Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)

Cindy Foggit plays the lead role of Eliza in Passion and Performance’s film production Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol. (Courtesy of Rachel Paish)

Victoria adult dance studio releases modern adaption of A Christmas Carol

Instead of usual stage performance, dance studio turns to film

Eliza: An Adaption of a Christmas Carol is a modern, pandemic-inspired and feminist-based rendition of the classic holiday story that will captivate viewers in a way Dickens never has.

The locally-shot film was the idea of Passion and Performance adult dance studio owner Rachel Paish, who refused to let COVID-19 restrictions stop her class from creating a final production. Trading in the show stage for various locations around Greater Victoria, and keeping her class cohort-based and physically distanced, Paish was able to display her students’ talent while adhering to health guidelines.

“There’s something very special about performance. When people are going through lots of stress or self doubt, getting those affirmations is really valuable,” Paish said. “We try really hard to make the average human a rock star.”

Set to the tune of Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Cher, the film is a mesmerizing mix of light-hearted and seductive dance numbers that take viewers through the story of Eliza Scrooge, a self-centred tech mogul who learns the value of kindness and community.

RELATED: Saanich director’s first feature virtually premieres at Whistler Film Festival

It’s a lesson that isn’t lost on Cindy Foggit – Eliza – who said the community that Passion and Performance has provided saved her life. Foggit, 43, was born in B.C. but spent much of her life in South Africa before moving to Victoria 10 years ago. Arriving with no friends and no family, Foggit said she felt incredibly isolated before discovering the dance studio.

“It became a bit of a family for me,” she said. This year, juggling schooling her two young children at home with her own work, the studio again saved Foggit from a dark place. “Things were really difficult for a little while. It allowed me an escape.”

RELATED: Greater Victoria residents share positive pandemic experiences

Dance provides more than just a mental outlet for Foggit, though, who also has scoliosis. “Without the ability to physically move my body, I can become almost immobile,” she said.

This is one of the draws of Passion and Performance – it prides itself on being inclusive and diverse. The cast of Eliza includes two dancers who have had severe brain injuries, multiple people who have never danced before and a woman in her 60s.

“I was always really intimidated not being a dancer. But, from that one show, I could see how inclusive and body positive and fun it is,” Sarah Otoupal, 41, said recalling the first time she saw a Passion and Performance show three years ago.

Otoupal said she doesn’t have the “traditional” dancer’s body and loves that she is teaching her two young children that age and body type should never limit them from trying something new. “Mom is gonna go shake her booty,” she said with a laugh.

Eliza is available for rent at vod.passionandperformance.com and is rated PG-13.

RELATED: Victoria Film Festival returns with virtual viewing


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

CoronavirusDancewomen entrepreneurs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

SD 62 (Sooke) has announced a COVID-19 exposure at David Cameron Elementary in Colwood. Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24. (Black Press Media File).
COVID-19 exposure at Colwood’s David Cameron Elementary

Potential exposure dates are Monday, Feb. 22; Tuesday, Feb. 23; and Wednesday, Feb. 24.

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read