Artistic Director: Astrid Sherman (F.I.S.T.D; A.R.A.D; Certificate Health & Fitness SFU)
An acknowledged leader in the field of dance education and performing arts, Ms. Sherman graduated from the Pretoria Technikon School for the Performing Arts in South Africa (where she was a recipient of their Ballet bursary in 1989, and the Michael Tesson Ballet Scholarship in 1990), after gaining her initial dance training with Helen MacBride, Beryl Alison, Joey Saayman and Kenny Smith in Johannesburg. From there she went on to dance professionally with the NAPAC Ballet Company in Durban. Working with many of the innovators of South African modern and neoclassical dance, she performed in all the traditional ballet repertoire classics as well as original and choreography efforts that broke new creative ground. Her own passion to dance and the desire to invest in and empower others prompted her to pursue advanced studies and she was awarded the highly regarded and internationally recognized advanced level teaching qualification of “Fellowship” from the Imperial Society for Teachers of Dance (ISTD) after immigrating to Canada in 1997. In 2003, she co-opened the Pro Arté Centre in North Vancouver which has evolved into a major dance centre with six dance studios, on-site academics from Grades 5-12, on-site physiotherapy, massage therapy and nutritional services and a Pilates rehab gym. Pro Arté Centre is best known for this commitment to providing a holistic inspired training to young dancers intending to pursue a career in dance. Recognizing the need to fully equip the new generation of performing artists, she introduced CatchingART Contemporary Ballet Theatre in 2012 to prepare emerging arts leaders for a future in dance that acknowledges that the successful dancer must be prepared by a diversity of technical training opportunities and experiences. Ms. Sherman’s past students and Pro Arté / CatchingART graduates have been accepted into numerous companies and prestigious post-graduate programs within Canada, the United States and Europe including to name a few: Juilliard, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Ballet BC, Alberta Ballet, Philadanco, Ballet Theatre UK, Ballet Jorgen, Joffrey Ballet, the Rudra Bejart School in Switzerland & the Hungarian National Ballet. Students participating in Pro Arté programs have been awarded BC Provincial titles and have also been recognized for outstanding performance and technical ability as finalists in internationally acclaimed competitions such as YAGP, NYCDA, the Genée International and Tanzolymp. Ms. Sherman also has a keen interested in dance science and holistic dance training for healthier and stronger dancers. She has co-presented research at the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) Conferences in 2010, 2012 & 2015, and had a paper published in the Dance Medicine and Science Journal in 2014. This October 2017, she has been invited to co-present at the Houston Conference new research on “The Death of Port de Bras and the Smart Phone Generation” together with Pro Arte’s physiotherapist Erika Mayall & conditioning specialist Susie Higgins. She was also a presenter at the Johannesburg Dance Medicine conference in 2008 and at Healthy Dancer Canada in 2012 & 2015. Ms. Sherman is currently serving on the Education Committee for IADMS and organized regional conferences in Vancouver in 2015 and 2016.