Founder Wetaskiwin School of Ballet
Founder of 4 other Schools of Ballet in Alberta
Founder of Professional Alberta Dance Educators
Teacher Trainer, Adjudicator, Choreographer
Lifetime Member of many prestigious Dance Societies
Perry grew up in Wetaskiwin and started dancing when she was four years
old. By the time she was eleven, she had founded the Wetaskiwin School
of Ballet and was teaching dance to other Wetaskiwin youngsters.
Margaret completed her early training in ballet and modern dance in
Edmonton. She danced professionally in many musicals and light operas.
Further advanced teacher training at the National Ballet School of
Canada allowed her to complete her International Cecchetti
qualifications and she holds her Cecchetti Licentiate from the Imperial
Society of Teachers of Dance. Through the years Margaret’s passion for
dance propelled her to pass her love for dance on to others. She
founded dance schools in Edmonton and other Alberta centres, developed
training programs and syllabi for dance teachers, was a founding member
of Alberta Dance Educators, has served on numerous boards, has lifetime
memberships in many Dance Societies and has received awards for her
contributions. Many of her graduates have gone on to careers as
professional dancers and teachers. Her expertise and influence have
extended throughout Canada and around the world.
Passion Leads to First
Dance School at Age Eleven and Schools Being Founded Around the Globe
The Wetaskiwin School of
Ballet was established by Margaret in 1954. Margaret taught in
Wetaskiwin until 1967 when she moved to Edmonton and founded the
Edmonton School of Ballet. During the 1960’s she also founded dance
schools in Beaumont, Fort Saskatchewan and Camrose. While teaching in
Wetaskiwin Margaret established a series of syllabi for recreational
ballet students ages four to twelve. More recently these were expanded
for ages thirteen to eighteen. These publications are used throughout
Canada, England, Japan and Mexico. In 1984 Margaret founded the
Edmonton Festival Ballet Company.
Teachers that Margaret has
trained have founded schools in Red Deer, Fort MacMurray, St Albert,
Vermillion, Coronation, Rocky Mountain House, Vegreville, Meadow Lake
Saskatchewan as well as schools in BC, Ontario, Japan, Mexico, New York
and other American cities. In 1995 Margaret established a professional
dance training program for Edmonton Public Schools, the Vimy Ridge
Academy Professional Dance Program. Students in grades 7-12 are
accepted into this program by audition.
Professional Dancers and Teachers Around the World
Graduates of Margaret’s
dance schools have become professional dancers for Canadian companies
that include: Alberta Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, National Ballet of
Canada, Ballet Jorgen, Pacific Ballet, Ballet BC, Toronto Dance Theatre,
Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, Les Grande Ballet Canadien, Decidedly
Jazz as well as International Companies including: Ohio Ballet,
Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Austin, Garden State Ballet, Hubbard Dance,
Royal Ballet to name a few. Also her trained dancers have been in
numerous musicals and productions companies such as “Lion King”, “Bette
Middler Show” and on cruise ships. Two of the girls she coached when
she was in Wetaskiwin became professional dancers, one with the Toronto
Dance Theatre and the other with Les Feux Follet.
Margaret was a founding
member and council member for the Alberta Dance Educators. She was also
a board member of the Alberta Dance Alliance. As well, she was elected
and served on the National Council of the Cecchetti Society of Canada
for three terms. Margaret has been an adjudicator at dance festivals
throughout western Canada including the Provincial festival in British
Columbia. She has also been a choreographer in numerous operatic
ballets, full length story ballets and television productions including
“Synergy” for the Alberta Government for the Alberta Pavilion at Expo
’87 in Vancouver. Additionally, Margaret was the field coordinator and
trainer for dancers in the opening of Universiade ’83 in Edmonton.
Lead to Numerous Awards
In recognition of her
dedication to the arts and community service, Margaret has received
numerous awards. In 1983 she received a City of Edmonton Cultural
Achievement Award. In 1987 she was awarded the YWCA Tribute to Women
Arts and Culture Award. For her service Margaret has been given
Lifetime Memberships in the Alberta Dance Educators, the Cecchetti
Society of Canada and the Imperial Society of Dancing, Cecchetti Branch
in London England.
Margaret has dedicated her
life to dance and continues to be the owner and Artistic Director of the
Edmonton School of Ballet. Her contributions to the world of dance in
Wetaskiwin, in Alberta, in Canada and around the world have benefitted
thousands. We applaud Margaret’s contributions, her achievements, her
dedication, her generosity in giving to others and her passion for
dance. We are proud to induct her into the Wetaskiwin and County
Sports Hall of Fame.
about an inductee is collected from published sources, sports
archives, scrapbooks, anecdotal information from family,
friends and fans, and the athlete.
the best stories and personal insights are gleaned at the induction dinner from
the introductory comments or acceptance speech of the
inductee or their representative.
Where possible we have included this type of information for
the introductory comments made by Sandy Wright when introducing Margaret