Studio House Barrie Presents Body Language – All Bodies are Beautiful Bodies Event at Barrie Curling Club on August 20
Waiting backstage or backstage before going on stage is a feeling that can only be accurately described by those who have experienced it. A swirling combination of excitement, anxiety, tension and, above all, promise. The promise that your hard work will carry the message to the waiting audience and the promise to trust yourself to kill the day.
The confidence to get on stage, or confidence in general, is in short supply these days. Fortunately, Studio House Barrie provides a safe space to find a supportive community and encourage individuals to strut their stuff.
The company offers a range of courses, services and its latest production celebrates the human body in all its shapes and sizes.
Before hitting the stage, I had the opportunity to ask Studio House Barrie owner Wendy Graham a few questions about the studio and what an audience can expect from their upcoming event.
VR: When did you discover dance, and was there a particular moment when you knew it would be a lifelong passion and career?
GT: I’ve been dancing since I was five, but it wasn’t until I started choreographing that I realized that was what I wanted to do. Creating pieces that make an impact and give audiences a sense of joy, excitement, sadness or empowerment is what fills my heart and will be my passion until the day I die.
VR: What is Studio House and who is it for?
GT: Studio House is a versatile studio for ages 18 and up. We offer dance classes, performance programs, body positivity and confidence-building workshops, and photography services. Our studio is for anyone (over 18) who wants to be surrounded by a positive, supportive community and wants to tap into their confident, sensual, and powerful side that we tend to lose as adults.
VR: What has been the most rewarding part of teaching and seeing people in your studio?
WG: It’s easy. Seeing confidence grow in our students and seeing them integrate it into their daily lives. We’ve had students pursuing their dream jobs, ending toxic relationships, and believing in themselves more than they ever thought possible. Keeping your head up in the studio is one thing, but keeping it higher when leaving is inspiring.
VR: Is there a brand or aesthetic that Studio House is known for? How do you do it in class and on stage?
GT: We are definitely known for our Stilettos program and the body positivity that comes with it. We are judged by society in our daily lives, and we strive to make the studio a safe place where you know you can be authentically yourself with nothing but love and support. We have an anti-bullying policy in place and no egos are welcome beyond the front door. In the studio or on stage, no matter who you are, we are all equal and we are all here to feel better about ourselves. We do our best to give our students all the tools they need to tap into their most confident selves.
VR: What is the conduct of the story Body language – All bodies are beautiful bodies, and what can the public expect?
GT: Body Language is about celebrating how beautiful and strong our bodies are. How can they be such a tool to inspire, create and empower you to live your best life?
The show (which is 18+) will have a variety of groups, solos and duets in several different styles. We have heels, hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, burlesque and ballet fusion. All routines and music have been selected to show how beautiful and powerful our bodies are – and allow our students to show how proud they are to be in the body they are in. It’s definitely a bit risky, but that’s the best part!
VR: Why is this an important story to tell?
GT: Social media and the fashion industry have set “beauty standards” that so many people compare themselves to. It causes body dysmorphia, low self-confidence, eating disorders, and many mental health issues. Not to mention that we are torn down by strangers, for no reason, almost daily.
We don’t have the right to judge others, and as soon as you show how much you love yourself, it takes power away from those who try to put you down. We have to learn to be really proud of who we are and not be afraid to show it.
VR: If there was one piece of advice you could go back and tell yourself when you started Studio House and were producing shows, what would it be?
GT: To follow my heart. Previous shows didn’t show what we really stand for for fear of what the audience would like and dislike. I have realized over time that doing what we do best is more than enough. At this point, we’ve made a name for ourselves, and people know what we stand for – and should be prepared to be surprised, blown away, and walk away inspired. If I want my dancers to believe in them, I have to do the same with myself.
VR: What three songs should people stop and dance to right now?
GT: 1) About fucking time –Lizzo
2) Superflowering – MisterWives
3) great energy – Latte
Body language – All bodies are beautiful bodies is an 18+ event held at the Barrie Curling Club, located at 175 Essa Rd., Barrie, on August 20 at 6 and 9 p.m. General tickets and limited VIP tables are available. For more information, please click here.