"KaRAR Studios is unlike other studios... It is a giant family that accepts and embraces everyone, no matter what dance or acting ability you may have. I have formed bonds with teachers and friends that will last a lifetime and memories that will last even longer. I am very proud to say I dance at KaRAR; it is my second home".
Jenna Korpela
"Our children love dancing at KaRAR Studios. They feel welcome every time they walk in the door and the energy is fun and lively. The instruction is exceptional and the recitals and year end production are top notch. The kids are sad when the year comes to an end and can't wait to get going again in September. The owners love what they do and they inspire dancers of all ages."
Moreira Family
"I started dancing at KaRAR when I moved to Edmonton from Ontario. Having most of my family being so far away, I was home sick. KaRAR is filled with amazing people that have become members of my dance family! I was welcomed with open arms and couldn't feel more at home in our adult hip hop class! I will be starting my 5th year of dance in September 2013, and absolutely love it! Thank you KaRAR! You are all incredible!"
Amanda DiCarlo
"Watching Ukrainian dance was really cool, and it made me war to try it. Once I did, I know I loved it. I love my teacher Ms.Sydney, and I can't wait until my first Ukrainian festival!"
Grace Tebb
"Being Ukrainian myself, I love that Karar offers this genre of dance. Not only does it give our son a way to connect with his heritage, he has become a better dancer by incorporating one more style into the range of dances he participates in. Plus I love the energy and exhilaration that the kids bring to the stage...it’s so much fun to watch!"
C. Joly
"While we are not a Ukrainian family, I certainly feel as though the Ukrainian program at KaRAR has helped my daughter grow strides in all genres of dance. She loves the program; loves her teachers; and loves watching all her peers (whether it be in studio or competition) perform."
R. Gibson
"When we first started at KaRAR, we had no intention of taking Ukrainian dance. My youngest was invited in to join a class for the day when she happened to be sitting out in the lobby. One class and she was hooked, and it soon became her favorite class. An older sister soon joined and Ukrainian became a favorite of hers as well. Ukrainian is a fast-paced, challenging, and fun form of dance."
L. Johnson
"KaRAR Performing Arts is more than just a dance studio. It is a place where everyone is welcomed with open arms and a smile! The studio has always created a sense of belonging and comfort for all of their students. As a student who has spent a majority of the past several years at KaRAR, I get to see how many relationships are created and maintained even once a student moves on from the studio. The collaboration between the differing age groups helps to create a family feel and makes the studio a comfortable place for everyone! Natalie and Liz put so much of their heart into the studio it is impossible not to love everything about KaRAR! Their passion reflects on the students and instructors and comes together to put on amazing productions each spring! I continue to learn so much as a KaRAR family member and could not imagine not being a part of this studio!"
Payton Fraser
"A personal letter on what KaRAR has done for my family I grew up with a mother who directed huge musicals each year. As a result, my whole family was used to working frantically with sets, costumes, lighting, singing, acting and choreography practices, advertising and an insane production week. What I couldn’t portray to others was how being a part of one of these productions could change the way you see yourself, your peers, and others in the community. My two daughters fell in love with competitive irish dancing at an early age, and for a decade, our life was consumed with competitions and practice. Although I was happy my girls were learning discipline, practice and how to win and lose gracefully, I always wished they could have that incredible experience of being part of a large theatre production. Then we found KaRAR. The first thing that attracted me as a mother was their focus on a yearly production instead of time spent on monthly competitions. Being a School of Performing Arts, KaRAR’s past productions were multi-faceted, including acting, singing and multiple dance genres. Three years ago, we enrolled my youngest (11 at the time) in Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Acro, Hip-Hop and Musical Theatre. This sounds like a lot, but KaRAR makes it affordable by capping the cost at 4 classes, and offering numerous fundraising opportunities throughout the year to off-set costs. The time commitment was large as well, but I was brought up with the philosophy that if a child is spending their time in lessons, there are few opportunities for that child to get in trouble. The first KaRAR production my daughter was involved in was “Tarzan”. Although she had a very small part, the encouragement she received from her peers as well as her teachers had her blossoming before our eyes. The next year, she had the part of one of the mer-sisters in “A Little Mermaid”. This is when she really grew. She worked as part of a huge team to produce an incredible show, gained some fantastic friends, was encouraged to push herself in acting, dance, singing and creativity. She felt she was part of a large, crazy family, had a huge support system, and began to feel depended upon as she encouraged other actors, practiced dancing and singing with various groups, participated in the parade where she was able to interact with little girls who dreamed of being mer-princesses, laughed at the antics of the older dancers, and cried with those who were frustrated or injured during practice. The euphoria of sharing the world and story they had been creating with the audiences truly changed her. This year, my oldest daughter (19 yrs), my step daughter (30 yrs) and I joined the adult hip hop class and became part of the “Brave” cast. My youngest had several roles that kept her running once again, but I was not prepared for how this KaRAR production would affect the rest of us. To be able to dance with my daughters in a large group of women was wonderful. So many times, our lives are so busy that we don’t connect