Dance teacher dusts off ballet shoes for classes

Claire Whyman, ready to share her ballet passion at Hebrides Dance and Wellbeing Studio. Photo: Aly Wight
Claire Whyman, ready to share her ballet passion at Hebrides Dance and Wellbeing Studio. Photo: Aly Wight
0
Have your say

Dance classes in Stornoway are increasing in leaps and bounds as a new teacher offers ballet lessons for children and adults.

Claire Whyman has recently trained as a British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATC) ballet teacher and is sharing her art at the brand new Hebrides Dance and Wellbeing Studio in Stornoway Golf Club.

Teaming up with Kirstie Anderson of IsleDance, Claire reignited her ballet background when she started attending the adult lessons.

Having danced throughout her childhood attending the Fleming School of Dance, Canada, she then went on to the School of Classical and Contemporary Dance for two years. Taking part in the local classes reminded her of the joy and benefit of ballet but without the pressures.

“I danced throughout childhood, and at 17 was fortunate to be exposed to professional ballet life,” she said.

Eventually Claire chose to go to university rather than pursue a professional ballet career, but having a little girl of her own last year, she found herself drawn back.

“With Kirstie’s classes I realised how much I missed ballet and really enjoyed doing it without the pressure and competition involved.”

Having revived her own passion for ballet, she decided to undertake teacher training and share the art form with others.

“It’s a great way for kids to express themselves and improve their musicality. For older children it’s good for maintaining fitness and the traditional structure promotes self discipline.

“I have yet to meet a ballet student who has poor school grades!”

Claire has now passed her associate ballet with BATD which allows her to teach and put students through ballet exams at all levels.

She offers classes for children in P1-3 at 4.30pm on Fridays and an adult beginner class at 5.30pm on Fridays at the Hebrides Dance and Wellbeing Studio, Stornoway Golf Club.