Body Talk is about more than dance.
It’s a program to help youth gain life skills and the confidence to express themselves. The program, created by Crimson Coast Dance Society, runs from October to May. Youths involved in the program also plan a dance show.
“They really have a fabulous opportunity to develop what we call personal agency, which is the ability to be present and be themselves in a group of other people and there is a place for them to speak their mind and state their desires,” said Holly Bright, artistic director of Crimson Coast Dance Society, adding that it allows the participants to bring their ideas to stage and explore arts-related career options.
The participants of Body Talk learn graphic design, media and promotions, budget and event planning as well as teamwork, leadership skills and taking responsibility for a project. The youth get a letter of reference and a small honorarium when they finish the program.
Natasha Ladouceur, 16, has participated in Body Talk since last year.
“It added to my choreographing and organization skills and my willingness to persevere with what I am doing. It has inspired me to make healthier choices,” said Ladoucer, adding that before sessions the participants do stretching exercises and it has made her more conscious of her eating choices.
Sara Turnbull, 15, said she gained leadership skills and confidence from being in the program.
Body Talk participants, known as the Body Talk Cru, choose a dance company each year to work with. This year the youths chose Ouro Collective. The dance company teaches a series of workshops and then those workshop participants perform during the first half of the annual Body Talk finale performance, which is Sunday (April 2) at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Theatre.
After the participants perform Ouro Collective will share its original piece called Pace.
Pace is a contemporary dance piece that explores “each collective member’s personal relationship with anxiety, competition, suppression and isolation,” according to Crimson Coast Dance’s website.
“They are rising stars. They’re a young company … who are very talented and very fun,” said Bright.
Tickets are $27 or $24.50 for either Crimson Coast Dance or Port Theatre members available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or by visiting www.porttheatre.com.