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Ballet icon, Evelyn Hart fosters Okanagan dancers ahead of gala – Okanagan

Ballet icon, Evelyn Hart fosters Okanagan dancers ahead of gala - Okanagan
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Legendary Canadian ballerina Evelyn Hart is sharing her expertise with the young dancers at Kelowna’s Mission Dance Centre and Company.


Hart danced with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for three decades, travelled around the world to perform, won countless awards and was named to the Order of Canada. Now, she is fostering the next generation of ballerinas.

“At this point in my dance life the biggest reward I get is by giving back,” said Hart. “That’s actually how dance gets handed down, it’s from person to person.”


Hart is in the Okanagan as a guest coach. For the dancers at the Kelowna-based ballet company, the chance to learn from Hart is a dream come true.

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“What I think keeps the passion going is learning because I think that as soon as a dancer feels that they don’t have the ability to learn or the access to knowledge it’s almost like you wither,” said Hart.

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One of the ballerinas learning from Hart is Laika Wintemute, who has looked up to Hart for most of her life.

“Ever since I was a little kid, Evelyn Hart has been the epitome of classical ballet in my mind,” said Wintemute. “As a kid, I would collect magazines, I still have a huge stack in my closet that just have Evelyn Hart on the covers.”

Hart is here ahead of the twentieth-anniversary gala in celebration of the Mission Dance Centre and Company. The event is designed to support the company as it fosters burgeoning careers, education and mentorships.

The Gala will feature performances of Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and Swan Lake. The dancers will also showcase different styles of dance including neoclassical Flamenco and modern dance.

“A lot of the pieces we are doing are choreographic works that have been in the company since day one pretty much so it has been danced by generations of dancers,” said Tanya Vadurova, artistic director and owner of Mission Dance Centre and Company.

The dancers invite you to get dressed up and walk the red carpet to help them celebrate with a unique performance March 15.  Tickets are still available online at

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