Class sparks dance passion

Having a baby five months ago hasn’t slowed down dance instructor Sara Raymond one step.

Sara Raymond is offering a variety of dance classes this fall for children and adults through parks

Sara Raymond is offering a variety of dance classes this fall for children and adults through parks

Having a baby five months ago hasn’t slowed down dance instructor Sara Raymond one step.

Instead, it’s inspired her to create a new class focusing on mothers dancing with their tiny tots.

This fall she’s offering Latin Beat for Tiny Feet, through Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture.

Mothers can bring their child in a baby carrier and learn some dance steps, have fun and get in shape.

Raymond stayed in shape during her pregnancy by continuing to teach. She danced up to two weeks before giving birth to her daughter, Maira Garcia.

Latin Beat isn’t the only dance course Raymond is offering this fall. She’s teaching a variety of classes for children, adults and couples.

She’s danced since she was seven years old. It was a parks, recreation and culture course that sparked her interest in the art form that has become her career. Now 24, she teaches courses through the city and leads workshops and lessons privately.

“It’s just a passion really. It’s just something that I was meant to do,” said Raymond. “It’s fun, social and it doesn’t even feel like work. It’s awesome. I love it.”

Raymond loves meeting new people and helping them discover the joys of dancing. She said some people might believe they have two left feet, but at the end of eight weeks most participants are surprised by their progress.

Her children’s classes include Twinkle Toes, for ages two to five, and Latin dance that combines ballet, hip hop and jazz styles.

Adult classes include women’s Latin dance, contemporary line dancing, West Coast swing and more.

The women’s Latin dance allows people to learn styles without a partner. She said participants can join with their friends, have a good time and learn some basic rhythms people have seen on popular TV dancing programs.

Contemporary line dancing may provoke images of cowboy hats and boots, but Raymond’s class combines different styles including Latin and hip hop. She changes the styles weekly and also offers a women’s line dance course.

West Coast swing allows people to strut their stuff to Top 40 hits by teaching them jazz and hip hop moves. And Hip Hop Heels lives up to its name with funky contemporary moves for women. The Latin dance class features a different style each week from the cha cha and merengue to the salsa.

Raymond’s classes cater to all dance levels from beginners to advanced and she modifies the moves allowing people to do the easy version or harder variations to keep it challenging for everyone.

For more information, please check the fall leisure guide, go to www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.