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Mar 27, 2003

Ballet is alive and well in Ladyville

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In recent years it seems that activities for Belizean children, while still limited, are increasing in number and relevance. Scouting has taken off, summer camps abound and the Governor General’s musical initiative has high school bands beating out nationwide. But one extra-curricular pastime, predominantly for girls, has never gone out of style. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods reports from Ladyville.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

It was in the early seventies that I got a taste of what it’s like to be a ballerina after attending a few classes at the Mary Valdez Ballet School. Unfortunately, that experience was short lived, but it was refreshing to see that today many children still enjoy this form of dance and consider it a favourite after school activity.

Jacqueline Woods

“Inga you are sixteen years old, who long have you been doing ballet?”

Inga Aikman, Student, Vista Dance School

“Well I started when I was three, but I have been dancing at Vista for 5 years.”

Jacqueline Woods

“What of you like about it?”

Inga Aikman

“I guess learning technique, the music and especially around recital time it really gets exciting.”

Sistie Fairweather-Harmes, Director, Vista Dance Studio

“We work together very well. I think the children enjoy it. I try to make it and enjoyable experience for them because in their young lives they should be happy. It is hard work, but at the same time I think they enjoy doing it.”

Hughette Saul, Student, Vista Dance Studio

“It helps you, like in class you get use to sitting up straight, and not slouching all the time.”

Jacqueline Woods

“How long have you been doing ballet?”

Hughette Saul

“For about five years.”

Jacqueline Woods

“What do you like about it?

Hughette Saul

“Everything.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Everything like what?”

Hughette Saul

“Like being the lead in one of the dance…owe it all to her.” (laughs)

Sistie Fairweather-Harmes is the director of Vista Dance Studio in Ladyville. For several months now she has been preparing her ballerinas for their annual recital.

Sistie Fairweather-Harmes

“I think I have been very fortunate…the first we met, the first time you came to the studio these kids were seven years old, now their thirteen. I have a lot of the same kids, so it has been very rewarding, because I could see progress as the years go by.”

Sistie’s dances usually portray Belizean scenes. This year she has decided to bring our beautiful Caribbean Sea to the stage. Travelling on water can be quite an experience and the ballerinas will be sharing those stories with you in a way that promises to captivate the audience.

Inga Aikman

“It’s very emotional. It’s about being in love with someone, it was originally done for a wedding, so it was fun, you’re connected to the music and the words. It’s really beautiful music to dance.”

Alyson Courtenay, Dancer, Vista Dance Studio

“Well we don’t want them to be in love, so when they want to hold hands we push them up and they sit down together and we walk around them.”

The show is titled Seascape and it took both the director and her dancers quite sometime to put together.

Sistie Fairweather-Harmes

“Well I am excited because the kids are ready. They are as ready as can be. We had a little kid with an accident who won’t be able to dance, minor little problems. But on the whole, I think its going to be a great show.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Now I want you look right into the camera and invite people out to Saturday’s show.”

Alyson Courtenay

“I want my grandma, my granddad, my mom…”

Jacqueline Woods

“Of course you want your family to be at the show, but I want you to invite the public to the show.”

Alyson Courtenay

“I want to invite everyone. I want everyone to come see Vista Dance and to see if their kids want to join.”

The curtain goes up at six at the Biltmore Plaza on Sunday evening. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

Tickets for Seascape can be bought at the door for ten dollars adults and five dollars for children. This is the dance studio’s sixth annual show.

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