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We have been thrilled to have Lauren O’Kell as our intern over last few months! In this guest blog post she talks about her background in dance and her experience working at The Dance Centre:
This spring, I started my internship with The Dance Centre as the last requirement of my Arts and Cultural Management Diploma Program through Edmonton’s Grant MacEwan University. I moved to Vancouver from Edmonton last summer to continue my dance career and experience the diverse art and culture that exists in this vibrant city. Though it was a risky and bold decision moving halfway through my program, Vancouver was calling to me to experience the evolving dance, arts and cultural industries. I knew right away that The Dance Centre would be the perfect place to broaden my knowledge in dance and arts management.
Since May, I have been working closely with Heather (marketing) and Hilary (member services), who have been a pleasure to work with and learn from, as well as the other amazing staff in the organization. Some of the tasks I undertook were updating performance online listings, poster distribution, researching upcoming auditions and events, organizing the video library, proofreading, and patron marketing research. My first project was to coordinate a coffee gathering with The Dance Centre staff and tenants of Scotiabank Dance Centre. We had such a great time catching up and getting to know the new tenants over coffee and cookies. A larger project I carried out was developing a Visiting Artist Handbook to provide information on Dance Centre resources and other local information such as transit, shops and restaurants. The most recent project I tackled was putting together documentation for the upcoming Power of Dance Elementary School Outreach program, which offers dance workshops to students from Kindergarten to Grade 7.
I have always had a strong passion and love for the arts, initially sparked by watching my mother teach dance in Edmonton. I am classically trained in ballet, through the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), in which I achieved my RAD examinations and received the Solo Seal Award. My professional training led me to compete at the Genée International Ballet Competition (2011), hosted in Cape Town, South Africa, succeeding as the only Canadian finalist. I later studied at the Miami City Ballet School in the style of Balanchine, followed by dancing with Citie Ballet (now Ballet Edmonton) for two seasons.
Throughout my internship, I have learned a lot about the diversity of the Vancouver dance community: the many different companies and artists working in the city; the range of styles supported and represented; as well as all the services and resources The Dance Centre provides. It is fascinating to me how such a small group of people, that make up The Dance Centre staff, run and manage the organization with the utmost care and devotion. I am grateful to have learned from them, and for how The Dance Centre has impacted my life and education in dance and arts management. Thank you so much to The Dance Centre team for this memorable opportunity and helping me grow!
Photos: top - David Cooper; bottom - TDFOTO (Tarzan Dan).
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