As we start a new dance year we thought it would be a great idea to interview all of our teaching faculty here at Cassiah’s Dance Company, so that parents and dancers could get to know all of the dance teacher’s.
Our first interview was with our Owner, Director and Teacher :
MISS. CASSIAH PRYOR
How long have you been dancing?
I started dancing at the age of 2 at Gloria Bondy Dance Studio’s, and then became a member of their competitive team at the age of 6. I studied Tap, Ballet, Jazz, and Lyrical until I graduated high school and went to university.
How long have you been teaching dance?
I was asked to be a teaching assistant at the age of 12, and then began teaching on my own at the age of 14. I instantly fell in love with teaching dance, and I have been doing it ever since.
Why did you decide to open your own dance studio?
Teaching dance is something that I have always loved to do, and owning my own dance studio was always a dream of mine. When I was little I used to put signs out front of my house by the road that said “Dance Lessons” hoping that someone would come and want to take lessons from me. I’ve been teaching dance for almost 15 years, and one day I decided that it was time for me to open my own studio, so I could teach the lessons and values that I thought were important in dancer’s lives.
What do you expect of your students? (In the recreational program)
I expect my students to do their best, and never give up on themselves. Every dancer learns at a different pace, and in a different way. I do not expect every dancer to be at the exact same level, and I do not compare them to one another. As long as they are learning, working hard, and having fun that’s all that I expect of them.
Why do you think children should dance?
Dancing is so much more than cool costumes, and fun dance moves. It teaches children coordination, social skills, and discipline. Dance also helps to improve physical health, increase a child’s range of motion, teach responsibility, and improve self esteem. Dancers grow to create a unique dance family where they can share their passion for dance with new friends.
What has been one of the most memorable moment in your dance teacher career?
I have been very privileged in my dance teaching career, and I have had so many amazing moments. I think my most memorable moment was when I was asked to teach at the same workshop as Tara-Jean Popowich, who is a huge inspiration of mine. I remember watching her on So You Think You Can Dance Canada when I was younger, and thinking it would be so amazing to meet her one day. When I was asked to teach at Dance Attack Workshops, along side Tara-Jean and other famous dancers, that was a huge moment of realization for myself, and it proved to me that if you work hard enough at something you can achieve it.
What is your favorite part about being a dance teacher?
My favorite part of being a dance teacher is being able to share my passion for dance with all of my students, and inspiring them the way my dance teacher inspired me. It is such a rewarding feeling when I get to watch all of the dancers sparkle on stage doing something that they truly love.
What or who inspires you in your teaching?
This may sound very cliché, but the dancers that I teach inspire me each and every day! They are a constant reminder of why I started teaching dance in the first place, and seeing their excitement, and progression inspires me to keep teaching and sharing my love of dance.
Miss. Cassiah’s full bio can be found on our website https://www.cassiahsdancecompany.com/faculty/
Interviewed by Jocelyn Enns