Alive Tango was founded in in Victoria BC.
For the last 3 years practice sessions have taken place at Solwood Studio, where the group has joined forces with Solera Performing Arts Society.
The weekly “practica”, which is open to all levels of tango experience and curiosity, features a short instructional session from 6-7pm and is followed by a 3h informal practice session. In addition, there are also weekly dances “Milongas” at Café Casablanca, Victoria on Friday nights.
The goal is shared growth and learning in an inclusive and relaxed setting.
They welcome new and experienced dancers alike, encouraging dancers to share their goals and feedback with each other, as well as their experience and ideas of tango.
In the upcoming year the group will be focused on providing learning opportunities via guest instructors as well as providing get togethers following special events and tango performances that take place in Victoria.
The events are well attended hosting up to 30 individuals during the weekly practice sessions.
Arrowheart Dance Fitness has come together over the last couple of years, led by Sahra Kalkan. who has been a Solera member since its inception in 2012 and has taken part in many of our workshops as well as a performer of Flamenco. Her qualifications include training and certification in the following genres of Dance and Body Fitness and Training: Pilates, Ashtanga Yoga, Flamenco Dance, Barre Fitness, Bellyfit, Booty Barre, and Alive Mind Body Barre Fitness. In addition, Sahra has been a professional dance member of Kid Co. Dance company, Flamenco Rebelde of Victoria BC and Flamenco de la Costa of Tofino BC.
This winter Sahra launched a series of free classes in Bellyfit and Barre Fitness from Solwood Studio in Victoria. It is her intention to gain further experience as a new instructor throughout the coming year in a series of free classes and workshops. Donations will be encouraged, and the proceeds will be offered to a number of local charities. These classes will take place in Tofino, Ucluelet, Cumberland, and Victoria.
In September Sahra launch a roster of ongoing classes by fusing styles from her vast repertoire of dance and fitness styles. These classes will be tailored to fit the needs of her students in each of the Island communities
Children’s writer, Artist, Storyteller and Early Childhood Educator, Kelly Lee Shears grew up in East Vancouver, and it is here and on Vancouver Island that her heart and creative goals finds their place and work. She has been a member of Solera for the last 2 years and has been working on this project for over a decade. Kele Village iNK (Integrity Nurturing Kreativity) has joined forces with Solera Performing Arts Society and will be launching her first Interactive Storytelling programs this Summer.
The East End Park East Van Stories Children’s Picture Book Series tells the tale of Long Stalk; a Spirit Sunflower Seed from the invisible side of the Universe; his emergence into the World; and the quest the young seed is sent on to gather the children of Mother Earth together to bring the Hopi Message of Peace to the World.
The 52-book series is presented in Four Sacred Rounds of 13 books each.
The series was developed with the goal of creating a series that would concretely include children in a creative and enterprising supportive role. The teaching goal of the series is to connect children and youth to the history and knowledge of our Indigenous Peoples of North America. Earth’s Rainbow Warrior’s Pledge’ Creative-Art page that insures every child has the opportunity to draw their own Self-Portrait and written Statement into the book to become a part of the Stories, Long Stalk’s mission, and the Hopi Dream of Peace.
For the last two years Solera has supported an ongoing program that has been active for many years which is based out of Heshquiaht, a remote First Nations Community on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The program is focused on nurturing meaningful cultural interaction between the communities of Ahousaht, Heshquiaht, Opisaht, Esowista, and Hot Springs Cove. Many of the Elders and additional community members have been transported by boat and car to Port Alberni for monthly gatherings that are focused on Native Music, Dance, Story Telling, Language and Feasting. The funding was desperately needed to keep this long-standing program alive throughout the year. Without our continued support via the Community Gaming Grant, it is unlikely that this program can continue. This year we will be actively seeking additional funding from INAC and the First Nations Health Authority to bolster the scant funding. We cannot go far enough to stress the importance of programs that support and encourage the Elders to share their wisdom, stories, culture and most importantly language. With each passing year, fewer Elders remain, and with them goes a precious link to past knowledge of the past. We are hopeful that we will be in a position to see that this program continues through the generous support via the Community Gaming Grant.
Soul of Bachata aims to help grow the presence of Bachata in Victoria by offering its own Bachata social dances, workshops and other exciting events, as well as connecting people to other Bachata opportunities in Victoria, B.C.
Founder, Kristy Durst, is a student of Bachata who has a passion for the dance and for bringing people together for the purpose of connection, joy, and well-being. Kristy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, an Entrepreneur's Program Certificate, and an extensive background in leadership as a Program Coordinator, Educator, and Registered Yoga Instructor.
