“Ten things to think about before you say that your child is too good to be in a group with Sally ” by Sarah Reis, MEd.

Ten things to think about before you say that your child is too good to be in a group with Sally.

1- In the average adult life people do not go walking around saying they are too good to work with another adult. “I am a much better graphic designer than you, I shouldn’t even be working in the same building as you.” This doesn’t happen, because it’s ridiculous, so why then is it okay for you to have an opinion about whom your child shares a dance stage, or a soccer field, or a hockey rink with?

2- One of the key words we are talking about here is CHILD, as in a young flourishing individual whom needs direction and role models to help shape their personal and moral philosophies. There is a strong need for parents to teach compassion and patience in their children, they are a large factor in the personal development of their child. What message about tolerance and leadership are you conveying to your kids when you say that they are too good to have Sally in their group? Don’t turn around and expect a world of equality, and fairness if on the fundamental level you think it’s okay to isolate Sally.

3- Chances are you are not a coach/teacher of the activity in review. Do you question the work of your dentist? Probably not, you probably just trust that your dentist has the skills to make good decisions about your teeth because that is what you are paying them to do. Just like you should trust your coach/teacher has the skills to make good decisions about what is necessary for the groups they are teaching.

4- Have you ever been in a group of any kind where the skill level for a task was absolutely perfectly even? No. Because every human being is different. Each person has different strengths and experiences to offer. Even at the highest levels of cognitive acquisition groups in university research are not evenly matched, there will always be different strengths and weaknesses. In the rare case of having a group closely matched in physical skill, there will be differences in emotional skills, sportsmanship, work ethic, and leadership. People have roles on teams outside of physical contributions. These roles are incredibly important. Sally is probably a better leader than your child.

5- Even if you are spending a lot of money on this hobby it is still a recreational hobby until you are being paid to do it, at which point it is a professional hobby. Recreational hobbies exist for the enjoyment, social and physical development of individuals. I would suggest then that you should keep your drama out of the hobby as it is tainting the very purpose of why you are in the hobby in the first place.

6- Only 1-2 % of individuals will take their recreational hobby and become a professional paid for doing it. Please refer back to number five.

7- Let’s return to trusting your dentist. Your coach, being a professional, will find ways to fill people into the best-fit role for contributing to a team. If the coach is a choreographer they will use their artistry to design their dancers efficiently, so that strengths are highlighted. If someone becomes unfit for a team the coach will remove him or her. If someone falls below a standard of the team the coach will nurture him or her back to that place. The coach will make serious and continuous choices about roles and contributions of their team members who will collectively rise together.

8- “You are only as good as your weakest player” is not the right attitude, because attitude is everything. The weakest physical player usually has the most heart, dedication and determination. Sally is there to teach your child something, not the other way around.

9- Sometimes you are on top, sometimes you are on the bottom. This cycle will happen for your entire life. In this particular situation, your child is at the top of the group and Sally is on the bottom. Let’s not forget that that means, your child is close to moving up to the next level, where they will likely be at the bottom of the next team. So…. Karma is funny like that isn’t it? Reverse this situation, your child is at the bottom and Sally is on top. How would you feel if your child was being isolated and judged by other parents?

10- Living in a country filled with opportunity, natural resources, wealth, health safety and prosperity…Meanwhile children around the world are suffering……At what point in the evolution of our society did it become necessary for me to even write a report about not judging the other children on your kids’ recreational team? Yeah, let’s take some time to think about that one. Priorities seem a little off here.


Danielle Gardner is back at it!!!

We are in the midst of compiling short stories and blogs to post over the coming months following the lives of industry greats, dancers, teachers, life coaches and more in hopes to shed light on many of the great people in our community and country. Please enjoy our first article in our blog series featuring Adam Mckinnon one of Vancouver’s most sought after choreographers and mentors for the next generation of dancers.


