Kim Shatzko always knew she wanted to be a dance teacher.
“I just loved it from the moment I started ballet when I was three,” she said in an interview at her new studio, Vision Dance School.
She went on to tap dance at five and soon added jazz and hip hop to her repertoire.
In elementary school, she answered the inevitable question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with a confident, “I want to be a dance teacher.”
Her parents said, “Of course, you can,” and she went on to get her teaching certification from the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) by the time she graduated from high school and kept adding other certifications along the way. She frequently goes to Vancouver to take part in more training and workshops, including in choreography. She has taught at the Vernon Recreation Centre and other local studios, always thrilled when she sees young dancers get as much pleasure from dance as she does.
She had been thinking about having her own studio and this fall she opened Vision Dance School where she offers RAD exam ballet, street dance and hip hop — popular with girls and boys — and hoop dance done with regular and LED hula hoops.
She has adult tap classes and plans to introduce adult ballet classes. The studio also offers modern and jazz dancing. Students can choose to dance for recreation, exam or competition.
“It’s all really exciting. Dance is a great experience for students, to become confident, physically strong and accomplished,” said Shatzko, 26. “It is great for the body and mind to learn about music and the moves. It also teaches patience to start a project and see it through to performance.”
Students work toward an end-of-year performance and those who want to can also perform at local events like Christmas Light-Up and the Sunshine Festival.
Shatzko continues to be fascinated with choreography.
“The choreography just comes to me when I hear music. I am inspired by songs and music I hear and imagine how they could be dances. Sometimes the students have suggestions about the dances that we are doing. They like to be able to contribute to the class in that way and they have good ideas. I look forward to seeing what they will do with dance as they grow and learn. I am always open to ideas for new classes, to fulfill what students want to do,” she said.
“We all keep working together. I like having the more advanced students as assistants, as I was an assistant and learned so much from it. I would say to anyone who wants to be a dance teacher, or to have a career in any area of dance: ‘Keep working at it. Don’t give up.’”
Shatzko’s studio works in coordination with Argyll School of Performing Arts owned by Janet Hackman.
Shatzko shares her love of dance by volunteering to give dance lessons in physical education classes in local schools. She recently had a free community dance day for people of all ages to try out zumba and street dancing.
For more information and registration (open to the end of October) see www.visiondanceschool.com.