The Pointe in Practice

Marin Greenan of Mission, aged 15, is one step closer to realizing her dream of becoming a professional classical ballet dancer after recently being accepted to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, thanks largely to the Fraser Valley Academy of Dance (FVAD).

Marin aged 14 as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker.  Photograph by Duane Bradley

Marin has trained with FVAD’s Artistic Director, John C. Carney, since he first arrived in Mission in 2008. She is a graduate of his Pre-Professional Academy, a program that requires over 20 hours of dance training each week, on top of regular academic studies. A combination of Marin’s hard work, dedication, her family’s support and FVAD’s highly-trained teachers has helped Marin develop the necessary skills to achieve a professional career in ballet.

Mr. Carney, who himself had a 17-year professional dance career and a long list of accolades, invites students who display natural ability and focus into his Master Classes from age 7. From here, those most adept will progress to his Pre-Professional Coaching, before being invited into the Pre-Professional Academy.

Fraser Valley Academy of Dance student Marin Greenan. Photograph by Rick MacDonald

FVAD aspires to become a recognized feeder academy for professional dance company schools. Marin is not their only success story; students have previously been invited into prestigious full-time training programs including Canada’s National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, School of Alberta Ballet, and Randolph Academy for Performing Arts.

For all students, regardless of ability, the emphasis is placed on technique and performance, rather than competitions, which has also led to FVAD becoming an integral part of the community.   Their annual production of the Nutcracker is a firm Christmas favorite, along with many performances throughout the year at local events.  Recent student performances have included the Harlem Globetrotters half-time show, Disney’s Aladdin Jr, Cirque Musica at Abbotsford Centre, and concerts with the Abbotsford Youth and Chilliwack Symphony Orchestras.

Check out their website for dance classes and upcoming performances:

“It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer” – Author: Shanna LaFleur

2 thoughts on “The Pointe in Practice

  1. The only thing missing from this article is a perspective that can only come from an FVAD family – a mention of what a nurturing and warm environment is the Academy. We were very lucky when John and Carolyne Carney moved to Mission just as Marin was discovering her passion for the discipline of ballet. Over the years they have become like family to us and the Academy like a second home. I love this article!


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