe that enlightened them on the rigours and realities of life as a Cirque du Soleil artist.

More than 60 local studios attended this gathering, all of which are associates of Acrobatic Arts, a premier Canadian-acclaimed acrobatics training program that is renowned by teaching professionals globally.

Amongst the attendees was Acrobatic Arts’ CEO, Mandy Yip, herself a proud native of Calgary. She expressed her delight at having the team from Cirque du Soleil engage with the homegrown burgeoning talent. “Whilst we have arranged similar high-profile events involving Cirque du Soleil, having such an interaction in my hometown stirs a special sentiment. Seeing so many familiar faces in the assembled crowd was cherishing,” she shared.

Insights from Kooza’s creative cohort were high on the agenda for the day. The group had the privilege of hearing from the Artistic Director, the Head Coach, the Head of Sports Medicine, and two dancers renowned for their portrayal of the Trickster character onstage.

Loranne Meek, founder of Baton and Dance Company in Calgary, emerged inspired from the exchange. She admired the robust support structure safeguarding these artists, discussing how the team prepares for unexpected challenges like last-minute injuries, and ensures the continuance of the spectacle.

Echoing the sentiment were Mitch Wynter and Joey Vice, the revered performers of the Trickster character, who underlined the pivotal role their support team plays in making their enchanting presentations possible. Their praise extended beyond their coaches and management, stating how fortunate they were in having an empathetic team that carefully weighs even the minutest of aspects that could affect the show.

The day provided a rich learning experience to the dancers, shedding light on the potential off-stage career opportunities their skill sets could unlock. “Roles such as Artistic Director and Artistic Coach are rewarding alternatives for those dancers who wish to continue making a valuable contribution to the arts without being in the spotlight,” Yip elaborated.

The vibrant extravaganza of Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza will mesmerize audiences at Calgary’s Stampede Park until the 8th of October.


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