Jelinda McLean and her students are dancing again.
McLean restarted her remedial ballet lessons at the South Cariboo Rec Centre last week, with only a few weeks left before school begins.
Even though seven months pregnant, McLean, 26, was full of energy and grace as she taught her three-year-old students, who practised catching butterflies and jumping in place.
“Ballet is good for everybody, we have a lot of fun and all the students are meeting friends and they’re learning a lot,” McLean said.
The months-long break seemed to do little to dampen her students’ enthusiasm for dancing, as they ran and laughed and jumped throughout the room.
Although COVID-19 cancelled their planned show this summer, McLean is hopeful by next June they’ll be able to perform on stage and at other community events.
McLean, who moved to the Cariboo two years ago from Mission, began teaching at the rec centre in October 2018 and now has about 75 youth students and around 13 adult students. She herself has been dancing since she was two because her own mother was a ballet teacher and she’d accompany her to work every day.
As a certified teacher with the London, England Royal Academy of Dance, McLean has a passion for dancing and her certification allows her to put her students through ballet examinations. McLean, a competitive ballet teacher, previously owned a studio in Mission but it was “24/7 work.” She decided to move to 100 Mile House, where she had spent years camping and has always loved visiting.
Once here, she chose to take on a strictly teaching role, rather than running her own studio. In the future, however, she’d like to have her students take part in the 100 Mile Festival of the Arts and other competitive events but said for now she’s just focused on building up her students’ skills and increasing their numbers. She’s always looking for new members, both boys and girls and young and old.
“I’ve always wanted to, in the back of my mind, teach and I taught one year before going to school to become a certified ballet teacher to see if I enjoyed it and it went well,” McLean said. “I love the kids and I just love the technique of ballet and choreographing.”