The final curtain fell on Spectrum City Dance studios on June 18 after more than 30 years of Prince Rupert young performers learning how to groove.
The Lester Centre saw an audience pack the house for The New Beginnings spectacular of more than 35 dance acts in ballet, acro, contemporary, theatre, tap, jazz and hip hop.
“It’s an emotional night for me,” Ella Ferland said from behind the curtain, addressing, family, friends and dancers during the show.
“I’m not falling out of love with dance, I am just retiring. I can do that, I’m old enough to do that, ” Ferland said, drawing laughter from the audience near the end of the show.
Despite the closure of her studio which opened in 1989, Ferland said the teachers and staff have been encouraging all the students to carry on with dance. Many of the students and teachers are moving over to Dance Academy of Prince Rupert to continue the art of movement to music.
“It’s athletic. It’s a lot of exercise, it teaches them discipline. It teaches them work ethic, and to get along with other people. It’s also an art and they become creative during it. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want their kids to dance,” Ferland said in her final speech on the stage.
Flowers, verbal honours, and a surprise encore dance compilation dedicated to Ferland ended out the show before the stage curtain drew closed for the final time.
“I think I just saw 30 years worth of my choreography,” Ferland said thanking the performers for the memories.
Students paid tribute to Ferland with the troupe of dancers surrounding her on stage.
“For many of us the studio has been like a second home since we joined it. Ella has watched all of grow as dancers and develop as individuals since we were young,” students stated.
They paid respects to Ferland and said she taught them the importance of being visionary and ambitious as dancers in every aspect of their lives.
“[For] Ella and now for us, being a dancer is not just about technique and flexibility. Ella has taught us our identity as dancers isn’t limited to our physical abilities but also our emotional and mental strength connection. The guidance that Ella has instilled in us are values we will cary with us beyond the walls of the studio. We will in still [these values] our own students, mentees and our own children. Thank you Ella.”
“Even though the Spectrum studio is coming to an end the essence of the Spectrum dancers is not. We love you,” were the closing words of the students, with many in tears.
An emotional Ferland thanked everyone for being there through out the years and attending the recital.
“It’s been a privilege to teach your children dance and to work with you all. It’s the very best job. I can’t think of anything else in the world I would like so much. So, thank you for being part of that,” the icon Prince Rupert dance instructor said, as she took a final bow.