They say when you’re cold, keep moving to stay warm, and what’s a fun way to move? Dance! And now Cassia Parent is giving people of all ages the opportunity to have fun and learn to dance at the same time in Nakusp.
Cassia, originally from Port Coquitlam, has been dancing since she was ten and has been involved in music and the arts long before that. She has been a student as well as a teacher for tap dancing and ballet at Diamonds in the Rough Studio as well as at the highly competitive Mellado Dance Elite Studio in the Tri-Cities area at the coast.
She has deep roots in Nakusp however; her grandparents grew up here, but moved to the lower mainland where they had their children and then returned to Nakusp in 1984. Cassia has been coming here every year since she was a kid and made the big move to live here in September 2011. She said she and her boyfriend were tired of life in the crazy city.
“I wanted to find a way to stay here, and you need to find work to stay,” Parent said. As Nakuspians know, there isn’t a ton of usual work to choose from. And this in combination with the fact that Parent “gets bored easily and quick,” she decided to share her talent and “to build up the community and support the arts.”
So she is doing just that down at the NACOMO (standing for Nakusp Collective for movement) centre on 5th Ave near the credit union. There are dance classes for everyone, from musical theatre and intro to jazz for three to five year olds, hip hop jazz for ages six to eight, nine to 11, 12 to 14 and 15 to 17.
A student teacher, Sydney Bone, helping out with the younger classes, and Cassia is always looking for youth interested in gaining skills or work experience.
“I would love to develop more mentorships,” she told the Arrow Lakes News. Parent is also the Youth Coordinator for the new youth centre located next to Cut Rite Meats on Broadway Street.
Cassia has also started a “dance sampler” class for adults back in October, an eight-week session with introductions to basic jazz, tap and ballet and will have another session beginning next year. Drop-ins are always welcome for the adult classes and it’s never too late to enrol your children.
On top of her dance classes and the youth centre, Cassia is headed to Greece this summer to train for a month and a half to be a yoga teacher. This time next year she is hoping to add yoga to her schedule and perhaps a Burlesque class if there is enough interest.
If you or your child would like to join a class or have any questions go to www.danceonthekusp.com.