Parents and students unhappy with Canterbury High School cancellation of dance class

OTTAWA – Parents and students at Canterbury High School in Ottawa are unhappy with the cancellation of a specialty dance class at the High School of the Arts.

This is not just any grade 12 credit course; it is the pinnacle for aspiring dancers, a showcase of their work and a springboard to a lifelong love of performance.

“Dance Night” is an annual production presented by grade 12 students towards the end of their school year.

“Something amazing to see,” says student Campbell Featherston.

They are working on this event as part of a dance class at the school, which was due to start next semester. Now they have been told that the course is canceled.

“It’s a little disappointing that the school has to pull something like this out,” Featherston says.

Kennedy Yates was also eagerly awaiting the course and learned of the cancellation via email.

“Honestly, I was devastated, along with my other classmates. This is something I have been looking forward to since grade 9 and this is the reason I applied for the dance program, ”said Yates.

Students say it is unlike any other course at school.

“A showcase where we perform our dances, which we have created,” explains Natasha Prystasz.

Emma Goodfellow says she’s been looking forward to this ever since she started school.

“This is a goal that we have all been working on for the past four years in Canterbury.”

This is an important element for many students as they pursue post-secondary education.

“This particular course is one that students use as an essential part of their portfolio, whether they progress through a dance or art program,” says Emma’s mother, Alison Goodfellow.

Natasha’s mother, Andrea Goodman, explains the importance of the class and of ‘Dance Night’.

“It would be similar to an arts student taking an art class, creating a painting or a sculpture; they have it, they put it in their portfolio, they can show it to post-secondary schools, to job opportunities, etc., “Goodman said. .

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board wrote that “the school is down from its spring projection” and must reduce “the total number of classes.”

The press release adds that “a certain level of reorganization of the system is the norm and is to be expected … the cancellation of this course does not exclude a dance party in the spring”.

According to the board, “the course will be offered as an option to students during the 2022/2023 school year.”

However, the students want to see the class return this school year.

“The reason I think we all came to school, I think everyone just wants to run again to do what we came to school for,” says Prystasz.

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