Keay steps into new role to teach dance

Grayce Keay

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Award-winning High Prairie dancer Grayce Keay is stepping into the world to teach the performing art after graduating from high school.

Keay just completed eight years with the High Prairie Repertoire Dance Society.

“I still want dance to be a part of my life as I’m very passionate about it, so I will be instructing,” says, Keay, 18.

She will teach dance when she becomes a student at Concordia University in Edmonton in a Bachelor of Arts program.

“My goal is to teach elementary school in the future,” Keay says.

She has been a standout dancer for Repertoire. Keay received the Most Outstanding Dancer of the Advanced Team for 2019 at the Repertoire year-end recital May 7.

She also won the Kayleigh Butler Memorial Award in 2017.

Keay received scholarships to Harbour Dance in Vancouver and was ranked high by scouts from Motives Dance Company in Edmonton.

Teaching dance is not new to Keay and she loves to pass on her passion and skills.

“I have had the awesome opportunity the last two years to teach for Repertoire,” Keay says.

“My love for teaching is equal to my love of dance.”

She received her certification to teach acrobatic arts three years ago. Since then, she taught three groups, 10 soloists and a few duets.

Her students were from ages 4-13 years.

“My passion for dance was and still is huge, growing every year,” Keay says.

“The stage is 100 per cent where I feel most myself.”

She was initially inspired to dance by an older cousin, Emma Keay, who danced for the club.

“I joined theatre and ballet for my first couple of years,” Keay says.

“But then after watching the older girls at recital, I became so interested in the other genres.”

She took part in everything Repertoire offered the following year.

“Dance became very important in my life very quickly,” Keay says.

Her love for the art grew.

“I recommend dancing to everyone,” Keay says.

“Dance is such a fun sport that I truly believe it has bettered me as an athlete in general.”

It has also boosted her health and well-being.

“Dance has allowed me to build up my stamina as well as my balance,” Keay says.

“People surely underestimate dance and how hard it is.”

Dance has so many benefits, she says.

“My favourite thing about dance is that I can tell people things without saying a word,” Keay says.

“Dancing is so expressive and you can get so much out just through movement.

“I have met so many amazing people because of dance and that is something I am so grateful for.”

She has stepped into the brighter spotlight the past few years.

“I would say my biggest accomplishment from my dance career is making the Peace Fusion Dance Company,” Keay says.

Last August, she tried out and made an elite dance team that showcases northern Alberta and British Columbia’s top dancers.

That took her to perform in Seattle, Vancouver, Red Deer and Grande Prairie.

“We have won numerous titles and awards,” Keay says.

“It is an amazing thing to be on a team where everyone is equally so passionate and dedicated to the sport.

“The company owner, Stephanie Baker, makes the experience of dancing for an elite competition team so surreal,” Keay says.

Keay has won other scholarships and awards.

Last year, she was chosen for the Harbour Dance Centre scholarship at the Northern Force Dance Competition in Grande Prairie.

She has won four “Be Discovered” weeklong scholarships to both Los Angeles and New York City.

Keay was the top soloist in the Peace River Dance Festival in 2019 and 2018.

She won first place in lyrical solo in a competition in St. Albert on April 19-21, and won a couple choreography awards for the groups she teaches. As a teacher, she and her acro group won a choreography award for The Child Soldier in 2018 in Grande Prairie and another in Hinton.

Her heart remains with Repertoire.

“I wish Repertoire and all of the dancers the best of luck in the upcoming season.”

“I can’t wait to come back and watch everyone.”

Award-winning High Prairie dancer Grayce Keay performs at the High Prairie Repertoire Dance Society annual year-end recital May 7 at the Gordon Buchanan Recreation Centre Performing Arts centre. She completed eight years in Repertoire after graduating from high school.

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