About Passion and Performance
Passion and Performance is a dance and performance studio for adults. With three locations on Vancouver Island, we pride ourselves in offering classes to fit all levels, bodies and abilities. Our passion is in creating a safe and inclusive space for adults to learn about dance and performing. We offer a variety of shows throughout the year where students can show off their hard work to friends and family. If you have yet to see a P&P show, let us assure you, they’re a blast. Think of them like rock concerts—with all the cheering, the loud music and the fun, but it’s everyday people who are the stars!
We want dance to be an enjoyable part of your life for all occasions. That is why wedding dance lessons, bachelorette parties and other custom events are also services provided by P&P.
Though dance is our tool, and you will certainly sweat, learn new skills, ignite old passions and maybe scratch off a performance bucket list item, friends and community are the heart and soul of P&P. We believe that everyone should dance if they wish to. And so, you will find classes in all different styles, levels, and performance options.
At the end of the day, our community members are just like you. We have families, pets, jobs and all the other things that go along with daily life. We are a heart-centered business, passionate about performance, art and wellness and making every day a little more sparkly.
Passion and Performance offered its first class on September 10th, 2010. The vision at the time was simple: provide dance classes in styles catered to adults at a reasonable price. Founder, Rachel Paish, was a young university student at the time. New to Victoria, she struggled to find classes where she could dance at her skill level but with people her age. Having been a dance teacher in her hometown, she decided if she couldn’t find it, she would make it.
That first year of business was transformational. Despite being a full-time student and balancing multiple jobs, Rachel quickly discovered that there were so many people like her. Students who had danced their entire lives but, as they merged into adulthood, had tucked away that part of their identity. Along the way she met other new and exciting dancers, folks who always wished to be able to dance but were not enrolled as children, folks who were great fans of dance and were eager the try it out. Movers and shakers of all shapes, abilities and ages all came together to share space and dance!
After one year as subtenants, Passion and Performance acquired our first home on Burnside. That 900 square foot space was our home for five years. We grew from eight classes a week to 18, from just 40 dancers to a full membership service and hundreds of sessional and drop in students.
At Burnside, we came into our own as a performance space. It started with the Spring Showcase, then the Candy Cane Cabaret and Hotness Show. To celebrate our five year anniversary we added the theme show. Our audiences got bigger, our costumes more elaborate, our students more passionate. The culture of Passion and Performance developed over those years. Finally, we came to a point where we were bursting at the seams. Now finished university, it was time for Rachel to decide: do we grow P&P or leave it a small arts space?
In 2016 we expanded to a 3000 square foot space with two studios, a lobby and some offices. Rachel quit her day job and so began the next phase of P&P. We went from 18 classes to 30, from shows with 40 performers to shows with 180 performers. We outgrew theatres and performances spaces to the point at which we had to start building our own.
In 2018 we opened two new branch locations on Vancouver Island. Offering classes in the Cowichan Valley and Sooke, growing our P&P family even more. It was an exciting time in 2019 to have three different Showcases and so many more members to our ever growing P&P Family.
In March 2020, the Covid 19 pandemic forced our studio, with many other businesses to close our doors. During this time our studio pivoted 9 times. From virtual instruction and online classes, to drop-in workshops only, to creating two feature film productions; Eliza – An Adaptation of a Christmas Carol and our mini series The Bad Guy. From 2020-2022 we danced at home, in boxes, in the parking lot, at parks, in the rain, in the snow and in the sun. As the pandemic wore on we permanently closed our doors to the Sooke and Cowichan branches and went from hundreds of active students and members, to a 48 core students who kept their memberships active. Our faculty and staff worked tirelessly to keep our community positive and cared for. Through love and dedication our business was able to make it through thanks to these incredible people and we will always be grateful for the students, faculty and staff who made it through this journey with us.
Flash forward to September 2022 and we will be opening the doors to our new Vancouver location! We are so excited to be making dance magic once again and to bring our creative energy and positive dance values over to the mainland. We can’t wait to grow our community with you, Vancouver!