New dance studio opens in Hope

Local dancers can participate in an intensive training program

The No Limits Dance Studio junior mixed intensive training group at a recent class.

The No Limits Dance Studio junior mixed intensive training group at a recent class.

A new dance studio is now offering an intensive training program in Hope.

No Limits Dance Studio on Third Avenue provides structured classes in hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, and acro dance (dance mixed with gymnastics). There’s also a master class led by Lisa Ho, an adjudicator for B.C. dance competitions, and other guest professional teachers from the Royal Academy of Dance, Washington and California.

“We’re a small town but we can still have a big dance program,” said owner/director Carla McLean-Bayes, who is also a registered psychiatric nurse and member of the Canada Dance Teachers Association. “The studio program is offered for a serious dancer that wants to dance eventually in competitions or perhaps go for a dance degree in the future.”

McLean-Bayes recently moved back to Hope after being pulled away from the area due to her husband’s military career. Dance has always been a part of her life and identity.

Starting dance at the age of four, McLean-Bayes studied under masters dance choreographers from across the country and the U.S. She was mentored by Karasek School of Dance where her teacher studied every summer in New York and brought home Broadway dance choreography. This influence led McLean-Bayes to choose disciplines in tap, jazz and stage. Training in Vancouver at Harbour Dance Center, she continued to study the discipline and follow her heart in hip-hop, funk, lyrical and ballet. She also trained in the U.S. doing master classes from Al Gilbert and the Dupree Dance Association.

McLean-Bayes hopes that she can share her passion for dance with local performers. She currently has a company group and intensive training group at her studio, where dancers train anywhere from two to four times a week for about an hour-and-a-half each day. No Limits Dance Studio also offers some adult and beginner classes.

“I find that the dance art itself can teach children many things, not just dance steps and choreography,” she said. “It teaches them determination, discipline and dedication. It teaches them not only about self-confidence and self-esteem, but also about finding out who they are. This is a stepping stone, whether they become a professional dancer or not.”