In the heart of Commercial Drive a new dance studio has opened its doors to the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood. Rogue Dance Studio is planted kitty corner to JJ Bean, three blocks from the Broadway Sky Train station, and it offers dance classes for kids. I signed my son up for the Creative Dance class to propel us out of the house on drowsy autumn mornings.
Checking out Dance Classes for Kids
Walking off the Drive and up a flight of steps we found ourselves in a bright, open room with an expansive floor and mirrors lining the wall. The room was divided by a thick curtain allowing two classes to occur simultaneously. We were greeted by Vanessa Mayrand, owner of Rogue, professional dancer and mother of two. She led us into the waiting room set up as a play area full of toys.
The Creative Dance class was upbeat and energetic. The teachers, Michelle and Rachelle, were full of smiles and led activities that taught basic dance foundation while making the kids wiggle and giggle.
Chatting with Vanessa from Rogue Dance Studio
Vanessa received a BA in Dance from SFU in 2005 and then spent time performing, choreographing and teaching. Vanessa told me that after having her two boys, “Like most new moms, I wondered if I would need to let go of this passion of mine. To my great surprise, I discovered I could combine the two worlds. The studio was an idea planted by a dear friend, what if…? The thought of running a dance studio hadn’t even crossed my mind until that point. The studio came along when we weren’t even looking, a wonderful shared space in the heart of the Drive. Rogue Dance Studio is about the people. It’s about building a community that thrives on and recognizes the value of exposing our kids to the arts.”
Vanessa pointed out that the location of the studio makes it unique relative to other dance school’s in Vancouver, “Commercial Drive oozes with creativity. It’s a wonderful and gritty atmosphere. There are lots of families in this area and many of them embrace the arts as a way to communicate and share with each other, it really brings the community together.”
More Than Just Dance Classes for Kids
When I asked Vanessa where she dreams to see Rogue in 10 years she shared, “We hope to become a community where kids from all walks of life are welcome and are inspired through movement. We want to be defenders and protectors of the character and purity of children. We hope to be a studio that raises up confident, bold, extremely talented dancers who rock their world and aren’t afraid to express themselves with reckless abandon.” Rogue offers dance classes for kids, but it’s clearly about more than that.
Finally, I had to ask Vanessa how she performs the great balancing act of being a full-time mom and an entrepreneur of the arts. “It is a crazy juggling act and I am not sure I have found the balance yet. It would not be possible to run Rogue without being surrounded by an amazingly helpful family and other moms who believe in the vision. I am learning to ask for help and be gracious with myself. Luckily my boys enjoy dance and love helping their mama!”
Rogue Dance Studio offers dance classes for kids aged 0-18 as well as a moms’ drop in fitness class. For more information on the variety of classes offered, visit their website.