Creative Kids funding recipient is the first to receive top honours

Creative Kids funding recipient is the first to receive top honours

March 12, 2024

This past month, after years of hard work, Brianna Dash became the first in Canada to complete the Advanced Solo Award Ballet exam, the highest ballet level within the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association (CDTA). She attributes lots of hard work, great training from teachers and support from Creative Kids as keys to her success.

“I am honoured to be the first to do it,” says Dash, a Swift Current resident. “My hope is that other dancers will begin to work towards it, being that it’s such a wonderful experience.”

Dash found her passion for dance early on. Now 20-years-old, she has been with The Dance Studio of Swift Current for the past 17 years as a student, and is currently is one of the instructors. Melissa Wallace, owner and artistic director at the studio, says Dash had a natural ability for dance since she began dancing.

“Brianna has always been a quiet, motivated, hard-working student. She began at age three, and there was always a sense of joy in her dancing, as well as a fire to learn more and to dive into the basics of technique. Brianna has always taken correction and feedback very well and was serious about working to apply corrections, which has brought her to the level she is now. The Advanced Solo Award exam requires incredible stamina, attention to detail, strength, and above all, artistry and performance, which Brianna showcased within her exam.”

Recognizing her potential and her financial challenges, Wallace helped Dash’s family access the funding from Creative Kids to support her further development as a dancer. “I don’t feel like she would have been able to achieve as much as she has without that funding. It gave her the opportunity to add some extra classes, do extra exams and do extra solos to get that additional experience.”

Shawn Bauche, program consultant, Creative Kids says, “Thousands of kids throughout this province do not have opportunities to participate in meaningful arts and cultural activity due to financial barriers. They face losing out on the many benefits and skills that are developed through those experiences. We are very thankful to service providers, such as Melissa for helping kids access Creative Kids and to contribute to training that leads to this type of achievement.”

Dash is thankful for the funding, as well as the many benefits and skills she’s gained from her dance experience. She acknowledges the importance of the skills that contributed to this last milestone, such as learning to set goals and maintaining the discipline to achieve them.

Overall, she has enjoyed her dancing journey. “I want to continue dancing for as long as I can because it brings me so much joy. Dancing not only gave me a passion, it gave me a career to work towards. I’m continuously working towards advancing my education, whether it’s through dancing by myself, taking this exam, getting higher credentials or pushing myself to be a better dance teacher.”

Creative Kids has helped over 13,902 kids in Saskatchewan since 2010, as a service provider Wallace has helped facilitate funding to 53 of those kids through her dance studio.