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Vision shows off its talent with ‘Music Extravaganza’

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Vision School of Dance student Imani Bell (Photograph supplied)

Angelina Hayward-Simas opened Vision School of Dance in September of 2019 with a lot of big ideas.

The grandest one of all was a dance recital she planned to hold in eight months’ time.

“But then Covid-19 happened,” the dance instructor said.

Angelina Hayward-Simas, owner of Vision School of Dance (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Classes moved online. Students didn’t head back into the studio until August 2020; a scaled-back recital took place the following June.

With all that in mind, Ms Hayward-Simas is excited about this coming weekend when Vision will finally hold a show that is open to the general public.

Music Extravaganza takes place on Friday and Saturday at the Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts.

The production will include tunes from musicals, commercials and films, with a twist. Students will show off their skills in ballet, funk tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, pointe, afro, dancehall and contemporary dance.

Nisaiah Berkeley is in nine of the 30 performances that 90 dancers will bring to life.

“It will be really nice to be able to showcase my talents, get my make-up done and take pictures with my friends. We are making everlasting memories,” she said.

“I can’t wait to see them on stage with their costumes and everything pulled together. I may not be able to see some of the dances, because I am in a lot of them myself, but this is going to be a great show.”

The Bermuda High School student takes classes with Vision, in Magnolia House on Front Street, five days a week.

“I definitely juggle other things – such as rugby and netball, as well as school. I try to have most of my homework done before I come to dance. When I come to dance, I am ready to release the stress from the day.”

She started dancing at five years old, first with The Somerset School of Dance and then Bermuda Dance Academy, before joining Vision shortly after the school opened.

“I like that it is very flexible, but you still get pushed to do better,” she said. “They adapt to your strengths, but also strengthen your weaknesses. The teachers are really nice and I have really good relationships with all my teachers.”

Her favourite dance style is hip-hop but she also likes ballet.

Vision School of Dance student Nisaiah Berkeley (Photograph supplied)

“It is really nice. It is the foundation technique for other things like modern and jazz. So that is a really good thing to have that technique already down so I don’t look weird.”

The 17-year-old is off to Central Washington University next year to study exercise science. Her dream is to become a cardiac rehabilitation specialist.

She was intrigued when she spotted a degree in cardiac rehabilitation in a college catalogue. It suited her well because she has had close family members who have had heart surgery and a triple bypass.

“I do not want to be the stereotypical physiotherapist or athletic trainer,” she said. “I want to do something a bit different.”

Her future career in cardiac rehabilitation has made her a little more aware of her own cardio health when she is exercising or dancing.

“I know that the dancing and sports helps me to stay fit and healthy,” she said.

Ms Hayward-Simas said the group is also looking forward to performing in the Bermuda Day Parade.

Students in the junior class of Vision School of Dance (Photograph supplied)

“We have quite a few dancers and teachers taking part in that,” she said. “We have also been asked to perform at other outside events that are finally going on.”

Next month several dancers will head to New York City for intensive training. In July and August, Vision will host a camp and a summer dance intensive showcase.

“So we have a lot coming up and we are ready,” Ms Hayward-Simas said. “We are asking if everyone can come and support us and our dancers, because they have been working extremely hard to get ready for this event. We definitely want everyone to come and enjoy.”

She taught dance for 16 years before opening her own school.

“I wanted to grow my dance skills and offer a variety of different dance styles such as hip hop for boys, dance hall and afro beat classes alongside the more traditional ballet, tap and jazz classes,” she said. “I was excited to open. The teachers were excited and so were the students.”

Vision School of Dance student Brianna Simas (Photograph supplied)

Music Extravaganza will be held at The Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, 2022, at 7pm. Tickets, $40 for adults and $35 for children, are available at www.bdatix.bm. For more information: visionschoolofdance.org; dancevision@yahoo.com

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Published May 18, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated May 19, 2022 at 8:02 am)

Vision shows off its talent with ‘Music Extravaganza’

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