Kids Etc Youth Movement Co.

KEYMC 43rd Annual Dance Recital

As you know this our 43rd Annual Recital.

The last two years sure haven’t been quite this glamorous!

I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to see our kids light up the big stage once again!

I am beyond excited to hear the ‘5 minutes to curtain’ backstage!

There has been so much to be grateful for over this season.

First, when we were officially back in studio. In person dancing! Never will I ever take that for granted again.

Then, being allowed to have a few more people in the building! It was so difficult seeing an empty lobby void of parents and dancers; truly without joy. Now, as I sit in my office, the last official Saturday of the season, I hear music, I hear chatter, I hear laughter and my heart is full.

At Kids Etc YMC, we foster an environment that provides a backdrop for our dance families to create long lasting bonds. Being a KEYMC dancer is not just about the skills that are learned in class; it’s about the relationships that develop before, during, and after class.

While planning for anything over the last couple of years has been a challenge, we have continued to offer excellence to our dancers. I am so thrilled to be planning our 44th season of dance, and carry on the legacy of Serious Fun!

‘Stay happy, unbothered, and loyal to your goals. You’re glowing.’

Stay Remarkable Dance Fam!

With appreciation,


A Note From The Director

*photo pre-covid*

Hi Dance Fam…

I wanted to start by thanking you all for your ongoing love and support for Kids Etc Youth Movement Company.

As you know, we are a family owned dance studio.  Much of our faculty is homegrown; teachers who used to be my students! Our entire faculty is made up of truly remarkable, dedicated and talented individuals. I am blessed to be working with my dream team.

I know the pandemic has been hard on everyone. We are all constantly pivoting to create a sense of normal in what could be complete chaos. As dance teachers we are searching for innovative ways and new material to bring to our students.

While I know dance on zoom isn’t our favourite, I am grateful that we have the opportunity to continue to connect with our dancers and provide an alternative to ‘doing nothing’. Through dance, students learn teamwork and focus. Dance can awaken new perceptions in children which help them think in new and creative ways. By expressing themselves in dance, children are given the opportunity to make creative decisions, even at a young age!

By supporting your dancer’s journey, whether on zoom or in studio, you are guiding them to both a physical and mental healthy place. Dance builds resilience; dance on zoom teaches your dancer that, even in the face of adversity, they can adapt and learn from every obstacle.

Hang in there my friends, and before you know it we will be back in studio again.

Until then, encourage your dancer to attend every zoom class; don’t give up on them and don’t give up on us. Your KEYMC faculty needs you now more than ever.

Have a wonderful day and I look forward to seeing you all at our Virtual Holiday Party!

With much love and appreciation,



#dancefam #missyouall #lovemyjob #gratitude

The Fairy Godmother Fund

For so many children dance is their happy place. The place where they feel special and safe; this becomes their norm.

Teaching dance is only a part of what we do at Kids Etc Youth Movement Company.

As in life, I prefer to look at the big picture when it comes to my ‘kids’. How will dance impact a young life. Not just now but 5, 10 or even 20 years from now. Will the confidence our dancers learned in studio and on stage help them succeed in life? Will the love and support of our dance family provide comfort when needed most?

Some of you may know that when it is needed I will do everything possible to allow everyone the chance to dance. However, sometimes the needs exceed what I can do personally.

I started thinking about the old adage ‘it takes a village’… I have always thought this way about our dance family at Kids Etc Youth Movement Company; and I had a light bulb moment.

In life, sometimes bad things happen to good people. Wouldn’t it be amazing if in those times, we had a Fairy Godmother who could make things possible? I have decided that this is exactly what our dance families need.. a Fairy Godmother fund.

I am only in the initial planning stages, trying to figure out the best way to make this work, but to start, Kids Etc Youth Movement Company will commit to donating $5,000/per year towards the Fairy Godmother Fund.

The concept is that some of our dance families may run into situations beyond their control and the last thing we want is for the ‘kids’ to have to stop doing what they love. For those families involved in competitions you know it’s not just the tuition, it’s the costumes, competition fees, shoes, travel etc. I am hoping to set this up though a foundation so anyone making a donation will be able to get a tax receipt; but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. At the start of the holiday season, I am just so excited that I wanted to share my idea with everyone!

Hopefully the Fairy Godmother fund will be the start of helping those dancers facing adversity in their home lives to continue on with what they love; essentially what is normal for the children.

‘Sometimes in our lives, we all need somebody to lean on..’

Stay remarkable Winnipeg

Serious Fun

‘What seems so hard now, will one day be your warm-up’  – anonymous

These words are so true – and I don’t just mean at a dance school!

