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Kelly O’Rourke 

Lyrical, Contemporary, Jazz, Pre-Dance

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Kelly began dancing at age 4 doing Royal Academy of Dance ((RAD) ballet. She discovered competitive dance at age 6 and engaged in styles such as jazz, lyrical, and contemporary. Kelly idolized her dance teachers and they inspired her to continue her dance journey and pursue additional education and training. After graduating from her competitive studio, she went on to study dance at York University, specializing in performance and choreography. Her favourite styles to perform are contemporary and lyrical.

Highlights of Kelly’s dance career include: completing her RAD ballet exams with distinction, being a member of the York Dance Ensemble during university (including a yearly performance and extra training hours), performing in ‘Bloom’, a student-run dance show, and performing and choreographing in Dance Innovations and York University Dances (York's choreography shows).

Kelly wants to share her passion and knowledge of dance with the next generation in a safe, educational, and fun way.  For her, the best part of teaching dance is seeing growth and progress in her students, whether it be in the form of mastering a new trick or technique or just becoming more comfortable in the dance class environment. She loves helping timid children find their inner superstar.

She prefers to teach contemporary/lyrical (her areas of specialization while in university) but she also enjoys teaching stretch and strengthen/technique classes to help her students learn to take care of their bodies properly.

Kelly expects her dancers to be in uniform and ready to go, and to bring their positive attitudes and listening ears to class. She makes sure that she not only makes these expectations clear, but also personally models these behaviours in each of her classes. She feels her most effective class management tool is using praise to acknowledge and strengthen positive behaviours.

Kelly’s favourite age groups are intermediates/seniors, as she can use a lot of her knowledge and training with them. Kelly admits to finding the pre-dance groups more challenging, but she is working to increase her confidence and expand her teaching and class management skills with younger groups.

As a dance teacher, Kelly lists her greatest challenge is her confidence and class management with younger dancers. All things she is working hard to improve through workshops and mentorship. Above all, she makes every effort to ensure that her classroom is a safe space to explore, learn and create.

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