Adam Mckinnon

My name is Adam Mckinnon,

I am a very passionate dancer and choreographer. My dance story actually began later in my life. This is where my story begins. I was born in Victoria B.C, and I had a very rough childhood growing up, having been through a lot for someone at such a young age that no one should ever have to go through. The years were rough but it taught me a lot about people and life before I was even 6 years old. I was abandoned at the age of 6, and put into child services with nothing but the clothes on my back, and at that moment I realized life was not fair and it was going to be up to me to survive, no one else was going to help me, but me. I went from home to home, School to School, for years until I was about 12 years old, I had gone through a lot with each of the homes I was placed in over the years with unthinkable acts. One day I was surprised by my Social Worker, saying I was going to be adopted! I was so excited by the thought that someone wanted me, and I would finally have a family that loved me and cared, but I quickly found out this was not the case. The family I was provided with had other things in store for me and my life was at it’s lowest point having trouble with my adoptive family, the law, and experimenting as many lost teens do without proper guidance. I was failing in school and at life, I had nowhere to go as I had run away for the final time and stayed away. I was now 14 years old living on the streets and going down a path that was not going to end well for me, as I was lost, scared, I only had myself, and I was surrounded by the wrong people. The only option at that point in time to me was death. I lay freezing on a park bench at 3am, and realized this is the end….

I was suddenly awoken by the sounds of police sirens and my first instinct was to run, but I said to myself I give up. I was picked up and taken back to the adoptive home I was in a few months back before running away. A few months had passed while I was living in the worst of living conditions and now back at my adoptive family, yes the street was better than there. Now that you know where I’m from, this is where my dance story begins. I was struggling being back at school after coming off of the street, and I was now living on my own at 15 years old, and I was about to be expelled from school. I was dragged into the principals office, the principal and my teachers were fed up with me and I didn’t blame them I was out of control and had way to many issues with authority figures, nothing was going to help me. I was told I was four credits short of passing that year having missed so much school and not even trying in school didn’t help, I was told I had to pick up an elective for those 4 credits to pass. My thought at the time was, I would always pass the dance room at my school and thought to myself that looks so easy I could do that, and for those last four credits it was going to be a breeze. I walked into my first dance class hesitant and thinking I already waned to quit, but something hit me. It felt like I was meant to be there, I know that’s sounds weird to say but I had an overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t explain, I finally had something that filled my heart, and made a change in me for the better. DANCE SAVED MY LIFE. I took the class and passed with flying colours, and I passed that year, I then went onto dance studio training and excelled in that as well. I was also getting into singing and started a group (Boy Band) called 4TE’ so my life was very focused on Singing, Dancing, and Choreography that it took me on a           completely different path out of trouble, and my troubles. My group worked hard and we got a record deal with Sony Music Canada, the highlight of my life at that time. My group stayed together for a coupe more years working on   music, doing shows, but we ended up disbanding. I still had a passion for the arts especially dance, I continued to create and dance everyday in every aspect, in all styles with studios, crews, and anything related to dance. I danced all day, everyday, and my passion grew stronger and stronger and it still does. I trained for years and started to win competitions and create a name for my self in the dance community in Victoria, and Vancouver. One day I was told by an adjudicator that I should move to Vancouver, and pursue more opportunities in dance which was a dream of mine, so I picked up everything and moved that coming fall. I auditioned for 3 different studios and got the job at all of them, so paying the bills was going to be easier than I thought, things were looking up. I hustled into the Vancouver dance scene and met all the top dancer’s and choreographer’s in the city. I trained everyday at Harbour Dance Centre, and finally got a class there which was another goal of mine I had accomplished. I wanted to expand my career into the entertainment industry which I had a taste of as an artist, so I hustled there to by knocking on all the doors, Agents, Managers, and anyone who would help me get into the business. I quickly learned about rejection and kept hearing no, after no, but as I mentioned before I have been through a lot and no one was going to stop me. As I continued to teach and put myself out there, my name grew as a dancer and choreographer. It must have gotten out there as my first big industry job wasn’t with an agent or a manager, it was through word of mouth and extremely hard work. I booked a job with a big music producer/artist, and honestly from that point on it was felt like dance job after dance job were coming in at dreams speed. I have now worked with the worlds top choreographers helping me shape as a dancer and choreographer. I have worked with many recording artists Nelly Furtado, Michael Buble, K-OS, Marianas Trench, Carly Rae Jepsen, Elise Estrada, Brian Mcknight, and so many more. I have worked on Film and Television Fringe, Sucker Punch, Chips Ahoy, Coca Cola, X-Men, Del Taco, and many more. I get the opportunity to travel the world teaching, judging, and touring with recording artists. I have also created many successful dance crews and companies, Created Vancouver’s best dance showcase, and I continue to grow as a dancer, choreographer, and most of all a person. This is the just the beginning.

Adam Mckinnon

Never Give Up!

Social Media: Email: adammckinnondancer@shaw.ca
Twitter: @AdamDancer
Instagram: @adammckinnonoffical


We are pleased to feature Julio Fuentes as this weeks guest blogger.