Soul of Bachata started a facebook page in November 2018, sharing local bachata-related events and other bachata-related inspiration. It started running monthly bachata dance socials in December 2018 and then began offering workshops with out-of-town instructors by February 2019. By March the organization was partnering with local teachers to offer beginner bachata lessons before the socials. Each social and/or workshop (5 so far) has hosted between 30 and 40 participants, mostly from Victoria, but with a small percentage of Nanaimo and Duncan participants as well as out-of-towners who are passing through. Soul of Bachata benefits the community because it is the only bachata-specific (95% bachata) social in town. Other local events may offer from 5-30% of the style only. While there are plenty of bachata dancers and lessons being offered in town, dancers need a location to practice their skills to improve and enjoy the dance and music they are so passionate for. Also, having the chance to delve into more in-depth workshops is invaluable to growing understanding of musicality, technicality, and enjoyment of the dance. Soul of Bachata is dedicated to responding to these needs and to continue to offer workshops, lessons, and dance socials.
Solera Performing Arts Society’s has made it possible to begin a small organization such as this while interest and attendance is still growing. Funding will help cover the costs of venue rentals, instructor fees, and travel costs for out-of-town teachers. Soul of Bachata is so grateful for the support from Solera in supporting these events so that the community can benefit and grow.
Dance is healthy for the mind, body, and soul, and it is a gift to be providing to those who are interested!
The Space Collective is a small group of individual movers who co-create, collaborate and make art through movement. The Space Collective also provides open varied level drop in and progressive dance classes. A space to learn, inspire and create.
In the earlier years, The Space Collective operated out of rented studio space at various local studios throughout the city before finding a home with Solwood Studio. This studio provides the perfect sanctuary for creativity to flourish and the members are very grateful for the opportunity to utilize this space to craft and share their passion.
Founded in 2015, Kendal Wright aimed to create a platform for drop-in dance classes in the Victoria community. Her aim was to provide an affordable, open, social and fun opportunity to move and connect. She offered monthly classes in hip-hop and contemporary dance that ranged from beginner to advanced technique and created a space where individuals felt encouraged and inspired to explore movement to music in a dynamic and supportive way. These drop in classes were received with enthusiasm by members of the local community and over time the contemporary classes began to evolve into a committed group of individuals dedicated to exploring their relationship with movement. This small group of 4 dancers is now The Space Collective is today. The Space Collective is an avenue for this group of movers to express their creativity as well as share in their joy of movement with the wider community. The Space Collective is often working on innovative chorography projects and performance works as well as offering drop in and progressive series throughout the year at various times. You can find more information about their works and offerings on their Facebook and Instagram page.
Artistic director Janine Wood has this year begun her work on gathering video footage that is focussed on a series of interviews with First Nation Elders of Vancouver Island. The project is focussed on preserving the words and wisdom of the Elders, in their native language. It is a time sensitive project as many of these wonderful people have passed and a very few remain who hold the language as it was spoken by their ancestors.
Janine is working with Elder, Healer, Teacher and friend, Levi Martin of the Tla-O-Qui-aht First Nations of Vancouver Island.
Since 1994, Artistic Director, Janine Wood has been hosting numerous workshops in many of the communities of Vancouver Island, starting in Tofino BC. In 2012, Solera Performing Arts Society was registered as a non-profit Society, and the tradition of sponsoring workshops continues to be one of its prominent programs.
In this first year, 2012 through the generous support of the Gaming Commission, we were able to extend an invitation to Vancouver Island’s premier Ballet Dancer, Andrea Bayne of Ballet Victoria. This warm relationship continues to this day, as we have been able to host Andrea for workshop in each of our seasons. Having the grant to rely upon, means not only that we can offer a proper wage for high quality instructors such as Andrea, but we are also able to welcome students without the economic support to take part in these important learning opportunities.
Each Year Solera supports local students through our fundraising efforts. Our primary income for this program comes from our annual New Years Event though we welcome donations. Please let us know if you have resources to share, including Silent Auction items. We also welcome your assistance if you would like to volunteer your time through an event or a program.
In light of the current pandemic, which has lead to food insecurity in many communities, we are supporting a food growing project starting with the West Coast in Ucluelet BC.
This is the first of our Horticultural Studies Programs.
For the past 2 years Janine Wood has been volunteering to share her skills with the students of Island Connect Ed, and alternative program with the School District of Nanaimo. This year we made Soap, Bath Bombs, Jam and Antipasto as well as a variety of hand built pottery projects.
For the past 2 years Janine Wood has been volunteering to share a variety of arts and craft programs through Island Connect Ed, an alternative program operating in the Nanaimo School district. Some of the activities include making soap, bathbombs, Jam and other preserves as well as pottery.