At Raino Dance, we are committed to a safe and non-competitive environment that provides professional training to non-professional and professional adult dancers of all sizes, ages, body types and abilities.
Furthermore, we provide a hub for creators, both professional and non-professional, to create and showcase their work in studio or otherwise.
“You don’t have to have a dancer’s body to dance, just a body that dances.” ~Lynda Raino
Today it is a thriving centre for adult dance with professional dance instructors, over 250 students and six genres of dance. It has won multiple local M Awards for “Best Place to Dance,” and its teachers have been voted “Best Dancer.”
It has spearheaded Big Dance (a dance class just for big woman) and Rust (a dance class for dancers over 60).
Its founder, Lynda Raino, received a Woman of Distinction for Arts & Culture award in 1997 and a Lifetime Achievement award in 2010 from Dance Victoria.
In 2012, Lynda’s protégé, creator of the flamenco program, and powerhouse dancer/choreographer, Monique Salez, purchased the school. As artistic director, she has revitalized the studio and its branding with an eye to many more decades of dance.
Do I have to stay in the class I am registered in for the whole year?
This is preferable. We want you to grow together as a class from September to June, to build community with the people in your class as well as develop choreography and technique over time.
However, if the level isn’t working, the teacher will ask you to move up or down as needed. If you experience a schedule change, we can accommodate a shift as well.
I am going away for a month at Christmas. Do I have to pay for that month?
Yes. You are claiming a place in your class for the whole year and therefore you pay for that spot.
The monthly fee is based on the TOTAL number of classes happening from September through June and split up into 10 even monthly payments, regardless of how many classes happen within one particular month.
Due to geography or schedule, I can’t come weekly. Can I drop in?
Yes. Our drop-in fee is $22/class, cash only.
If you plan on dropping in multiple times, you can buy a 5- or 10-class punch card:
5 classes $110 + $5.50 tax = $115.50
10 classes $220 + $11.00 tax = $231.00
I don’t know what I want to take. Can I try the class first and then sign up?
Yes, you pay a drop in fee of $22 (cash only) for the class. If you register for that same class within the week, we credit that $22 towards your registration.
I am a student at UVic and only here until the end of April. Can I still dance with you?
No problem; you are registered as a partial student. We register you from the day you begin until April 30.
I am a nurse and have three week night shift and three week day shift. Can I take a night class for three weeks and then switch to the day class?
Yes, we actually make this concession ONLY for nurses because you would simply be unable to dance otherwise. Just know that you will have a different teacher for each of these classes. This is not the best situation for you, but at least you will not break your continuity.
What is “Contemporary” dance?
Contemporary dance (sometimes referred to as modern dance) is as different as every teacher that teaches it. Each teacher takes the music, movements and qualities that they enjoy and creates their own style.
The biggest task is to find a teacher that you can relate to. Every teacher will have different things to offer.
The biggest difference between contemporary and other dance styles is the music. Contemporary uses ALL kinds of music, which informs the choreography.
For example, in classical ballet classes, you can be assured that you will hear beautiful classical music; in hip hop, you are going to hear only hip hop music; but in contemporary, we use everything from a gospel choir to solo guitar to crazy experimental sounds to world beat, all to give us the emotional responses we want for the choreography.
Not sure? Drop in to a class to check it out!
I want to take one night Contemporary 2 class and one day Contemporary 2 class to make up my two classes per week.
Sorry, for the night classes in Contemporary Levels 1 and 2, we require that you commit to two classes per week otherwise you will always be 50% behind your class. Our day classes are a once a week commitment, but the night classes are 2.
Contemporary Level 3 students are permitted to take only one class per week as we find that they are technically able to catch up. But this is only if finances or scheduling is a problem for them. We don’t encourage it.
Which level should I take?
This is a decision made by the student and the teacher. Whatever class you decide on, if it ends up being the wrong level for you, we can adjust your enrolment.
For some, it is a personality call. If you are the kind of person who likes to be in control of your body at all times, and prefer to be at the top of the class, you may choose to take a lower level. If you thrive in a class where people are more advanced than you and are stimulated by being pushed, a higher level might be the correct choice.
Class should be neither boring nor stressful but stimulating. The final call on level is determined by the teacher.
I don’t have a chequing account. Can I pay in cash each month?
With our large student body, we simply don’t have the office staff to accommodate cash coming in monthly. You have two options other than cheques.
- Pay cash for the full year’s fees ($25 registration fee is waived)
- Pay online with a credit card (monthly, recurring payments)
What is the policy for making up missed classes?
At the beginning of the year, you will receive a Make-Up Ticket (we call it a MUT) with a certain number of free classes available to you.
This number of classes is dependent on how many class you registered for: 1 class/wk = 3; 2 class/wk = 5; 3 class/wk = 7; 4 class/wk = 9; 5 class/wk = 10.
You can use your MUT to drop in to any other regular class — that is at your level and has space available — whether you miss your class or not.
- non-transferrable to any other student
- only valid for the season you are registered for
- only given to students whose registration is in good standing (i.e., all paid up)
- not valid for Get Your Feet Wet or workshops
What if I want to add or remove a class after I have registered?
Either email the office or visit us during office hours to inform us of the change.
Please let us know BEFORE the month in which you want to make the change, e.g., you want to add a third class starting the month of March, so talk to us in February.
We will then adjust your payments and contract to reflect the shift.
I need to cancel all my classes and quit. How do I do this?
Either email the office of visit us during office hours, and we will do the necessary administration to cancel the contract.
You will forfeit one month’s fees, and we will return or shred your remaining cheques or cancel the automatic debit from your credit card.
What do I wear?
Don’t forget to bring water/a refillable water bottle to all your classes!
- Hiphop – loose clothes, clean inside shoes (in hand, not on your feet until you are in the studio), layers
- Ballet – large range of choices: tights & leotards with chiffon skirt all the way to sweats and a t-shirt; ballet shoes required (canvas are less expensive; leather shoes which cost more but last longer). We recommend Toes n Taps on Cook St.
- Contemporary – loose clothes, bare feet, socks, layers
- Flamenco – workout pants, layers, a skirt may be required later in the course for women & a vest for men; a heeled shoe, either character shoes (Toes n Taps, less expensive) or flamenco shoes (flamencowest.com, expensive but if you are hooked on flamenco you will want a good pair) *email firstname.lastname@example.org for full flamenco shoe info
- EFunk – loose clothes; clean, non-grippy inside shoes or bare feet; layers
- Jazz – loose clothes; clean, non-grippy inside shoes or bare feet; layers