Krystal Kiran Garib wasn’t always enthusiastic about dance school. “My mom said ‘I paid for the classes—you better go,’” she says. When a visiting teacher sparked her interest in hip hop and commercial dance, she was hooked; then she had to convince her parents that dance—not university—was the road to success. Not yet 20, she auditioned for the Broadway musical Bombay Dreams, landed the job and her career took off.
Now, after several years dancing, singing and acting in film and on stage (Hairspray, Lord of the Rings, Jai Ho), she’s particularly excited about her school: so excited, she returned home to buy it. Penticton School of Dance has grown from one studio to six, plus a dancewear shop, and students can enter a credit program through local schools. While she loves being on stage (“that’s not something I’m willing to give up yet”), she wanted someone beyond herself to benefit from her work. Having overcome a speech impediment, she’s an active fundraiser (Speaking of Shakespeare...). And while every student learns goal setting and self-discipline through dance, Krystal also ensures they work with pros from the dance world, so those who choose the career are confident about getting into the business. “I just want them to be inspired, to know ‘I can do that, I can go there,’” she says. “That’s where it all starts.”?—Dawn Renaud