Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Memories from Camp: Compliments All Around

Our 2014 Arts Explosion Summer Camps, from July 7-11 and 14-18, were a huge success! Heartfelt thanks go out to all of the instructors, volunteers, River Run Centre staff, and campers for an inspiring and energizing two weeks! Parents: if you didn't have a chance to fill out a survey on your last day of camp, please take a minute to do so online here

This blog is dedicated to all of our enthusiastic, creative, brave, energetic, and groovy campers from the last two weeks. During our 'closing circle' at the end of the day, we worked on posters with our age group that listed each person's name. After having learned about their new friends in the classes, at snack time, and over lunch, it was the campers' and counsellors' responsibility to articulate what every camper was especially talented at, and what complimentary words describe their personality. Here is what they came up with. Warning: contents may be heartwarming. Note that the campers are identified by their first initial only.

Week 1, July 7-11

Red Group
I. - talented at art, very enthusiastic, great ideas in hip hop

S. - always does well in dance, has great energy all day
C. - very creative and very good at skipping
A. - always focused and hardworking in art, is sweet and nice to everyone
B. - did great in hip hop and contemporary, is a great role model to other campers
L. - a very good listener, very independent
M. - always does well in art, great at making friends
A. - does well in dance, tries everything with a smile on his face
J. - makes friends easily, improved listening skills throughout the week
C. - has awesome ideas, became bigger part of the group
A. - such a good listener, such a happy kid
H. - clearly loves art, adds energy to everything
Z. - a great sharer, is sweet and nice to everyone
C. - great in drama class, tries everything enthusiastically
L. - clearly loves art, is a happy smiling kid
T. - shines in contemporary, makes friends easily
R. - great at starting games, good at coming up with hip hop moves
S. - brought her A game in hip hop, is sweet to everyone
J. - good at being silly, has a great smile
G. - super creative, improved listening skills throughout the week
J. - made a great secret handshake in class, nice to have around
E. - great at drama and skipping, makes friends with everyone
S. - came out of her shell in drama, is a great participant
J. - shines in art, always has a smile on his face
D. - very independent, became bigger part of the group

Blue Group
A. - fun, big smile, enthusiastic, creative
G. - generous, nice, creative
M. - sporty, always laughing, energetic
L. - great dancer, nice to everyone, funny, good soccer player

E. - hard worker, high energy, great ideas, good memory
G. - great dancer, friendly, awesome fashion sense
R. - always smiling, nice, fashionable, hard worker
A. - friendly, good participant, nice smile
V. - sparkly, always in a good mood, good conversation starter
B. - has good ideas, quiet but nice to everyone
O. - good dancer, great energy, big smile
E. - flexible, bubbly, always making jokes
J. - a joker, giggly, big warm smile

C. - fun, energetic, artistic, smart, friendly
N. - calm, good participant, caring
K. - came out of his shell, good hip hop moves

Green Group
S. - nice hair, flexible, focused, picked up choreography well, makes nice art
P. - good actress, good fashion sense, great at handstands
C. - dedicated and worked through injury, good actress, persistent

O. - kind, soft-spoken, good gymnast, pretty, good actress
K. - picked up choreography well, nice, soft-spoken, focused, makes nice art
J. - funny, good participant, artistic, good ideas in drama, good actress
L. - good dancer, flexible, funny, creative ideas, confident
H. - intelligent, all-round awesome, nice smile, good dancer
R. - funny, cool shirts, good dancer especially on barre, silly, confident
M. - funny, bubbly, good at dance and acting, acts her age, good leader
I. - nice hair, good at soccer, sweet, funny, active
A. - nice, peaceful, good dancer and actress, funny, makes nice art
I. - funny, pretty, active, brave, calm, sweet
M. - confident, funny, persistent, good at making art, tall!
E. - good dancer, very dramatic, good ideas
S. - speedy, good singer, stylish, bubbly
L. - confident, generous, she perseveres

Week 2, July 14-18

Red Group
T. - good dancer and artist, nice to everyone, confident

A. - makes nice art, good friend, caring, good ideas
L. - good dancer, caring, sweet
B. - makes nice art, good friend/sister, caring, became bigger part of the group
C. - good ideas, dedicated to his art, good friend/brother, started to dance more

