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Montreal Families

Dance class for adults with special needs

The Preville Arts Centre is inviting adults with special needs to take part in a new dance class as a way to express themselves while having fun. Taught by École de danse contemporaine de Montréal graduate Jamie Malysh, it is open to those  from 18 to 30.

Currently in its winter semester, the centre is registering students for its spring session that will start on March 8. Malysh says the goal of the class is to give participants a safe space to express themselves, to feel accepted by others and give them a chance to socialize. “It’s a very open class; we usually talk, socialize a bit and then we’ll do some dancing,” Malysh said. “We just started learning a dance for Valentine’s Day, which they love.”

This dance class is capped at eight students so all participants feel that they are getting one-on-one attention. It takes place Thursday evenings from 5:45 p.m, to 6:30 p.m.

The cost is $12 per class but bursaries are available. To register, visit https://centrepreville.org/registration.

The Preville Arts Centre Dance Academy was created in September 2020 and it offers classes for all ages in everything from ballet and hip hop to jazz and tap.

Started in 1974 by opera singer Belva Thomas, the Preville Arts Centre is a non-profit organization that offers art education. Thomas’ daughter Veronica, who is now the Director of Preville, says that when her mother arrived in Montreal after her musical career in Europe, she created the centre to provide music, art and theatre classes, among other classes, to the community.

Unlike this new dance class, the centre does not focus on providing programs or lessons for people with special needs exclusively, but offers its programs to families so they can have something to do together. “The vision of the school has always been to bring families together so both kids and parents could take dance art, music and theatre lessons, and experience things in community settings,” Thomas says.

Due to the pandemic, the Preville Online Platform was created to offer virtual classes. The platform has multiple rooms, one for each of their online classes, as well as a library. People can hop from class to class to socialize with other students. They can also virtually hang out in the library and use and read the PDF books that the centre provides in the library.

A list of programs, costs, as well as registration details, are all available at https://centrepreville.org.

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