Julio will be joining Danielle Gardner, Charlene Hart, Jonathan Arsenault, Ivivva Athletica and Hari Om Yoga at IMPACT Dance Productions Dance workshop coming up on Aug 18th 2013 .

To find out more about the workshop please visit : http://www.daniellelgardner.com and hit “WORKSHOP”

Or Visit:




Pursue The Process…

…not the glory (or the destination).
Why do we get so caught up with the end product?  I am especially guilty of this, being a perfectionist.  I always need for things to look a certain way, to be “perfect” so to speak… but in doing that, I neglect the process; the means through which I get where I need to be.  When I need to make a change, I expect it to happen with one quick yank of the steering wheel rather than slowing down and making the u-turn.  Needless to say, I have expected the same thing from other people.
This is also quite evident in a lot of dancers I know… but before I proceed, let me preface this with saying that, once again, this is not accusatory.  This is simply an observation.  Every dancer wants to be better… but once they realize what that involves, a lot of them shy away or give up.  You can’t have your “status” without all the work that comes before it.  I see dancers as swords… their bodies are their weapons.  How does a sword become sharp and refined?  It has to go through the fire and beaten over and over again… THAT is the process that we put ourselves through.  And as difficult as it can get, there is such beauty in it.  Pure gold emerges only after fire. 
And even then…
You dance and you dance and you dance… your body starts to get dull.  Guess what?  You go through the fire again.  There never really is a point at which you stop.  There is always something to learn, something new to experience.  THAT is the beauty of the process:  it never ends.  And if we go through it with joy, a healthy state of mind, and a heck of a lot of humility… we start to see the purpose in the process.  We stop holding onto this rigid and absolute “end product” that we have in our heads and start freeing ourselves to go through the process and grow… not just as dancers or artists, but as human beings. 
I learned this the hard way, and I’m still learning…
…and I’m grateful for it. 
By Julio Fuentes
Blog made possible by Danielle Gardner, Julio Fuentes and IMPACT Dance Productions




As the dance season comes to a close and students go to summer camp, parents catch up on some much needed wine tasting, readers find new books to get lost in and artists re fuel for the next season our team at Impact Dance Productions like you will be re generating in order to make 2014 the best year possible!.

We thank you for your positive feed back and faith in what we do!. With out our readers we would not be as tenacious about spreading our love of the arts with our community and with the world.

A huge thank you to our guest bloggers: (Order of blog posts)

– Joshua Beamish – Move the company 

– Mike Wollen – Foundry Films

– Kamilah Sturton – Kelowna Ballet

– Joyce Poon – Noir Lash Lounge

– Rachael Porier -Danzmode Productions

– David Cooper-  Photographer

– Sarah Dolan – O2 Company

– Angel Jutzi – Zebra Eye Dance Company

– Linda Arkelian- Instructor & Artist

– Amy Josh- Netherlands Danse Theatre

– Kristina Akester-  Student Dancer

-Robyn Banks- Fashionista

– Menina Fortunato- Dance Professional & Entrepreneur

– Gillian Abbott- Julliard NYC

– Melanie LaPatine- So You Think You Can Dance Choreographer & Celebrity Guest

– Caitlin Griffin- Professional Dancer & Choreographer

– Winnipeg Mother- Annon

– Christie Lee Manning- Industry Dance Magazine

– Dr.Lin- Naturopathic Doctor

– Alexie Geronimo- Bad Boys Of Dance

– Alexandria Crenian- Dancer for Lady Gaga

– Moe Brody- Harbour Dance Centre

– Darla Isfeld- Team Canada 

Impact Dance Productions and http://www.daniellelgardner.com are pleased to announce we will be back in early September featuring some of the finest artists and performers out there. If you missed one of our 25 blog posts this year they will continue to be on our site until next year:)

May your summers be filled with great memories, loving feelings and knowledge insurmountable to any education you have ever had before.

We wish you all a beautiful summer and in the words of Impact Dance Productions “lets make an impact one step at a time”.

Blog Made possible by : http://www.daniellelgardner.com & Impact Dance Productions


TEAM CANADA: A Parent’s Perspective By Darla Isfeld


TEAM CANADA- A Parents Perspective By Darla Isfeld



As I reflect on my experience as a parent who’s child is a member of the Canadian National dance team, I’d never dreamed that this would become as much of an adventure for myself as it was for my daughter!

