Since 1973, our school has had the distinct pleasure of providing quality dance education to children and adults in our community. We are honoured to have earned the trust and respect of those former students, who are now bringing their children and grandchildren to us for dance classes.
Dance Expressions evolved from a privately owned dance school which was opened in Port Colborne in 1973, then called “Ava Balogh’s School of Classical Ballet”. When tap and jazz were added to the curriculum the school name was changed to “Dance Park” In 1983 the school was turned over to a Board of Directors, to be administered as a non-profit recreational organization, with Ava Balogh Dalcourt as Artistic Director. The name was then changed to “Port Colborne Dance Academy”.
In September of 1983, Ava was joined by Donna Moreau and they co-directed the Port Colborne Dance Academy until the dissolution of the Board of Directors in 2000. The school then reverted back to its original private ownership. It was incorporated under the name “Dance Expressions Inc.”, co-directed by Ava Dalcourt and Donna Moreau. Both have been recognized by the Provincial and Federal Governments for their contributions to the arts through the dance school’s accomplishments.
In September of 2016, the school was purchased by Heather King, one of the school’s instructors. Heather is excited to share her love and knowledge of dance with Port Colborne as the new Artistic Director and Owner of Dance Expressions Inc.
In 1989 the school presented a very successful, full-scale production of the Nutcracker Ballet in Port Colborne and St. Catharines using dancers trained within the school. In 1990 the Nutcracker was presented again at both venues, however, this time it was presented with National Ballet Company of Canada guest artists, Kevin Pugh, Margaret Illman and Chan Hon Goh dancing the lead roles with the students of the school, accompanied by the Niagara Symphony.
A number of students have been accepted through audition to further their study at the National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and the Quinte Ballet School. Graduating students have been accepted through audition to further their study in University Dance Programs at York University, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University. Many former students are presently working in the dance field, as choreographers, dance teachers, and professional dancers, performing on stage, television and cruise lines across Canada and the United States, as well as Australia, Japan and Europe. Our students have also had the opportunity to perform with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Klienhan’s Music Hall in Buffalo, New York.
Although we do not often speak of all our school has accomplished over the years, or the amazing talent that has passed through our doors, we must say, it actually is quite outstanding when you consider the population of the City of Port Colborne.
Dance Expressions Inc. is fully accredited by the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London England, Cecchetti Society Branch.
We believe that dance is an art form and that every person can experience the unique feeling that dancing gives us, regardless of their age or ability. To that end, our school offers programs for students aged 3 years to adult to meet the needs of those who simply wish to dance for recreational purposes. As well, we offer pre-professional programs to students 9 years of age and over who develop a sincere passion for dance and wish to study more seriously with a view to taking examinations and entering dance competitions.
We are a small school with an average annual enrolment of 160 students. We are fortunate to have six fully qualified dance professionals working together to ensure dancing is a joyful and rewarding experience for all of our students. We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments, which are evident in the two very professional performances they present at the end of each school year at The Greg Frewin Theatre to close to full house audiences.
Although our pre-professional students have been the recipients of countless first place awards in dance competitions in Canada and the United States, we do not consider ourselves to be a competitive school. Our pre-professional students are afforded the opportunity to enter two or three local competitions each year, primarily for the experience. If you are looking for a school whose main focus is on competing and winning, Dance Expressions would not be a good fit for you. If you are looking for a school that will provide sound dance training and focuses on a pleasant positive atmosphere with a goal to motivate all students to be the best that they can be, we are sure you will enjoy dancing with us and hope you will join our artistic family.
Dance Expressions Inc. occupies a 4000 square foot unit located at 183 Main Street East, Port Colborne, Ontario. There is a large paved parking lot at the back of the building and the entrance to our three studios is located directly off the back parking lot. Two of our studios have viewing windows which are open (at the discretion of the teachers) from time to time. All three studios are equipped with Sprung Hardwood Flooring, covered with non-slip Rosco Stage Flooring, Ballet Barres, Mirrors, Sound Systems, Forced Air Heating and Central Air Conditioning. Boys and Girls change rooms are available for students to use and there is a comfortable lobby area where parents are welcome to wait while their child is in class.