Janet Johnson and Catrina von Radecki co-founded Guelph Youth Dance School in 2006 as an extension of the work they were doing as co-founders and co-artistic directors of Guelph Dance. They felt there was a gap between the high quality and highly artistic contemporary dance work that they were bringing to the festival and the opportunity for youth dancers to develop as professional contemporary dance artists in Guelph.
They also saw a gap in the dance system, which often separates technical and creative dance training. It is the school mandate that all students coming into the contemporary dance stream train in both contemporary dance technique and creative dance in order to nurture and develop the whole dancer: body, mind and soul.
The school nurtures a healthy, inclusive atmosphere, where deep friendships are made and where dancers build connections within the Guelph dance community and also to the national dance community by bringing in guest teachers and participating in youth exchanges.
Guelph Youth Dance School offers dance training in a centrally located space full of light and sprung wooden floors. Live percussion, which accompanies the contemporary technique classes, is integral to the dancer experience.
Classes are offered in Creative Dance, Contemporary Technique/Composition, Ballet, Modern Jazz, Hip Hop and Conditioning for dancers.