Dance is both a sport and an art. I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of dance trends on TikTok, but most of the moves remain in the same palette and the creators of said trends end up getting no credit, despite their popularity. Any other choreography you’d see outside of those 15-second videos would usually get laughed at by non-dancers, mainly because it “doesn’t look pretty.” But this artistic sport (or sporty art?) deserves more recognition than what social media is willing to offer.
Below is a short list of dance studios in the Ottawa/Gatineau region for you to check out should you be interested. Classes exist for dancers of all ages and levels, with most offering the usual styles that come to mind: ballet, jazz, contemporary, acro, lyrical, tap, and hip hop. Not only that, they provide classes and camps over the summer, including an intensive week for those wanting to go competitive. Whether you need a place to sign your kid up for classes (from recreational to competitive) or you want to keep yourself active, there are several options for you.
Note: I’ve been to some of these dance studios, some for much longer than others, so I’ll sprinkle in some information based on my experiences, assuming their system hasn’t changed since I was last there. If you’re looking to sign up for the dance season, there’s a good chance you may need to wait until the next session, as the season has most likely started or is close to doing so. Feel free to contact the dance studio of your choice if you need confirmation.
KaliAndrews Dance Company (KADC)
Situated at 2664 Lancaster rd, studio directors Kali Wegg and Lyndon Andrews opened this dance studio’s doors back in 2009. KADC has been training students in recreational, competitive, and professional capacities since then.
They offer various traditional dance styles mentioned above, as well as pointe and limbering. Plus, they specialize in circus-based dance styles, like acrobatic dance, stunting, tumbling, contortion, and aerial acrobatics. Their office hours are Monday and Wednesday from 4-7pm, and Saturdays from 9am-1pm.
Competitive courses include five competitions, one of them even being national! For anyone nervous about performing in front of others: I promise you, being on that stage makes you a completely different person.
Moov Ottawa Dance
Moov Ottawa Dance is a leading BIPOC, women and immigrant-led street dance company run by Alea de Castro and Arnaldo Betancourt Silva. Now, while they may not be a dance studio, you can still go there to dance. Moov Ottawa Dance offers hip hop, house, waacking, breaking “break dance,” and more.
You can find them at the Bronson Centre (211 Bronson Avenue), where you can contact them from Mondays to Fridays from 9am-5pm, and their classes are on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Flava Factory
The Flava Factory, previously known as The Flavor Factory Urban Dance School, was established in 2011 and offers dance classes for all levels and ages in various dance styles that had yet to be provided to our city. Their dedication is not only focused on supporting dancers from Ottawa, but also on the careers of Canadian street dancers. You can find the studio at 1076 Wellington St. W.
They are the only dance studio in Ottawa committed to teaching and promoting the urban dance styles of popping, breaking, house, locking, hip hop, vogue, waacking, and dancehall. Their goal is to provide experiences for emerging Ottawa dancers to learn about the foundation, history, and proper technique of each of these dances. Priding itself on its artistic integrity, the studio aims to provide each dancer with the necessary resources to evolve their own style, all while understanding its history and culture.
The School of Dance (TSOD)
Found at 200 Crichton St., this studio focuses more on styles like contemporary and ballet. Something that’ll catch your eye when you’re at TSOD (besides the super-large dance spaces) are instruments and a musician waiting in the corner, ready to play for the dancers. Back when I went for contemporary, we’d have music played for us while we did stretches, warm-ups, and even when practicing our performance for the end of the year!
Speaking of performances, The School of Dance produces a myriad of performances each season featuring their trained dancers. They take you from studio to stage, whether it’s at the National Arts Centre, the Museum of History Theatre, Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, Arts Court Theatre, or the ODD BOX Theatre.
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Atelier de Danse Carole Brouard (ADCB)
Now for the Gatineau dance studios!
This one’s hidden in one of the cozy corners of Galeries de Hull (320 St-Joseph boulevard, Local 154), but once you’re in, you’re greeted by couches, workstations and four roomy dance studios. Whichever room you end up in, you can guarantee a learning experience for the entire season, whether you’re preparing for competitions or the end-of-year performance.
Regarding their intensive week, ADCB has had dancers like Michel Dubé, Eliana Todaro, Laura Ndong, and more come to teach workshops and help their dancers improve their skills for the upcoming season. If you decide to go competitive, you get to travel to Montréal and even Toronto for competitions, depending on what dance group you make it into!
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Studio de Danse Danielle
“We are committed to creating a safe, joyful, and welcoming space, which encourages great personal growth in terms of creativity, flexibility, strength, and mental fortitude,” say Tanya Miller and Karin Kelley, Artistic Directors of Studio de Dance Danielle. Along with your usual styles, this Gatineau studio offers online classes as well as strength & stretch and daycare classes for the little ones. There’s also creative movement, where you and your child (from 18 months to three years) can better your rhythm, coordination, balance, and motor skills. Not only is it a place for the young’uns to start dancing young, but the parents also get a bonding opportunity with them. They are located at 1920 Pink Road.