Intercultural Indigenous Dance program gives high school students opportunities to develop dance skills, earn credits

A new program spearheaded by the Atlantic Ballet of Canada is giving new training opportunities to Indigenous high schoolers who are interested in dance. The Intercultural Indigenous Dance program—which Atlantic Ballet says is “deeply rooted in the worldviews, cultures and practice of Mi’kmaq and Wolastoq nations of the Wabanaki Confederacy”—aims to provide emerging Indigenous dancers with enhanced employment opportunities and expanded networks to help enhance their employment opportunities. Students in the two-year program will stay in their home communities while they are training and attend in-person sessions for one week each month. Program graduates receive high school credits and a diploma in dance, as well as the opportunity to network and train with professionals who will help them pursue dance professionally. “It was really important for me to see an opportunity for our youth that are coming up to be supported in a way that I wish I could have been supported,” said Atlantic Ballet Indigenous director Nipahtuwet Naka Wespahtuwet Possesom Paul. The program is supported by $400K from the federal government.

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