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

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.

Dance

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)
Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Braden Holtby’s new mask designed in collaboration with Luke Marston and David Gunnarsson. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
Vancouver Island Coast Salish artist unveils new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Alan Tudyk stars as Alien Harry Vanderspeigel in the new series Resident Alien (Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY)
Resident Alien brings Vancouver Island to the small screen with January premiere

Quirky series shot in Ladysmith will air every Wednesday on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel

Comox-based cinematographer Maxwel Hohn’s new documentary captures the lives of Vancouver Island’s coastal wolves. Photo courtesy Maxwel Hohn.
New mini-documentary shot on Vancouver Island echoes the ‘call of the coastal wolves’

Photography heavyweights from B.C. come together for Maxwel Hohn’s second wildlife documentary

The 2021 Victoria Film Festival includes Vancouver Island produced feature film All-in Madonna. The festival looks a bit different this year, but film-lovers can still expect a full and diverse lineup. (Courtesy of VFF)
Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing

Lineup features 50 films including Vancouver Island-produced All-in Madonna

Jorie Benjamin does a modern dance performance to ‘La Vie en rose’ by Édith Piaf, Louis Gugliemi and Marguerite Monnot, choreographed by Elise Sampson during the Cowichan Music Festival’s Highlights Concert at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on March 1, 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Music Festival cancelled for 2021

The festival had already been limited to solo performances only for 2021

<em>Chinook Salmon: Breaking Through</em> by B.C.’s Mark Hobson was selected among 13 entries as the winner of the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s Salmon Stamp Competition.
Stained-glass lighting casts a win to B.C. salmon artist

Painting of chinook is Mark Hobson’s third win in annual contest

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”. The natural photo art for the album includes Vancouver Island mountains, rivers and beaches. Scenes from the Cowichan River, Witchcraft Lake, Pipers Lagoon, Wall Beach and other popular Island recreation destinations accentuate the album. (RICHIErichieRichie Music Publishing photo)
Serenity Now! Richie Valley debuts third LP dubbed Apollonian

Apollonian means “serene, calm, or well-balanced; poised & disciplined”

Victoria artist Noah Layne is conducting online workshops on portrait drawing as part of the Metchosin ArtPod’s About Face portrait show. (Photo courtesy of Noah Layne)
Metchosin Art Pod doing an about-face

Renowned artist Noah Layne hosting online classes in portrait drawing

This weekend Amy Pye is holding a virtual book launch for her latest children’s book, <em>Bruce the Silly Goose</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Victoria writer and illustrator pens children’s book about COVID-19 safety

Amy Pye to hold online book launch for ‘Bruce the Silly Goose’

The pantomime ‘Snow White and the 5 Dwarfs’ has been cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Submitted)
Pantomime cancelled in Cowichan due to COVID restrictions

A partnership of the Cowichan Musical Society, the Shawnigan Players, and the Mercury Players.

A rendering shows the entrance planned for the Hornby Island Arts Centre. Image supplied
Work on Hornby Island Arts Centre to start this month

Community worked with award-winning architectural firm on design

Western Edge Theatre artistic director Brian March and local theatre artists Brianna Hamilton and Daniel Puglas (from left) make up Western Edge’s new team of “artistic associates.” (News Bulletin file photos/Courtney Harder)
Nanaimo theatre company adds younger, diverse voices to artistic team

Western Edge hopes new ‘artistic associates’ will help form new ideas, reach new audiences

Most Read