Meghen Frerichs says the dance studio is where she can be herself.
In preparation for Royal Bay’s first dance recital, Feb. 11 at the Colwood high school’s new Teechamitsa Theatre, the 17-year-old spends hours there twirling, jumping and leaping to music.
Despite a busy final year of high school, the Grade 12 student said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“(With dance), the best part is feeling like I have a place of belonging in the school. I’ve always felt like I didn’t fit in,” Frerichs said. “A lot of girls like soccer or music. (But) this is a place I really belong. This is my area; I’m comfortable here.”
A dancer since she was three, she’ll join a group of dancers onstage at the recital where they’ll perform jazz, lyrical and contemporary stylings.
Frerichs said the show is a barometer of sorts, showing how far she and the group have come.
“Our Valentine’s show in February is a little sneak peak into our June show. It’s a chance to showcase our repertoire to see what we’ve been doing in the (dance) academy,” she said.
“I’m excited for the show to let the community see what we are doing and our brand new theatre, which is beautiful.”
Guiding the troupe is Leanne Harrington, who moved over from Belmont secondary to Royal Bay to continue the academy and brought 22 years of dance instruction experience. Her hope, she said, is to create and build new traditions with the new program, the new facilities and the new school.
“This year we decided to do things a bit differently and set new traditions, so we thought we would do a Valentine’s show,” she said. “We’re really excited to be able to do our first show ever in this theatre (but a bit) nervous.”
She is glad that parents and the greater community that appreciates the arts will be able to join them in the new space to share that experience.
Tickets are $5 at the door or available in advance through the dance studio at Royal Bay secondary on Ryder Hesjedal Way off Latoria Road.