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20 Years of Supporting Dance in Wood Buffalo

September 2019’s Centre Stage with Kim Hurley

This is a very special month for dance in Wood Buffalo, as Generation Dance Studio (GDS) celebrates their 20th anniversary! With long-time resident Kim Hurley at the helm, this studio continues to be a staple in our arts community, located downtown in the River City Centre. “Dance is so relevant in Wood Buffalo and I couldn’t be more delighted to help impart the passion for dance in the next generations,” says Kim. “The art community here is small, but the passion for the arts is gigantic. For me, being a dance artist in this community allows me to instill the art form into our youth and young adults, while feeding the drive for the art of dance for myself.” Dance has a very close emotional meaning for Kim: “creating dance helps me release feelings – mostly joy, but it is also a great catalyst for times of sadness, frustration and many other emotions we encounter.”

When she started teaching in Fort McMurray 20 years ago, she never dreamed of the impact her passion for dance would instill. “When it first began, I never would have thought that I would have created the empire that I have. Even using that word makes me chuckle,” she says. “But it’s true, I am so proud that I gave my life to this community and that I have inspired many to do the same. My students have left GDS with more skills than just dance moves; they have left with leadership, love, kindness, work ethic, passion, direction, and goals. For that I am so grateful.” Teaching dance has lead to a mentorship relationship between Kim and many of her students: “there is a wonderful feeling I get when a student accomplishes a step or works on a goal and succeeds. But most importantly, when that six-year-old hugs you and says ‘I love you Miss Kim, thank you for teaching me’, that’s worth more than any award, medal, sparkly costume, or money in the world.”

Generation Dance Studio always has a lot on the go. Their events span from the community- focused event ‘Northern Dance Off’ in March at Keyano Theatre, a competition open to the whole dance community, to the GDS focused ‘Young Choreographers Ball’ in May, and their ever-popular ‘Year End Show’ in June. Kim will also be returning to Keyano Theatre this winter, as she is the Choreographer for their upcoming production of ‘Flashdance The Musical’. She previously choreographed stage hits such as ‘Footloose’, ‘Cabaret’, ‘All Shook Up’, and ‘Hometown The Musical’.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, GDS is offering an excellent opportunity for new dancers and existing recreational dancers to buy one class at the studio and get a class free of charge. “This is a way for us to give back to the community,” Kim says. “We are looking forward to many more years of dance instruction in this community.”

Find out more about Generation Dance Studio, their upcoming promotions, dance classes, and shows by visiting Find out how you can be involved in the vibrant Wood Buffalo arts community by following @ArtsCouncilWB us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Written by Hanna Fridhed, Engagement Coordinator