It’s fitting that the person behind Banff’s new community hub — Dance for Joy Studio — is one of the most joyful people you’ll encounter in the Bow Valley.
Kim Mayberry is a delight: a woman who pours consistent love and enthusiasm into her numerous roles within the community. She is a talented belly dancer, performing weekly at the Balkan Greek Restaurant and with the Rocky Mountain Raqs Middle Eastern Dance Troupe. She is a Puma (back-up dancer) for Miss Ellen Q, creating choreography and fearlessly performing onstage. She is an interactive mother and wife to daughter Grace and
“her man” Kevin. And, she is a teacher of dance five days a week, lovingly instructing barre, belly dance, world dance for kids and dance conditioning at her new studio.
The benefits that dance can have on a person are beautifully displayed in the way Mayberry carries herself and instructs during her classes. Smiling, head high, strong posture, and heart forward — open to the world. She explains that dancing has provided a greater sense of confidence throughout other areas in her life and has educated her on the exchange of energy between people. It has transformed interactions and served as a way to bring out the playfulness in others.
“Kim’s energy is infectious. She gets those reluctant to shake what their mama gave them to dance like no one is watching,” says studio-goer Michelle Macullo. “Kim’s open heart and willingness to embrace the moment is a great gift to the community — it’s the stuff being a role model is made of. And there’s nothing better than watching Kimmy shimmy.”
Dance for Joy had been an idea in the back of Mayberry’s mind for years and it was made a reality when she finally said to herself, “you’ve got to give it a shot.” Knowing that she would regret it if she didn’t at least try to make a dream a reality, she followed her heart and took a leap of faith.
“Kim is gracious and liberating — the kind of person who reminds you to look an opportunity in the eye and give it a wink,” Macullo says. “Kim has brought a new dimension of culture to Banff. Through persistence, she turned her side-gig of teaching dance into her dream of opening up her own studio. She’s proud to call Banff her home and her doors are wide open. She makes others in the community appreciate how special Banff is.”