Sirreal and Ecko Aleck are two of the facilitators at Crimson Coast’s spring break workshops. (Photos courtesy Darran Chaisson/Billy-Jean Gabriel)

Sirreal and Ecko Aleck are two of the facilitators at Crimson Coast’s spring break workshops. (Photos courtesy Darran Chaisson/Billy-Jean Gabriel)

Crimson Coast Dance Society spring break camp goes online due to COVID-19

Body Talk dance workshops will be broadcast live on the internet

COVID-19 wasn’t able to take all the fun out of spring break.

From March 23 to 25 Nanaimo’s Crimson Coast Dance Society is holding its annual Body Talk youth dance camp, but in adhering to pandemic precautions, the workshop is taking place in the virtual realm.

“I don’t know if Crimson Coast has ever cancelled anything,” artistic director Holly Bright said.

This year’s facilitators, hip hop artist, music producer and audio engineer Ecko Aleck, rapper Sirreal and dancer A.J. (MegaMan) Kambere, are presenting their sessions live over an online video conference call platform.

“I’m astonished and so happy to be here now doing this and seeing that it’s working…” Bright said during Day 1 of Body Talk. “It’s pretty miraculous and fun.”

The artists also prerecorded their lessons in case of technical difficulties, and those videos are publicly available on Crimson Coast’s Facebook page. Aleck and Sirreal said the performing arts can change a child’s life.

Aleck said she was considered an at-risk youth and that music and cultural teachings saved her and “brought me back to life.”

“I have dedicated my career to helping young people find those connections within creativity and within culture that can help get them through some really hard times, but also spark the light back into them,” she said.

Sirreal said he was “doing a lot of really bad stuff” when he was young and his love for music and writing put him on the right track.

“If I would have had someone like me come in and say, ‘Listen, I know you’ve been through stuff, but let’s make art out of that,’ and if I would have had an outlet sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have been stuck in that position as long as I was,” he said.

Sirreal has been a part of Crimson Coast’s spring break workshops in the past. He said watching the youths gradually come out of their shells over the course of the week was his favourite part of the experience.

“The first day we were with the youths they were so shy…” he said. “And then by Day 5 I had every single one of them onstage performing their own rap song.”

In lieu of holding an end-of-week Body Talk recital, the plan is for the participants and artists to reconvene in the summer and perform what they’ve prepared at Crimson Coast’s Infringing Dance Festival.

Bright said adapting the program as an online workshop has been a “huge” investment of time and money but said “there’s no price tag on supporting success for teenagers.”

“We’re pretty passionate about what this project is and what it does for teens and particularly those who have faced struggles. We don’t want this to be one of them,” she said. “And we have the capacity. It’s just a question of us choosing to make that investment.”



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusDance

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is the recipient of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Emerging Cultural Leader. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Multi-disciplinary Snuneymuxw artist named ‘Emerging Cultural Leader’

Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun, receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

Nanaimo RCMP had been seeking help finding a 50-year-old woman who hadn’t been seen for two days. She has since been found safe. (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP report that woman who had been missing has been found

50-year-old located and is ‘safe and sound,’ say police

Commercial Street and other areas of Nanaimo’s downtown are now part of a new business improvement area following a petition-against process this spring. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: BIA process wasn’t fair to small business

Mom-and-pop shops will be challenged to pay the levy during hard times, says letter writer

Nanaimo RCMP report that a number of scams, many of them familiar, have recently resurfaced in Nanaimo and cost victims thousands of dollars. (File photo)
Nanaimo man scammed after lending money and receiving fake gold jewelry in return

RCMP provide details of several recent scams to warn the public

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nanaimo city council has voted to deploy speed-reduction measures for the summer along Departure Bay Road and to consult with area residents and road users to explore ways to further reduce vehicle speeds in the Departure Bay Beach area. (News Bulletin file photo)
City will again lower speed limit on Departure Bay Road to 40km/h

City of Nanaimo will consult with stakeholders for ideas to reduce speeds past the beach

Most Read