Spotlight School of Arts opens permanent Charlottetown location

A performing arts school will be helping students learn acting and dancing — and more — on stage with its expansion to Charlottetown.

Open house being held Saturday for children's classes

Spotlight School of Arts new location in Charlottetown is downtown in the Confederation Court Mall. (Submitted)

A performing arts school will be helping students learn acting and dancing — and more — on stage with its expansion to Charlottetown.

The Spotlight School of Arts, now based in Summerside, has set up in a new permanent space to offer classes to more students.

We're hoping to add more [students] and keep adding.- Raesha Walsh

"We've got some classes starting now in Charlottetown and we'll keep adding more  as we go, so there should be lots happening," said Reasha Walsh, the school's executive director.

Spotlight opened in Summerside a little over seven years ago, the school's home base, Walsh said, but the new studio in downtown Charlottetown is a big expansion.

"[It's] very exciting," said Walsh.

In addition to acting and various styles of dance, the school offers classes in improv, musical theatre, and working behind the scenes of a production.

More programs

Walsh said the expansion means they can do more classes and offer more programs in the city. 

Spotlight's creative director Monica Kani said they held a few satellite classes in Charlottetown in the past two years that were well received, leading to the decision for a permanent expansion.

Creative director Monica Kani and executive director Reasha Walsh have expanded the Spotlight School of Arts, based in Summerside, into a permanent location in Charlottetown. (Angela Walker/CBC)

Kani, who was once a student at the school, said she built a lot of self-confidence from taking the classes, eventually becoming an employee.

"I was very afraid to perform, so I said I'll do tech stuff, I'll be a theatre guy, I'll just sit off stage — and then she [Walsh] convinced me to join classes," Kani said.

"It was one of the best things that could have happened ... learning that I actually had that passion. I didn't realize that I had it."

Spotlight may eventually continue their expansion, if the new permanent location in Charlottetown proves successful. (Spotlight School of Arts)

Kani said getting people to try something outside their comfort zone, and making them realize they're capable of performing, is what the school is all about.

Spotlight can accommodate up to 200 students — and for now has about 120 — and has classes for as young as three, and as old as 100.

"We're hoping to add more and keep adding," said Walsh.

An open class day is being held Sept. 30. More information about the school and classes can be found on their website.

With files from Mainstreet