The Academy of Expressive Dance
To understand the Academy's philosophies and greatness, one must look to the founder and director, Andrea Gaw-Prekob.
Andrea Gaw-Prekob, C.D.T.A.
"I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself."
~Mikhail Baryshnikov, famous dancer & choreographer
Andrea Gaw-Prekob would say this quote sums up the underlying foundation of what she has created since 1991 in her Kemptville-area dance Academy - a place where children and young adults are free to learn, dance and “be themselves”.
Andrea has shared her love of dance with the community by training over 2500 students of all ages over the years, and her reputation of professional care and quality dancing is unsurpassed. She is a seasoned teacher who encourages laughter and fun, while working students to their full potential. Dancers have the freedom to express themselves in a place of acceptance and care.
Certified with the Canadian Dance Teachers Association, Andrea has experience in ballet, jazz and tap, and brings her learning and expertise to each class. She started dancing at the age of five, and as a young student was mesmerized by the dancing and costumes of professionals like Karen Kain. Today, her passion for dance is unabated, and has only grown through experiences like the DanceLife Teacher Conference in 2015, as well as other dance teacher training experiences hosted by the National Ballet School of Canada and other professional organizations.
Born and raised locally, Andrea has strong ties to the community. Growing up, good manners and propriety were extremely important in her family, and Andrea strives to quietly pass those qualities along to her students. Age appropriate music, costuming, and dance steps are always a "must" so that "kids can be kids", and a sense of modesty and self-worth/respect is established in a social world that sometimes encourages the opposite.
With her strong spirit and determination, at the age of 21, Andrea opened the Academy of Expressive Dance in Kemptville. Year after year, Andrea puts her creativity and love of dance to work, in bringing the community spring performances that are much more than just the average recital. Involving all age groups, the students prepare through the winter and spring months to capture the imagination of those who attend. Andrea brings to life classic fairy tales and ballet stories that mesmerize audiences time and time again; retelling the classics such as Swan Lake, Giselle, Little Mermaid, La Sylphide, Hansel and Gretel, and most recently Thumbelina. Each class plays their own "role", and the story is woven together with pantomime (acting without words) and dance, creating an event that builds a strong sense of belonging and pride in each student. Andrea's creativity knows no bounds, and she personally designs and creates the costumes for her students-- allowing for a "professional experience" for a fraction of a "professional" cost.
Her influence and ideas to inspire her students do not stop there. From group excursions to the National Arts Centre to see professional ballet performances, to trips to dance conventions in Toronto, Andrea seeks to expand the thinking and experience of those wanting to stretch themselves. In 2016, a busload of dancers and parents headed to New York City for a dance trip of a lifetime. The dancers had a class with a former Radio City Hall Rockette, alongside classes at the Broadway Dance Centre. The highlight for everyone was the Radio City Hall Rockette "New York Spectacular"! Currently, Andrea is looking into future dance trips to Cuba and Spain. Not only will students be immersed in each country's rich culture, they will also have opportunities to perform and take classes...an unforgettable life experience.
The Academy also boasts a Performing Company that dancers have the opportunity to be a part of. The Performing Company travels to nearby communities to dance and entertain at local events, festivals, and fundraisers. The opportunities for Academy dancers are endless.
Besides her passion for dance, Andrea also graces her students with her other talents; painting, creativity, imagination, design, and anything crafty. Andrea is also an avid photographer (the pictures on this site are all taken by her) and is partners with her husband in their sister photography business, "imagine that... Expression".
Andrea’s quiet patience and special rapport with her students is a huge selling point for the Academy’s classes. Her unique, humorous approach warms the classroom and she encourages her students to express themselves through dance in a safe, non-competitive atmosphere.
Andrea loves to teach...and it shows!