Gabrielle has been part of the Arts Council for the South Shuswap FACES family since 2014. Over the years, she has taken many different classes all the way from ballet and lyrical dance to voice lessons. She is currently cast in Shuswap Theatre’s production of Wizard of Oz, set to start rehearsals in the near future.
We sat down with Gabrielle to get to know more about her experience at FACES and to see what she loves about the arts in the Shuswap.
Q: What sparked your love for performing?
I have always loved performing. There is a profound power to telling a story, being able to connect to others through shared experience, shared knowledge. Being on the stage felt very natural for me even when I was a young child.
Q: When did you start dance classes with FACES?
I began dancing at FACES when we moved to the Shuswap in 2014 when I was 11 years old.
Q: What is your favourite part of being a student at FACES?
My favourite part of FACES is how friendly and encouraging the atmosphere is. There is never a feeling of competition between students and that makes it feel really safe to learn and perform. Everyone is at their own skill level and that’s okay. There is a high quality of performance that comes out of FACES and we get there not through tough discipline and drills, but through fun, cooperation and support.
Q: What type of dance is your favourite and why?
My favourite type of dance is lyrical. My first love was ballet, but over time I began to find its structure too constricting. Lyrical retains much of the graceful style of ballet while allowing me enough range of movement and style to express myself.
Q: What classes are you currently taking at FACES?
Until January I will only be taking voice lessons at FACES. Due to be being cast in Shuswap Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz, and the intense five-day-a-week rehearsal schedule needed to make it a success, I will not have time for any dance classes until the new year.
Q: Has dance helped you in any other areas of your life and how so?
Dance has made me much more aware of my body. I believe that this has helped me immensely as an actor, giving me the ability to adjust my posture and mannerisms based on my character.
Q: You are currently cast as Dorothy in Shuswap Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz. How are you enjoying this new facet of performing? What do you find most exciting about this role?
Rehearsals on the Wizard of Oz production have not started quite yet, but I eagerly await this next step in my performance experience. I have always loved musicals so getting this chance to be part of such an iconic one is an incredible opportunity. As for what I am excited about, the ruby red slippers are pretty darn cool!
Q: Do you have any interests other than dancing and acting?
I love baking and decorating cakes, reading and photography.
Q: What are your future aspirations?
This is a question which, at my age, one generally gets asked quite a lot. Despite much contemplation on the matter, I have not yet come up with an answer. There are so many things that I want to do with my life. I just have some trouble figuring out exactly what those things are… I truly hope that performance remains a part of my life and I am still trying to figure out how large a part I want it to be.
If you want to learn more about the arts programs being offered in the Shuswap, click here.