ExpressiOn Danse program launches at École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier

Diann Denning, ExpressiOn Danse program coordinator and CECCE teacher. Still from EspressiON Danse YouTube video.

On Thursday, Apr. 8, 2021, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) officially launched ExpressiOn Danse, its brand-new specialized classical ballet program for students at École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier in Kingston.

The program gives students an excellent opportunity to develop their passion or explore a new discipline with countless benefits for both body and mind, according to a release from CECCE, dated Friday, Apr. 9, 2021.

Those attending the virtual launch event were treated to a lively overview of the program, complete with personal stories and performances. The launch video is available on YouTube. Watch it here.

The CECCE and the school hope the event will encourage many more students to enroll in the new program, which is for all students in grades seven through 12, regardless of dance experience or ability.

As the only program of its kind in Kingston, ExpressiON Danse gives students in grades seven and above an opportunity to study classical ballet (Cecchetti method) in the Kingston School of Dance’s spacious studios.

This partnership enables students to focus on their discipline and benefit from personalized training with Diann Denning, the program coordinator and a CECCE teacher with many years of dance experience, who was also the Kingston School of Dance artistic director from 2003 to 2008, according to the release.

“The CECCE knows that well-being is a major factor in students’ academic success. The arts and sports enable them to pursue their interests and grow as individuals, opening doors to all kinds of possibilities,” said CECCE Director of Education Marc Bertrand.

The CECCE said parents and guardians have expressed a growing desire for more arts programming at École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier. The ExpressiON Danse program is designed to meet that need and support academic engagement, according to the release.

“I’m excited about the CECCE’s ongoing focus on making a variety of opportunities available to Franco-Ontarian youth so they can pursue their interests and passions in francophone environments,” said CECCE Chair Johanne Lacombe.

In just a few short years, École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier’s top-notch programs, the Centre d’Excellence UniverSTEM and the Hockey Canada Skills Academy, have secured the school’s reputation as a leader in transforming the learning experience, CECCE said.

The new specialized ExpressiON Danse program hopes to further enhance the school’s prestige and engage even more students. CECCE said it is a clear indicator that arts programming in their schools is gaining momentum.

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