The Bold Steps Story
Story: Lenny Stoute
Bold by name and bold by nature, Meghan Bold has never been shy about taking a big step (yes, there will be puns). Raised in the badlands east of Cornwall and therefore deprived of culture, Meghan was saved by her innate knack for the dance, which became her ticket to ride.
“I took lessons from the MacCulloch Dancers for 11 years. I started taking Step Dancing at the age of 7 and began taking Highland at the age of 11. I was privileged with this dance troupe to perform locally and internationally. Places like Disney World, Mexico, Spain, New York, and all over Ontario and Quebec.
“I was chosen two years in a row to go on tour with a group from Scotland touring around Ontario doing a Scottish Variety show where I was the dancing act”.
The lissom blonde’s interest in Dance went beyond the performance aspect into the instructional arena upon completion of the gruelling exams leading to certification as a teacher in Step Dancing. In the last year, Meghan completed her exam to be a certified Highland teacher. She’s currently studying to step up even higher with a certification as a Judge, which will give her the opportunity to travel world wide judging Highland competitions. ” I started the studio in 2007 after moving to Toronto from Montreal, where I studied dance at Concordia University. What made me start my own studio was the fact I wanted to get back into dancing, but no one wanted to take on an adult student.
“I also missed being up on stage and performing with a group that you can call your friends. So, that gave me the idea to start my own studio here in Toronto. I started off with just 10 students in the first year, and surprisingly, they were all adults as well!! Now in year 5, I have over 70 students in both Step and Highland and half of those students are adults like me, who just wanted a place to go and have fun dancing, learning, and meeting great people to share this passion with.
“Some of the students have never danced before, and some of them had danced as children, remembered the good old days of dancing, and wanted to get back into it. ”I teach both recreational and competitive dancing, but all students get the same attention and corrections regardless of which path they are taking. All students participate in an annual recital held at the end of the school year, and are giving the opportunity to dance at local shows, such at the Beach Celtic Festival."
“Our performance troupe participates in a about 30 shows per year. We have done shows at the Toronto EX, Nathan Philips Square, Distillery District, Harbour Front, St. Lawrence Street Festival, and have performed at dozens of wedding and Robbie Burns Dinners just to name a few. ” I like it that we have a wide age range of students. Right now my youngest dancer is 3 and my most mature student in nearing 70 years of age. Bold Steps official studio is located at 2316 Queen Street East with classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays. The group also has another location at Avenue Rd and Dupont where classes are offered Tuesday and Sundays. It also serves as the venue for all of the Bold Step Dancers recitals, fundraisers, and the Robbie Burns Dinners. Complete with dancing haggis. While Bold is ambitious, she never lets it get in the way of her core strength, attention to the details with each and every student.
“ The class sizes are small, which is how I like them so that every child or adult gets the full advantage of the knowledge of the teacher, gets the attention they need and the corrections to make them better. This will be the 3rd year that Bold Steps has been attending and participating at the Beach Celtic Festival. We do two shows each day of the event and have a booth beside the stage to take registration for the fall session, answer any questions about the classes offered, answer questions about shows, shoes, kilts, or just to talk about dancing or anything Scottish in general."
“We like being apart of the Beach community because it's very welcoming, with a great sense of unity. We all have a little Scottish in us somewhere, whether it’s heritage, the love of the music or the love of dancing."
“Sandy (Graham), the founder of the event reached out to me 3 years ago, and within the first minute of meeting her, I knew that it would be a great and long lasting partnership and friendship. Her passion for this event is so strong and inspiring, we are honoured to be a part of it each year.” So maybe you’ve got the urge to step out or kick up your heels but you’re not sure how to go about it or even if you have what it takes. fear not, says Bold for what it takes to be a Bold Step dancer is a positive attitude, a love for dancing, and a yearning to be part of a great group of people.
“You won't find another studio quite like ours. All the parents get along, all the students get along, and no one is the "crazy dance mom" that you see on TV. We are all there to learn, to get better, and to have a place where you feel safe, welcomed and to be part of a group.”
Bold Step Dancers kick out the jams twice daily on both Saturday and Sunday of the Beach Celtic Festival and their shows are always a Festival highlight, inciting many Festival-goers to get up and show off their bold steps.