This quote applies to just about anything we do in life – academics, learning the ropes of a new job, parenting a toddler, or maybe even more pertinent… parenting a teenager!

Life is full of challenges. Putting it simply, perseverance will get you through the hard stuff to attain what you truly desire. At Kids Etc Youth Movement Company, we encourage our dancers to achieve their personal best. We create a dance environment that is nurturing, yet focused and disciplined. We call it ‘Serious Fun’ and it has been a mandate of our faculty since Kids Etc Youth Movement Company’s humble beginnings 38 years ago!

There are few better feelings than overcoming an obstacle; whether it’s nailing a double pirouette, figuring out a tricky math problem, or simply getting your toddler down for a nap (or your teenager up from a nap)!

At Kids Etc, we prioritize boosting our dancer’s confidence in themselves, their abilities to reach their goals, and their enjoyment of the hard work that is required to improve their skillset. We believe that the harder a dancer works, the more fun they should have, and the better they should feel about their mind, body, and soul!

We encourage our dancers to celebrate every accomplishment, because every accomplishment regardless of size, means that a dancer has pushed themselves out of their comfort zone (which of course, is not easy). Getting through a 3 minute routine (aka a crazy high-endurance cardio workout) is not easy, getting a full split in a jete is not easy, and really, keeping your toes pointed all the time is.. not that easy! Each time a dancer’s stamina, flexibility, and toe pointing improves, regardless of how small the increments are, it should be celebrated. When our dancers, when anyone, pushes themselves out of their comfort zone, and they acknowledge it by celebrating their accomplishments, their comfort zone actually increases, and they build confidence to start the process all over, and grow even more! Pretty remarkable!

Every time that Kids Etc has moved, expanded, and/or grown, I have pushed myself out of my personal comfort zone. This particular move, expansion, and growth has created the largest amount of work, risks, and of course, fun! I am thrilled to acknowledge this accomplishment alongside my amazing dance family who have helped make this all possible! I cannot wait to start a fantastic year, and continue developing our talented, loving, remarkable dance family with all of you!

Building a dance school, building a legacy

If you’ve been following our social media, you’ve seen the building go up; first the empty lot, then some steel, eventually exterior walls etc etc. Every day was like Christmas, driving by and seeing the progress, taking pics though the fence..

But nothing could really prepare me for the walk through.

It’s big

It’s really big.

I stood in one corner and looked across from studio to studio.


Did I mention that it’s big?

For the last number of weeks I have been choosing paint colours, carpeting, flooring. lighting and furniture. Standing inside I could see everything in its place.

Better yet, I could see the dancers going across the floor in the biggest studio; I could see the 80 feet of barre space in the ballet studio; I could see the preschool dancers running and jumping ; I could see our dance parents watching through the HUGE viewing windows.

This is a dream come true. It’s not just a dance school it’s Kids Etc YMC’s new home. A place filled with love and joy for dance and family. This is a legacy for my daughters and for all of the dancers who will grow up within those 4 walls..that are VERY far apart…did I mention how big it is?

Stay Remarkable!



Our 38th Season of Dance

With our 38th season drawing to a close I can’t help but pause to reflect on the highlights of this year. The growth and development of all of our dancers has been truly remarkable.

…Remembering the 3 year olds in September coming in wide eyed and sometimes timid. Now, bursting into the building SO ready to dance and coming to tell me that they leaped, twirled, and galloped and “did a good job”!

…Remembering all of the dancers in September, going in to class, not knowing anyone and now, seeing them together not just in the studio but hanging out in the lounge and chatting about their weekends, their families, about school…just relaxed and comfortable in the environment.

…Remembering wayyy back when some of our seniors, our 19 year olds, performed their first solos at age 6 …and now watching them compete with their group for the last time.

…Bringing tears to my eyes

…Feeling so blessed.

I often get told that the environment at Kids Etc Youth Movement Company is warm, loving, and very accepting. This isn’t by chance, it’s by choice…it’s by practice.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant

At KEYMC we set out to create a space that is more than just a place where kids go to learn “how to dance”. The friendships that grow in this dance studio are filled with kindness and compassion. Between the dancers and between the dance families. We want our dancers, whether they are on our competitive team or part of our recreational classes, to embody our philosophy of encouraging each other to achieve their own personal best. Our dancers repeatedly do this. At every competition, we attend our competitive team either wins the Studio Spirit Award or the kids get an acknowledgement for their excellent sportsmanlike behaviour. This means that not only are they encouraging their team members, but they are encouraging all the dancers from other schools. I lost track of the number of times I heard our dancers say, “Good Job!”

I love this.

