Enrolling your kids in arts programming will pay off in spades as they develop their creativity, find their voice, and build confidence
If you’re a parent to young kids, you want to know that you’re sending your little ones to a place that fosters a positive environment. Arts education is proven to help kids develop academic skills, and boost personal growth, self-discipline, and well-being. But the confidence, self-esteem, and self-love they discover in the classroom is theirs to keep forever and to carry with them into the world. What more could you ask for?
For Arts Umbrella alumna Rachel McNamee, who started dancing when she was just three years old, there was no way she could have known that she was setting out on a career path. But when she joined Arts Umbrella in 2005, her training took centre stage in her life for the next nine years. Rachel vows she spent more time at Dance Studio 108 at Arts Umbrella’s Granville Island location than in her own bed. “Life revolves around dance,” she says. “I revolve around dance.”
If you live in Surrey, the Surrey Summer Dance Intensive is just one example of the excellent programming available in the neighbourhood. Featuring Ballet and Contemporary classes with Arts Umbrella Vancouver faculty, the program offers exceptional instruction and leads dancers to develop new skills in preparation for their future classes. For little ones, check out Arts Umbrella’s Summer Camp guide to find out what’s available in your area.
Now dancing her third season with the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater, Rachel credits Arts Umbrella for her top-notch training. “Arts Umbrella is known to produce a certain standard of dancer,” explains Rachel. And while that training prepared her for success in her career, she says Arts Umbrella also produces top-notch people: “So much of who I am, so much of how I view and approach the world, I owe to Arts Umbrella.”
That sentiment of “inspiring creativity, for good” is steeped in everything Arts Umbrella does. Their philosophy isn’t to make cookie-cutter kids; instead, they treat each child as an individual. They nurture the creativity in each and every one of their students, and offer guidance and direction that’s useful in both practical applications like career development, and also everyday life. “We’re given incredible opportunities beyond ourselves and are expected to rise to the challenge,” says Rachel. “We’re taught not just choreography and technique, but respect, community, and perseverance.”
And with Arts Umbrella, you can rest assured that your child is in good hands. In every discipline, Arts Umbrella provides the best mentors, instructors, and advocates for their students. The children are always their number one priority. For Rachel, Arts Umbrella provided the environment, mentors, and emotional support to facilitate her development. They played an affirming role in guiding her to be the mature, articulate, confident, and cultured woman she is today.
Rachel’s mother, Caroline, explains why the organization is so unique: “Arts Umbrella is a serious art institute that seeks to bring art to all. While they certainly prepare students for a career in the arts, they nurture all young people so that they can become better people and well-rounded citizens, even if art, dance, or theatre is not their future career.” And that’s what really counts.
*Sponsored by Arts Umbrella South Surrey