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By Debra Stringfellow
Bowen Island Undercurrent
May 17, 2012


“I dance because I love it!” says Toby Creswick as he leaps and spins for the camera He makes it look easy but this dedicated 14 year-old works very hard, determined to make each move flawless, he continues to jump until finally he is satisfied.

Creswick has been dancing for almost eight years, starting out on Bowen Island with Mara Brenner at a tiny tots dance class held at the Gallery at Artisan Square at the age of five. He took a year off but only because the class had been cancelled. After watching a performance of Cirque du Soleil on TV, his enthusiasm for dance was reawakened.

He later was influenced by the talents of Angela Parkin who taught Creswick in his early years at the Bowen Dance Academy. Parkin invited her brother Richard Zimich, a professional ballet dancer, to teach a boys-only class which influenced the young dancer and fed his passion. The Bowen Dance Academy awarded Creswick with a one-year scholarship of free tuition, recognizing his potential at an early age.

He now dances at Arts Umbrella, learning ballet, jazz and contemporary dance forms. Creswick dances five days a week, three days a week he is up at 5:30 a.m. and on the 6:30 ferry. By 8:30 a.m., he is expected to be warmed up and ready to practice his routines. He has been commuting by himself to these early morning sessions since he was 12 years old – committed only begins to describe this independently motivated young dancer.

Arts Umbrella’s dance program has a reputation for superior dance training that is recognized internationally. It not only focuses on technique but also embraces and nurtures artistic expression in young dancers; programs include beginner classes right up to career-level dance training.

Arts Umbrella recognizes that regular dance classes may not be enough to push professional-level dancers to the next level, so opportunities are offered through the school’s Professional Training Program to perform within two dance companies: the Apprentice and Senior Dance Company (AUDC). The school invites world-class choreographers such as Canadian born Aszure Barton. Barton has created works for famous dancers and schools such as Mikhail Baryshikov and the Juilliard School to name just a few. Creswick is part of the Apprentice Company at Arts Umbrella and has recently performed with their Sunday performance series which runs several times throughout the year.

If this isn’t impressive enough, Creswick has been accepted into the summer program at the Canadian National Ballet School (NBS) located in Toronto. After auditioning Creswick, was chosen to train at this prestigious school for the entire month of July.

If you want to catch Creswick in action, the AUDC’s season finale show will be held on Friday, May 25, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 26, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre. To buy tickets to this event, call 604 947 0940.

© Copyright 2012Black Press

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