Find the family beat with fun workshops at Nepean Creative Arts Centre

Feet partners on black background

Between work and school, it’s hard for families to fit programming for the kids and family quality time into the few remaining hours of the day.

The Nepean Creative Arts Centre may have a solution for that, with its 25th anniversary workshops.

Perfect for those precious years before children are too embarrassed
to be seen dancing in public with their parents, the Nepean Creative Arts Centre is bringing award-winning international competitive ballroom dancer and coach Alexander Pauk to Ottawa as a part of its anniversary series, which kicked off this fall.

“It’s something a bit different,” said Laura Logan, Audience and Partnership Development Coordinator at the Nepean Creative Arts Centre. “A workshop like this allows parents and teens to spend time together outside of their usual boxes.”

Pauk’s social interactive workshop, which runs March 3 at 7:30 p.m. and costs $24 for teens and $25 for adults, would appeal to all ages and experience levels, said Logan.

“He’s very accomplished, so it’s very exciting to have someone of this caliber and professional ranking come in,” she said.

“His dream is to be the best ballroom instructor in the world. He wants to focus on the benefit of working in a group. This workshop is unique in that for this class, you don’t have the hurdle of finding a partner. You just come out.”

If ballroom dance just isn’t up your child’s alley, the Nepean Creative Arts Centre offers a variety of options in art, music, dance, theatre, digital arts and special needs programs.

Always popular are the pottery classes, which appeal to parents and teens, who are usually hard to bring in.

There’s also You Bet You Can Act, a workshop for kids ages 10 to 16 that teaches acting skills, enunciation, posture and character. Along the same lines is You Bet You Can Sing, which allows kids to discover musical theatre and the techniques behind Broadway singing, and You Have An Audition, which aims to polish performance skills for triple-threat performers.

The centre will also host an Irish dancing workshop in collaboration with Sue Fay Healy Irish Dance Studio, and free family drum circles for ages eight years to adult.

“The drum circle is something that the whole family – kids, parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles – can attend,” said Logan. “If it’s their first time going to a performing arts event, it could be a nice entry point.

“We work together to find a united beat. It’s really fun and any level and age group can work together. You really don’t need any experience.”

There are classes for the grownups, too. Jazzy Night Out for Adults pairs singing skills with a glass of wine or beer for a “fun and active night out,” said Logan.

Because these are workshops, it’s a very affordable price. “Families can easily come out and it’s not a huge commitment financially,” said Logan. “It’s hard for families to dedicate time to a 10- or 12-week course. It’s a sampler, so if you like Irish dancing or an aspect of one of the drama programs, like stage makeup or improv, you can build that into taking a course that would be a little more of a commitment.”

The Nepean Creative Arts Centre is an important community facility, said Logan. “It is really quite unique. We’re more grassroots and you really see how the community needs and loves the space.

“It’s affordable programming, but you are working with local emerging and professional artists who are passionate and dedicated.”

For more information or to register for workshops:

This story was produced by Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine on behalf of the Nepean Creative Arts Centre for commercial purposes.