Health & Body

Check Out How The Dance Awards Orlando 2018 Studio of the Year Celebrates the Holidays

Performing Dance Arts dancers at The Dance Awards in Florida 2018 (via @performingdancearts Instagram)

Needing some inspiration for how to celebrate the holidays with your dancers? We've got you covered. Check out how Performing Dance Arts (The Dance Awards Orlando 2018 Studio of the Year), of Toronto, Canada, brings dancers together and strengthens studio bonds throughout the Christmas season.

Let us know over on our Facebook page what you like to do with your dancers to celebrate this time of year.

1. Yearly Week of Intensive Training With Denise Wall and Nick Lazzarini

"This time of year is a heavy training season for us. I like to have Denise Wall and Nick Lazzarini come and work with my dancers for one whole week in December," says PDA studio owner Ashley Daychak. "Denise does private lessons with my students all day long, and then we train with them as a group in the evenings. Nick is here setting choreography. They have done this for the past seven years, and it has become a tradition to have them here at the same time. Throughout the fall I prepare my students for this week of training, so they are ready to glean as much as they can."

2. Yearly Charity Performance Event

"On the years we don't do Nationals, I produce 'The Project,' which is a charity performance event my kids put on," Daychak says. "The kids set choreography on one another (the older students set it on themselves as well as the younger students), and then they perform it at Detailz Couture, an event center in Toronto. The whole thing is designed to support a cause, and this year we are donating to a mental health and drug addiction center. This event is meant to take my students out of their competitive work so they can focus on other people. They are so fortunate to be able to do what they do, and this event allows them to give back to the community and people in need."

3. Student-Organized Secret Santa

"The kids organize a Kris Kringle [Secret Santa] within their companies," Daychak says. They draw names and get gifts for one another. My junior company exchanged gifts just last night. It's something the parents and kids put together on their own, and it's a fun way to celebrate the season."

4. Toy Drive

"We organize a toy drive each year," Daychak says. "Parents come in and drop toys off, and then we take them and give them to Toy Mountain [a charity organization in Toronto that helps provide toys for children in need.] It's nice to give them something like this to do. They need a mixture of dance and helping others in their lives."

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