Vancouver Island dance classes touted as a tool for empowering women – Vancouver Island Free Daily


Candice Robillard has always loved to dance.

Now she wants to help others use exercise to promote “positive body image and empower women”.

Valley Girls Heels Training & Performance Programs is a new business, operating out of a dance studio at 464 Puntledge Rd. In Courtenay. Robillard said his heel classes drew rave reviews.

“I trained in dance since I was pretty much in grade 2, until I was a teenager, and then I made the transition to all-star competition cheerleading,” said Robillard. “I moved to Edmonton a few years ago and ran one of the best dance studios there, and that’s where I fell in love with the heel style – it was one of our most popular courses.

When she returned to the Comox Valley in 2017, she realized that nothing similar was offered.

“So I sort of danced alone, in the gym or whatever room they had. Eventually I would have friends who would come and dance with me… so I just said, ‘I’m taking it to the valley. We’re going to have a heels program. And here we are. “

Heel dancing is a solo dance technique, characterized by technical footwork, as seen in the ballroom, and Latin dancing (i.e. salsa). Although it takes its name from the shoes traditionally worn during performance, Robillard said his classes focus more on personal development than shoes.

“It’s called heels… but it’s more about style. Whatever shoes you feel comfortable in, you only wear what you like. Then finally, once you’ve got your confidence in yourself, sometimes you switch to trying it on with heels… kind of like a makeover.

Robillard said no experience is necessary and it’s not about becoming a ballroom dancer.

“It’s not about how you look, how old you are, how tall you are, or even the way you dance. It’s just about feeling confident and empowered, and breaking down industry stereotypes, ”she said. “It’s more about stepping out of your comfort zone and forgetting your insecurities.

“I have people who have never danced before. I have people who say they have two left feet. And then there are some who have experience in dancing and it’s just a new style for them. But no one in the room cares how you look or how well you dance. We’re all here to cheer each other on… go out and have a good time.

Robillard’s classes teach basic heel dance choreography, with new steps introduced as sessions progress.

“I’m going to create a little routine that we learn; we’re going to practice this for a few weeks and then move on to the next, ”she said.

Six, eight and ten week sessions are available, depending on the day of the week. The next session starts in mid-October.

For more information on Valley Girls Heels training and performance programs, see the Facebook page, Instagram page, @valleygirlsdance, or by email, [email protected]

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