Team Canada 2012- Germany Team

From the minute Katheryn’s letter of acceptance to the team arrived, we were thrown into a whirlwind of excitement. Getting ready to compete at the dance world’s version of the Olympics is no small feat. Putting together the best dancers from different studios who, for the most part, didn’t know one another except on a competitive level, could have been risky. But,there is no “I” in team, so ego’s were left at the door & everyone came together with a common goal. There were only 2 months to get everything  perfect, and it takes an extremely dedicated  group of choreographers, dancers, parents, volunteers, & seamstress’s to pull it off! Once rehearsals began, my iPhone lit up with a constant stream of emails & messages and it seemed like we were constantly planning, fundraising, or driving. My hat went off to the parents that drove to each practice from as far away as Chilliwack, as I was one of the lucky one’s who lived only 5 minutes away from the rehearsal studio.
As the departure date for Frankfurt drew closer, I began to observe bond’s forming amongst the dancer’s. I think it was around the time that the team jacket’s arrived and were donned that something seemed to “click”. No longer were they representing their own studio, they were representing Canada!
We drew a lot of attention at the airport in our maple leaf jacket’s. Many curious people asked us about the team and wished us good luck!

After a 10 hour flight to Germany (and a 10 hour time difference) there was no time for rest! The team had to compete first thing in the morning, and I admired how even though they were exhausted, they diligently practiced in the hotel parking lot for 2 hours!


1st day at the IDO World Championships. Performing Choreography by Joshua Beamish of Move the company.

Before the sun rose the next day, the bus left for the arena, and the kid’s broke into a spontaneous version of “Oh Canada”. Little did they know that our anthem would be played 16 times during the upcoming competition as they danced their way to the top spot on the podium.

IDO Ceremony- 23 countries present

The International dance organization put on a fabulous, well planned event. With 1500 dancers from 23 countries, the competition took place at the Fraport Arena, a five thousand seat basketball venue which they divided into half for the competition and half for rehearsal space. I remember fondly how we parents decorated our sitting area each morning with Canadian flags. As we sat together through those long days, we too formed a lasting bond as we laughed, cried, hugged, & cheered till we were hoarse. The stress and anticipation was felt by all as we anxiously awaited to hear if we had advanced to the next round, and what the final placings were. By the end of the competition, we were all a family, parents & children alike, brought together by our passion for dance.
It mattered not what studio we danced for at home, for during that week, Team Canada was a studio in itself.
I witnessed barriers broken unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in the lower mainland dance community, and I feel we are all better for it.

The pride I felt watching Katheryn on the podium while our anthem played and flag was raised was something I could never put a monetary value on- for it was priceless! Seeing her walk in the parade of nations amongst dancers from all over the world, I realized how lucky she was to have been chosen for this opportunity. It made every penny spent and every bit of effort worth it.

In closing, my thoughts return to an email sent to us from Team Director Bonnie Dyer on the eve of our departure to Germany. She wrote: ” A true champion is someone who is gracious if they win, and even more gracious if they do not. In years to come, medals & trophies will be misplaced, but the memories of your journey of training to dance on the world stage, meeting new friends, striving to do your best and being proud to represent your country- these are the memories you will carry with you forever”.
I think that says it all.

Darla Isfeld

Blog made possible by http://www.daniellelgardner.com, http://www.teamcanadadance.com,Key West Ford and Impact Dance Productions.

Follow us on Twitter: @IMPACTDancePro


MOE BRODY: Owner of Vancouvers Hottest Dance Centre


After finishing her degree in Human Kinetics at UBC, Moe returned to dance with the NBA Grizzlies Extreme Dance Team and then choreographed the CFL’s BC Felions and the creator of UBC’s Dance Team. She has done movies with Hayden Panetteire called I Love You Beth Cooper, for Ashanti and Brittany Snow in the movie John tucker Must Die, Dr. Doolittle 3 and Percy Jackson and The Lightening Thief. She’s done commercials for McDonalds, Barbie, Kyocere, Coca-Cola and Disney. She is also on faculty with The Source, Rise, Danzemode, Groovestreet Productions and Broadway Bound International. As an adjudicator at dance competitions, she derives much satisfaction dispensing helpful advice which she hopes will inspire future dancers. She is co-owner of Harbour Dance Centre in downtown Vancouver where her favorite place to be is in class, sharing a good story or two.

Please enjoy her amazing journey and know its never to late to do what you love!


