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

ARTISTS TOUR: Follow the fish to Metchosin and East Sooke

Stinking Fish group presents its annual summer studio tour July 27-31

WHAT’S ON TAP: Howl Brewing joins the pack of local craft beer operations

Monday beer columnist Matt Poirier checks out a new microbrewer in North Saanich

Charman’s name will live on through Victoria Conservatory of Music bursary fund

Iconic arts patron Eric Charman thrilled to see financial assistance fund growing

Women’s March Victoria keeps movement going with UVic symposium

Discussions, community building and fundraising event highlights women of colour, LGBTQ, immigrants

ROCK THE SHORES 2018: A variety of musical flavours throughout weekend in Colwood

Headliners Brian Wilson, Sheepdogs and X Ambassadors part of diverse lineup festival

WATCH: Trades workers brought into spotlight at Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Sheet metal, roofing apprentices compete for national bragging rights

Saanich Fair: An idea is born

The attaining of a 150th year anniversary is a notable event in… Continue reading

Reviews are in for B.C.-shot ‘Skyscraper’ action movie

City’s film liaison recalls four days of filming at city hall last fall, with Dwayne Johnson on set

B.C. singer up against Shania Twain for Canadian country music award

Madeline Merlo and Shania Twain are two of five nominees for female artist of the year.

Nicolas Cage films in B.C. town

Hollywood actor filming A Score to Settle in North Okanagan

Canadian actress Sandra Oh makes Emmys history with ‘Killing Eve’ nomination

Oh made history as the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award for lead actress in a drama series.

Mexican culture comes alive during Festival Mexicano

Free two-day festival happens this weekend in Victoria’s Centennial Square

NEW FESTIVAL: Vegans of Victoria unite

First ever Vegtoria features all things vegan, July 21 in Centennial Square

Victoria lotto winner looking forward to Mexican holiday with family

Angella Gordon-Spence won weekly $1,000 payday for 25 years on Set for Life scratch game

Most Read