Raino Dance provides opportunities for people of all ages, shapes and sizes to get involved in the dance form of their choosing, and there are many. Photo courtesy Raino Dance

Victoria’s Raino Dance turns 35 years young

Company has expanded its dance offerings, but its inclusive mission remains the same

By Monique Salez

Monday Magazine contributor

“Dance is for every BODY” has always been at the heart of Raino Dance (originally Lynda Raino Dance).

Welcoming dancers from age 18 upward since 1983, the studio has grown, but the mission remains – dance is for all ages and body types. This has always been a revolutionary idea in an art form that historically has coveted a specific body type, an early start and a short life span for dancers.

Lynda Raino, with her voluptuous form and extremely expressive, theatrical style defied the norm and brought her inclusive, playful teaching style to a market that was unexplored: adult dance.

Over the years she added other styles and teachers and in 2002, I was given the opportunity to build a flamenco program. Originally a modern student of Lynda’s, I found myself continuing my mentorship as a member of the faculty.

With Lynda’s guidance, support and generous heart, 10 years later I purchased the studio. It was like being given the key to a beautiful mature garden. I see myself as the gardener, the caretaker of an amazing community of dance artists and students.

In the early years, it was about repainting the fences and overhauling the online presence. Now it is about looking ahead and meeting the needs of all of this new growth.

From mail carriers to mothers and fathers, from lawyers to doctors to entrepreneurs, Raino Dance invites students to leave their worries at the studio door and bring their bodies to meet the challenges and joys of dance training.

Dance offers a place where we can be in community and connect without the verbal noise. A place to work the mind and body, to let the spirit express with the tilt of a head and the reach of a hand. This is birds in flight, caribou traversing tundra, seaweed rolling in the surf – it is ancient and extremely nourishing for the whole being.

What started as modern dance classes with only Lynda has now become a studio that serves 300 adults, training virtually year-round in six disciplines (contemporary, ballet, jazz, flamenco, hiphop and funk) with a faculty of nine of the top instructors in Victoria.

The fruits of their 10-month program can be seen during a performance June 16 at the Royal Theatre.

Don’t delay, as tickets for this popular show and celebration of movement are dancing out the door! To purchase, visit rmts.bc.ca/tickets-and-events/calendar or call 250-388-5085, Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., or Saturday between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Just Posted

Local and international artists paint murals across Victoria

Sixteen murals are spread out across downtown Victoria as part of the ‘concrete canvas’ project

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

UVic art display showcases craft of bookmaking

Art of the Book 2018 is in the Audain Gallery at UVic from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Aug. 11

Celebrate local food with Feast of Fields in North Saanich

21st Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island is at Kildara Farms on Aug. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m.

RIFFLANDIA: Local artists thrive under festival model

Bands like Current Swell, one of the 2018 headliners, made their mark at RAP

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

REVIEW: Ever wanted to be young again? Theatre Skam’s Concord Floral will make you think again

Strong acting in an interesting theatre space, writes Sheila Martindale

Brad Pitt says he has given Jolie Pitt millions since split

Actor Brad Pitt denies Angelina Jolie Pitt’s claim that he has paid no meaningful child support.

WINE LOVERS UNITE: Victoria festival offers numerous tasting options

Parkside Hotel and Spa hosting Victoria International Wine Festival

Farquhar Auditorium updates image for 40th season

The Farquhar at UVic ushers in new season Sept. 22

THEATRE SKAM: Young cast brings Concord Floral to life in vacant downtown retail space

Former office supply store a unique venue for telling mysterious tale of youth with secrets

5 things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Check out dragon Boats, artists, football and more

Most Read