How did I become one of the owner’s of Harbour Dance Centre? I have to take you way, way back. It was a long journey, but a great one.

In grade 8, my dance teacher shut down her studio. I found out she started teaching for some friends of hers that had opened a new adult studio. What was it called? Harbour Dance Centre? Never heard of it. I took class from four amazing women: my teacher, Valerie Easton, Belinda Sobie, and the two owners, Pam Rosa and Danielle Clifford. Now you’d think I would have found this haven and never left right? Haven’t you heard of a thing called High School? The drama, fitting in, new friends…yup, they pulled me out of dance and into some excess pounds on my thighs. I stayed at Harbour until about grade 10, then it was bye-bye dance.

My teenage years were hard. I moved out of my mother’s home in grade 12 with no money but a lot of drive to work. I went to UBC with four courses on my plate and three jobs to pay for it all. Dance wasn’t even on my radar. However, it was all I knew. I had no relation to any other passion in my life. Because of this I studied Kinesiology; anything to relate to the body. We analyzed the momentum of a baseball swing or the anatomy breakdown of a basketball free throw….but no one liked my idea of the velocity of a pirouette. Dance was still in me, just way down deep. After graduation, I got a job in Sports Marketing for a new sports franchise in Vancouver (The Vancouver Voodoo Roller Hockey Team). It was here that things took a turn. The President of the (Vancouver Voodoo Roller Hockey) Team suggested we get a Dance Team, some sexy girls to fill the arena. He asked me to do some research on how much this would cost. He and I were shocked to find out how much dance choreographers actually charged. (I had no idea. Like really, no idea). He then said, “Moe, isn’t dance your thing? You’re on salary, this us one of your new tasks in your job description. Get on it!” I panicked. I was now 24 years old and hadn’t really danced in 9 years. I knew how to do the six-step prep for a clean double pirouette, and that about summed it up. Crap! What was I going to do? Wait, Harbour Dance… I wondered if that place is still open. What? Belinda is still teaching? I better get back into class!

With the same dance attire that I left with, parachute shorts, leg warmers, ripped flashdance t-shirt, I put it back on! She gave us a thrashy jazz combo, and I was in heaven. Everything felt so natural, so easy. Why did I ever leave this? In between groups, Belinda stopped the music and walked over to my spot. She got right up to me, face to face and said…..”Moe……you still got it. Where have you been?” Let the bawl-fest begin. Between the tears and the sweat, I left so dehydrated you’d think I was in the desert.

The Dance Team audition went well. Some old familiar faces came through, Joanne Pesusich, Laura Bartlet, Lisa Stevens, Sandi Croft….the old “young” Harbour gang. At the same time, Joanne was planning her move to L.A and had some studio teaching hours to give up. She asked me if I wanted to teach dance. Me? I didn’t know anything except what I learned in the 70’s and early 80’s. She assured me nothing much had changed. So back to Harbour I went to get into ballet and jazz class (as well as some new dance style called hip hop, funny right? )

Since you’ve read my novel, you know my history with Harbour Dance Centre. When I started back up in dance in the mid 90’s, I knew this place was something special. In 2009, Danielle was thinking of retiring. In 2010, it became a discussion. In 2011, it became a reality. Again, I am one lucky girl. The place that gave me my passion back is now something I can call mine.

Special thanks to this weeks guest blogger Moe Brody of Harbour Dance Centre.

Blog made possible by: www.harbourdance.com, www.daniellelgardner.com & Impact Dance Productions

Follow us on Twitter: @IMPACTDancePro / @daniigardner 




On behalf of all music lovers our staff at Impact Dance Productions would love to share a little piece of what we were fortunate to be a part of this past weekend at The SASQUATCH Music Festival in Washington.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon wind blown and ready to jam!!Come Monday we had encountered some of the most incredible artists which we would love to share with you!


Sasquatch 2013-Photo by Danielle Gardner of Impact Dance Productions


Bands to check out:

The XX (Top of our list for a reason!)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis




Sigur Ros

Laid Back Luke

Capital Cities

Danny Brown

The Tallest Man On Earth


Mumford and sons

Imagine Dragons


The Lumineers

Steve Aoki


The postal service

To all artists needing inspiration or just want to jam to some good tunes check out the list above and better yet join us next year at Sasquatch 2014! We hope you take a listen to these amazing artists and are inspired by their words,beats and most of all creativity.


-Impact Dance Productions- 

Follow us : @IMPACTDancePro