with other adults outside of work. The positive environment of the KaRAR studios was addictive, the routines complex and energetic, and our fellow classmates encouraging. Nat, the instructor (and studio owner) had us learning moves we never thought we could pull off. Tarilyn (my 18 yr old) truly came out of her shell and became an outgoing young woman. I didn't truly appreciate how this organization could change a person until this past week. My step-daughter, Jessica, is a stay-at-home mom with three children. Other than a few short years as a child in gymnastics, she has never been a part of any group, volunteer organization or activity. Completely immersed in her own, small world, she was visibly secluded, self-involved, and unhappy. We managed to get her to enrol our granddaughter (8 yrs) in KaRAR, but she still remained relatively distant from the other parents. During the past year, she began to open up a bit in class and make a few tentative friends, but her true change occurred during production week. I spent the last few weeks helping out with sets and props, and both Jessica and Tarilyn helped with painting and gluing. Jessica began asking to assist me, volunteering to help actors with their costume changes, and kept the younger dancers entertained. During dress rehearsal, after we finished our dance number, I told her that she could go sit in the audience and enjoy the show. She turned to me and said “No, they really need me back here. I’ve been helping so many people. They keep asking me to do things and they appreciate me.” I wanted to cry. After 30 years, she had finally felt needed, and a part of something bigger than herself. When she marched out on stage on Sunday’s final show, her happiness could not be contained. Her excitement about performing for and connecting with that audience was contagious. This is her current Facebook status: “Such an amazing fun experience!! KaRAR is more then just practicing a dance. They're #family and I'm so glad to be a part of it!! #blessed THIS is what KaRAR does. THIS is how they affect lives. The instructors don’t just teach dance. They make better people. They produce dancers and actors that support each other, that spread love and laughter, that go out into the community and volunteer like they are taught to in the studio. I can’t thank Natalie and Liz enough for how their studio has touched our family. I am excited to see how this uplifting, giving, community of performers will change even more lives next year!"
Christina Henker-Gaboury
"We were introduced to Karar almost 4 years ago when my eldest son, who was 9 at the time, decided he wanted to try out dancing as an extracurricular activity. Not knowing where to go, or anything about dance, we went to the Tri Leisure for the “Tri Regional Information & Registration Night” (when organizations and businesses set up booths to share what is available in the community) and checked out the many dance studio booths. As soon as we stopped by the Karar table he & I both knew that was it!! There was something different about this studio than all the others. Part of it was the fact that they put on a production but it was also clear from talking to the staff that Karar was so much more than a performing arts studio! In his first year, Myles only enrolled in one class - Hip Hop. He really enjoyed the class, the other students, and his teacher "Ms. Nat”. And I enjoyed going to the studio to peek through the window to watch him dance but I also got a kick out of listening and watching Natalie interact with her students. You can ask my husband … I would seriously come home and tell him “It’s like free entertainment”. Not only was she an amazing teacher but she made the class so fun for her students and was just funny to listen to. I would sit out the door and giggle. As the year went on and they were preparing for recitals and the production, I appreciated how she pushed her students to do their best in the most respectful and encouraging way. Karar quickly became a place where my son wanted to be!! Who wouldn’t? Walking into that studio one can easily feel the warmth as you watch students so excited to see each other, talk to the owners whose office door is always open, and see the teachers interacting with their students. It really is like a BIG family with preschoolers right up to adults who all care and support each other. My son was hooked and so was I. Over the past 3 years Karar has given my son so much more than a place to pursue his passion. He now takes Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Ukrainian classes. Karar has given him an “identity" and a confidence to be himself - being a dancer is not something many boys can relate to. Not only does he get to dance with other boys his age but there are also so many great male mentors there for him. The older students at Karar have such a huge impact on the younger ones, and not only the ones that teach them. So often when Myles is leaving a class or walking off stage an older student will give him a high 5 or a “way to go Myles” that boosts his confidence 5 more rungs up. That small act or few words mean more to him than anything anyone else could say — because these are the people he looks up to. And they are great mentors for him to have, and not only because of their talent but because of the quality of their characters. The “family” at Karar is upstanding and outstanding! The first production my son was involved in was Tarzan. I remember watching them rehearse and seeing the set being built - realizing this was not going to be an average production. The staff and students worked so hard to put together a excellent, professional show. Friends and family attended Tarzan to support Myles but when it was time for the next production they were asking me when and where they could by tickets. The production exceeded all of their expectations and although some drove quite a distance to attend - it was well worth the time and money. As a mom, of course, I feel proud to watch my son on stage but I also feel so proud of our community and what they come together to create for others to enjoy. The talent that comes out of that humble little studio right off the Highway is something Parkland County should all be proud of!"
T. McCulloch
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