Built in 1930 and formerly occupied by the Bank of Nova Scotia, the building was demolished, with the exception of the Granville St façade, to allow construction of Scotiabank Dance Centre.
Built in 1930 and formerly occupied by the Bank of Nova Scotia, the building was demolished, with the exception of the Granville St façade, to allow construction of Scotiabank Dance Centre.

The building at the corner of Granville and Davie Streets is hard to miss, with its 1930 bank façade. What lies above and behind though may be one of our city’s best kept arts secrets.

Designed by Architectura in collaboration with celebrated Vancouver-born architect Arthur Erickson, the façade hides seven stories and 32,000 square feet of space dedicated to dance.

Since opening in 2001, the Scotiabank Dance Centre has grown to attract over 60,000 visits for its vast range of classes, performances, workshops and other events.

Each year since opening, the Centre has thrown open its doors to the public, for a free peek inside. This year’s open house takes place on Saturday, September 16.

“Our annual open house is an opportunity to celebrate a wonderful building, which has become a home for dance of all kinds, and also to discover the excitement and diversity of Vancouver’s dance scene,” says Mirna Zagar, The Dance Centre’s executive director.

From ballet, belly dance and contemporary to hip hop, hula and flamenco, the annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House offers the chance to sample a host of dance styles in a day of open classes, studio showings and events.

Participating companies and artists include Project Soul, Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY, Kasandra Flamenco, Anderson Performance Clinic, and more.

Vancouver street dance crew, Project Soul, is one of the many dance groups performing at this year's Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House. Photo by Keystone Foto Ltd.
Vancouver street dance crew, Project Soul, is one of the many dance groups performing at this year’s Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House. Photo by Keystone Foto Ltd.

Below is a listing of the events planned for the 16th annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House on Saturday, September 16. All events take place at the Scotiabank Dance Centre located at 677 Davie Street in Vancouver. Pre-registration for all events is not required, and classes are suitable for all levels, including beginner.

For more information on the the 16th annual Scotiabank Dance Centre Open House visit http://thedancecentre.ca.

11am-12 noon Studio Showing: A new work in progress by contemporary/urban dance artist Ralph Escamillan
11am-12 noon Class: Bellydance with Maki Middle Eastern Dance
11am-12 noon Workshop: Screening and Conditioning for Injury Prevention with Stuart Anderson and Beverly Bagg, Anderson Performance Clinic. A practical workshop on identifying common dance injures, what you can do to prevent them, and when to seek professional help. (Participants should bring a yoga mat if they have one.)
11.30am-1pm Class: Nia with Jasjit Rai
12.30-1.30pm Open Rehearsal: Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY rehearse Beamish’s upcoming Saudade
12.30-1.30pm Class: Hawaiian hula dance with Wailele Wai Wai
12.30—1.30pm Talk: Introduction to Mental Performance Coaching with Stuart Anderson, Anderson Performance Clinic. A discussion on principles of performance psychology: part 1 (12.30pm) Dealing with Performance Anxiety, and part 2 (1pm) Introduction to Visualization Techniques.
1-2pm Class: Highland dance with Susan Nase, Shot of Scotch
1.45-3.15pm Class: Ballet with Linda Arkelian
2-3pm Class: Contemporary dance with MOVETHECOMPANY’s Timothy Stickney
2-3pm Performance: Hip hop and urban dance with Project Soul, one of Vancouver’s most highly regarded street dance crews.
2.30-3.30pm Class: Salsa with Julio Borgwardt
2.30-3.30pm Class: Pow Wow with Jessica McMann, Raven Spirit Dance
3.30-4.30pm Class: Pilates mat work with Noam Gagnon/Beyond Pilates (Participants should bring a mat if they have one.)
3.30-4.30pm Class: Hip hop and urban dance with Jojo Zolina
3.30-4.30pm Class: Flamenco with Kasandra Flamenco
4-5pm Performance: 365 by Croatian choreographer Petra Zanki is a gradually unfolding, profound reflection based on an autobiographical collection of notes and poems written over the course of one year. Zanki works with light, text, reflection, and gently unfurling movement, resulting in a visual poem for one body that is both gentle and intense in its execution.
Running throughout the day: Vancouver Ballet Society library features a selection of materials from the archive with a special focus on the past 40 years of Dance International magazine. Pulling issues from the archive going all the way back to the 1970s, visitors will see a rich history of international dance writing from a Vancouver perspective.