Four of the 11 competitive dancers at the Ashley Thomas School of Dance showed their technique and skill before their rehearsal. The school, located in Chesterville at the Maple Ridge Centre, is always open for new registrants and offers a number of dance styles to fit any personality. From left are Elara MacGillivray, Georgie MacGillivray, Ryann Parent, Lauren Kluke and owner/instructor Ashley Thomas. Sawyer Helmer photo
Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
CHESTERVILLE – Ashley Thomas began her love affair with dance when she was only seven years old. From there she attended De La Salle High School in Ottawa with a focus on ballet and then on to York University for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in English. She returned to Ottawa to get her Bachelor of Education and has since been teaching in her old stomping grounds at De La Salle and more recently at North Dundas’ KaliAndrews’ Dance Company.
About two weeks ago, Thomas decided to purchase the KaliAndrews’ dance school and make it her own. The studio is located in the Maple Ridge Centre. Now renamed the Ashley Thomas School of Dance, the location has five instructors including Thomas and holds classes for Ballet and Pointe, Jazz, Acro, Stunting and Tumbling, Hip Hop, Tap, Contemporary and Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Jumps and Turn, Technique and Little Steps.
“Owning my own studio has always been something that I’ve wanted to do so when the opportunity came up I grabbed it,” said Thomas. The studio has begun the dance season that will run until May/June but Thomas said they are always open for registration. They offer both recreational and competitive classes. For competitive dancers they are required to take a technique class on top of their desired style and compete in three competitions during the season. There are currently 11 dancers on the competitive team. All classes are around 45 minutes long and take place after school or on the weekends.
Thomas who is continuing to work at De La Salle during the day will be kept very busy in her new role. “I like it. You have to like what you do. If you do then it doesn’t seem busy at all,” she said.
For more information on the Ashley Thomas School of Dance or to view the full schedule, visit the website: www.atschoolofdance.com.