Having raised 2 daughters myself I can see the importance of having the unconditional love and support of your dance family…Especially through those teen years! On that note, I recently overheard some of the older girls talking about their dance friends and about how they wouldn’t let each other get away with doing anything bad… they would be the first ones to say, “that’s just stupid…don’t even!” Our dance fam truly has one another’s backs.

I really love this!

As a parent, I want my kids to be nice, I want my kids to be empathetic, I want my kids to love and respect themselves and others. I know that these basic traits will help them succeed in whatever they do.

As the studio director, I want the same thing for all of my ‘Kids’.

Wishing you all much joy as we watch our kids on stage for the final time this year,

Stay remarkable Winnipeg,



A New Beginning

38 years ago I decided to share my passion for dance with children. I thought there could be no better job.

The first class I ever taught was in a school gymnasium. The clock was on the other side of the gym…I had to bend down and lean to one side to see it because of the rafters on the ceiling. Every single student copied my exact movement… I WAS HOOKED! My parents were supportive. I was still in high school and as long as I went to University and eventually got a ‘real job’ they would be happy.

and.. Kids Etc was born. My dad, ever the entrepreneur who owned an embroidery business, made crests for the dancers. The first year I had 12 kids, then 30, then 100. It was exciting. Classes were held in a church basement, or where ever I could find space. End of year parties were held in my parents basement, recitals at schools, and eventually the art gallery. I loved every minute of it!

Honouring my parents wishes  I was accepted into the faculty of Commerce. I graduated with honours and more than 1 job offer. Well, that was it for my teaching career. It was the 80’s..time to wear that blue suit.. with padded shoulders and pantyhose..EVERY day…SERIOUSLY what was I thinking! It was time for a ‘real job’.

My dance moms (they didn’t know that’s what they were at the time) begged me to continue teaching. I thought… OK, one more year. I did it throughout high school and university… why not continue while I had that ‘real job’?

A few months into the new job and early in the dance season, my dad got sick. It was a tough year, and it made me think about we spend our time..what we do with our days. That’s when I decided that I wanted to focus my time and energy on teaching dance… full time.

In 1986  I rented a 1500 sq ft space at 388 Academy Road, Academy and Ash. It used to be Gurvey’s drugstore in the 50’s and 60’s; now I think it’s a design store. I remember ripping out the carpet to lay down a sub floor for dance. I remember painting stripes on the wall. They were super cool!

Two years  later enrollment was increasing and I needed more teachers One of the first teachers I hired was one of my first 12 students. She’s is now living in Victoria and still teaching dance!

In 1988, I needed more space, I moved down the street to 551 Academy Road. We renovated the top floor of this 2 story condo into a dance studio with a small basement studio space. My mom handled the reception desk on the main floor.

A few years later, in 1992 with baby Taylor in tow, I relocated to this space in Charleswood. The beginning of a new chapter. Jess was born in 1994 and in 1995, we saw another expansion within the space at 3525 Roblin Blvd. In 2002 we expanded to the studios we have now.

In 2002 I remember signing a 15 year lease and thinking how bizarre 2017 sounded… futuristic. Would there be hover boards? 😀 So here we are almost at the end of the lease, and it’s time for yet another chapter.

Dance has evolved so much since I started teaching. Every year I watch our kids develop their skills as dancers, and more importantly as team members. I am equally amazed and thrilled with their progress. Our dance family is truly what I believe sets us apart from any other school, our sense of community.

We are also blessed to have so many ‘home grown teachers’..teachers who love and care for our kids the same way their teachers loved and cared for them. They truly envelop our basic philosophies of serious fun and working to achieve your personal best.

My dad always said that my mom was remarkable. As you all know , this has become our mantra…be remarkable..I know that both of my parents see that in our kids everyday… I know I do.


Paul, Taylor, Jessica and I would like to introduce you to the next chapter for Kids Etc Youth Movement Company.

In September of 2017 we will be moving to our own building on McCreary and McGillivary (across from SkyZone!). This new space is what our ‘kids’ deserve. Over 11,000 square feet of state of the art space with 4 LARGE studios. To put this into perspective, I can drop our existing studio A, into the smallest studio at the new space!

There are huge viewing windows on all of the studios. One of my favourite features is that we will have actual audience seating inside the largest studio. Perfect for small shows and dance presentations.

We will be able to offer our dancers more space, and more programs. We can expand out acro programs and we will also be introducing silks into our curriculum. This space is also what our dance families need. More community space, even a designated spot for our Keurig!

I would like to thank Joe Leuzzi, of Boomdonenext, and a truly remarkable dance dad, who was instrumental in putting this deal together.

I cannot wait to watch our kids grow in the phenomenal space.

Stay remarkable Winnipeg,