Moscow Ballet dancer will keep kids on their toes at Swan Lake sanctuary

Oct. 8 workshops will raise funds for nature sanctuary's Bridges to Nature campaign

Grace and elegance will be on full display next month at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

A member of the Moscow Ballet will be on hand at the Saanich nature sanctuary Oct. 8 to lead a pair of children’s programs. Moscow Ballet’s ballerina and audition director Olena Nalyvaiko will teach a junior class (for ages 5-9) from 10 to 11:40 a.m., with an intermediate class (for ages 10-14) running from 12:20 to 2 p.m.

“This once- in-a-lifetime opportunity will provide your child a fun workshop of cultural immersion as well as personal role modelling with the highly trained world-class Russian dancer, while at the same time raising awareness and much needed funds for the Bridges to Nature campaign,” said Swan Lake executive director Kathleen Burton.

The programs offer children the opportunity to learn some Russian language, while taking part in art projects, a dance warm-up  and the chance to learn the Russian Scarf Dance.

“During the immersion sessions, children work one-on-one with a Moscow Ballet ballerina in movement and creative expression workshops,” said Burton. “Through these activities they can develop positive self-imaging, healthy lifestyle habits and a personal understanding of the contributions they themselves can make to their communities.”

The Moscow Ballet will be performing the Swan Lake Ballet Nov. 12 at Victoria’s Royal Theatre. Both the children’s programs and ballet performance will benefit the Bridges to Nature campaign to replace the sanctuary’s aging boardwalk. Phase one was completed in 2015 at a cost of $350,000. Another $800,000 is needed for phase two which will see the replacement of 755 feet of floating boardwalk.

For more information or to register for the programs, contact Swan Lake at 250-479-0211. The cost for the program is $20 for Swan Lake members and $35 for non-members.