A local dancer has received a grant from the City of Lacombe that will enable her to travel to Montreal to pursue an intensive dance workshop for two weeks.
Lindsay Oehlerking received a total of $2,500 from the Lacombe Arts Endowment Fund. The program she will be attending is called TransFormation Dance, which will help her to gain experience in her chosen focus of contemporary dance.
“I was really excited when I found out. I got the email saying that I got the grant, called my mom and then just sat on my couch smiling to myself because I was so excited. I get this great opportunity to go to a two-week workshop in Montreal, where I’ll have a few different instructors each week,” Oehlerking said.
She added she and the other attendees would train extensively in contemporary technique and gather tools to improvise and choreograph dance.
“I also have an instructor that I will see for the full two weeks, observing his creation process and seeing what he does with his company. This workshop is kind of going to cover all the areas of contemporary dance. It covers style, technique and choreography, so I’ll be able to find what I want to focus on and work on as an emerging artist,” she said.
Oehlerking has danced in the Central Alberta area since she was six-years-old. She has studied a variety of dance styles including tap, jazz, hip-hop, ballet and lyrical. Following high school, she attended the University of Calgary and received a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in choreography and performance.
She said this trip would be influential in her dance technique and teaching ability, as it will give her the opportunity to study contemporary dance away from Alberta, where the style is not as popular as it is in other areas of the country.
“Contemporary dance is really big in Montreal, and it’s not quite as popular here. Out east, there is a little more experimental stuff going on. It’ll be nice to get to see that,” Oehlerking said. “There’s also a dance festival going on at the same time as this workshop, so I’ll get to see ton of different kinds of dance there. I’ll really be immersing myself in the style that I’ve decided to pursue, and get to see it from all different angles. It’ll be two full weeks on focusing on what I want to do.”
Oehlerking said she is hoping to dance and perform professionally. She has begun to look into teaching as she balances her current work of dancing with a Calgary company known as La Caravan Dance Theatre.
“I’m really happy to have this grant that allows me to go do something that I’ve been looking at for about a year now. I looked at it last year at this time, but I was graduating and it just wasn’t feasible at the time,” Oehlerking said. “Now that I’ve been thinking about it and working towards it, I’m excited that it’s all coming together. I’m looking forward to applying it to my own performance and choreography when I come back.”