J. - kind and loving, shares, good dancer, outgoing, loves to skip!
S. - shares, good dancer, good friend, helpful

J. - energetic, silly, good friend, more focused
R. - good friend and good dancer, silly, nice, better listening
D. - great participant in dance, generous, awesome in art
A. - energetic, silly, responsible, confident
A. - great at playing, good friend and artist, loves gymnastics, makes friends easily
C. - thoughtful, loving, confident, good dancer
E. - good friend, awesome skipper, thoughtful, great at making music
H. - friendly, kind-hearted, cute, confident, budding artist and dancer
A. - good friend and artist, silly, has great ideas, makes friends easily
M. - kind, good friend, caring, has great moves
L. - good friend, artist and dancer, courageous, kind
S. - silly, brave, good dancer and artist, great skipper, friendly
L. - responsible, kind-hearted, good friend and dancer
J. - funny, kind, responsible, great in dance and art

Blue Group
P. - smiley, good friend, funny, good at handstands, fashionista
L. - high energy, positive, always smiling, good singer, good participant
K. - flexible, funny, active participant, good friend, silly, dedicated collector

J. - confident, weird and wonderful, funny, always happy, artistic, nice
H. - good singer, very artistic, friendly to everyone, nice
R. - nice to everyone, good dancer, smiley, cute, good friend, such soft hair!
O. - really good participant, nice, hard worker, artistic, very good skater, colourful
W. - hard worker, smiley, curious, always positive, very caring
S. - creative, weird in a good way, unique, good dancer, artistic, sporty, enthusiastic
E. - strong leader, good friend, funny/silly, quirky, nice, bubbly, good skater
I. - good hockey player, very good friend, always participates, creative
C. - funny, good friend, nice to everyone, confident, artistic, bubbly, good singer
A. - really good at drawing, unique, confident, big personality, funny
S. - good participant, nice, positive, caring, good friend
M. - good dancer, sassy in a good way, energetic, colourful, friendly

Tickets for our 2015 March Break Camp will go on sale December 1, 2014, so stay tuned for the details! Spaces go quickly - don't miss out on this fun-fulled, pressure-free exploration of the arts!

Monday, 21 July 2014

2014 Guelph Dance Festival Captured by Pulse Photography

Our photographers, Teigan Baker and Chris Seto of Pulse Photography, scrambled as much as we did to make it to every Festival event, beating the crowd to find the best vantage points. We are so excited to share some reflections from Teigan, who shot the Festival while nursing a broken foot. That is dedication to the craft!

Teigan: From May 29 to June 1, the city of Guelph came alive with the extraordinary art of dance. It was impossible not to become inspired by the dancers who performed. I had goosebumps on multiple occasions, despite the perfect summer weather we were blessed with. The Festival was an unforgettable one, brimming with heaps of inventiveness, entertainment and talent.
Everyday Marvels by Shannon Litzenberger Contemporary Dance, on Stage B of the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Pulse Photography.
Teigan: As a dancer myself, the challenge that comes from performing in unusual venues is not lost on me. Grass, pavement, a downtown dance studio, a living room, and even in and around a parked car, were all unexpected locales for movement, and the dancers performed flawlessly. It was so uplifting to witness Guelph become enlivened with spins, leaps, kicks, pops and struts.
Auto-Fiction by Human Playground, at the In the Park performances of the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Pulse Photography.
JACK YOUR BODY by Mix Mix Dance Collective, at the After Party & Late Night Show of the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Pulse Photography.
Teigan: I want to commend all of the brilliant artists and performers who animated our city with such beauty. A thank you also to my enormously talented partner, Chris Seto, who shot this festival with me.

The images featured here are some of my favourites from the weekend, but heaps more are available online at, with the password letsdance. All photos are on sale! To purchase images, please contact me at
at once (im)possible by Jessica Runge, at the In the Studio performances of the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Pulse Photography.
Beside You by MOonhORsE Dance Theatre, at the In the Studio performances of the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Pulse Photography.
Abandon by Dasein Dance School, at the Youth Moves performance of the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Pulse Photography.
A workshop at the Dance Market event of the 2014 Guelph Dance Festival. Photo by Pulse Photography.