Dancers show off their skills in Lookout Dance Company’s year-end recital
Tim Brody - Editor
A successful first season for Sioux Lookout’s newly established Lookout Dance Company.
Dance classes started in October of 2022 with the season concluding on June 22 with a year-end recital at the Sioux North High School cafetorium.
Family and friends of the dancers, along with community members, packed the cafetorium for the ballet performance.
More than 30 dancers learned ballet through the Lookout Dance Company this season.
Dancers were divided into two classes by age with dancers in the program ranging in age from three to 14 this past season.
Company Owner/Director Arianna Kitching shared, “The first season went fantastic. Our enrollment was really large. The kids absolutely love it. The parents, the amount of support I’ve received from the community is so awesome.”
Kitching, a competitively and classically trained dancer, studied dance in Thunder Bay for 18 years and has taught for five.
She moved to the community three years ago during the COVID pandemic.
“My co-worker, her daughter really wanted to dance and she knew that I danced so she said, you should start a company. There’s a need. People want to dance. There’s no dancing here right now, so I said okay,” Kitching commented of getting her business off the ground in town.
She put the word out that she was starting a dance company received a large response.
“People just started messaging me and messaging me,” she said.
The season concluded with the year-end recital. Younger participants danced to “You Are My Sunshine”
Older participants danced to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
“Our little ones, I tried to bring it all together as a summer, springtime, so our songs all had to do with summer. It was “You Are My Sunshine” for the little ones… they were all dressed in yellow. My older kids did “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and they were dressed in the different colours of the rainbow.”
Makayla Hoftyzer, 12, was nominated by her fellow dancers to receive the Team Player Award.
Hoftyzer, who has had some pervious dance experience, helped Kitching with the younger class during their year-end recital performance.
Hoftyzer said of her dancer instructor, “She’s really organized. She super awesome and she’s a great teacher. It’s so much fun to work with her.”
For Natalie Finn, 6, this year her first time learning to dance ballet.
“I loved it,” she said, adding she has been working hard all season long.
“I liked being able to help them develop. It was amazing because starting from the ground up I got to see their improvement so quickly,” Kitching said of watching her dancers continual improvement.
Next year’s dance season will begin in September and run through to May.
Kitching plans to have a registration booth at the annual Rec and Leisure Showcase in the fall.
“There will be employees next year and new dance teachers and more classes,” she shared, adding, “Now we’re progressing to tap and jazz… once they have that ballet foundation that they can use.”
Reflecting back on the season, Kitching shared, “The dancers really love it. They love going on stage and coming to class, so that’s all you can ask for.”