Cultivating Creativity: Raising the barre

By Jane Gardner

In the seven years since taking over as artistic director, Catherine Taylor has raised the barre at Quinte Ballet School of Canada (QBSC) in Belleville, with a higher level of artistic excellence and financial stability. As I watch Taylor teaching a ballet class in the professional program, it is obvious that she is a model to her students. She may be petite in stature, but her vision and presence is large. Taylor is a dynamo: an exceptional teacher who oversees all dance training programs, faculty, students, performances and outreach activities at QBSC. She realized very early in her career that teaching was her passion and her greatest contribution to the dance world.

Her love of ballet began at a Sunday matinee of the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of Coppelia and her rise in the dance world is history. After graduating from the National Ballet School of Canada and further studies at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB), she joined the RWB as a member of the corps de ballet. During her professional career with the RWB, she toured the world creating memories and gaining experience that she shares with her students. As the assistant to the artistic director at the RWB, a position she held for over 20 years, she worked with leading choreographers, helped to stage the Company’s repertoire, taught company classes, coordinated rehearsal schedules and casting.

“The year-end performance, Dance of Spring Showcase, is much anticipated by the professional and graduating students at the QBSC,” says Taylor. “Our students and teaching faculty have been working diligently; learning and rehearsing choreography from classical ballets, Sleeping Beauty and Napoli, to original choreography in other genres of dance from hip hop and flamenco to jazz and contemporary ballet.” Audiences of all ages at the 7:00 pm performance on June 8 at Centennial Secondary School will be uplifted by these young students with their genuine, committed and passionate love of dance.

Quinte Ballet’s active recreation dance program features over 100 dancers in the Assemblé Showcase on June 1 at 2:30 p.m. at Centennial Secondary School. Every year QBSC students share with the audience of proud parents, friends and families, their joy and enthusiasm as they dance on stage.

For more information about Quinte Ballet School of Canada visit quinteballetschool.com