Arlene Minkhorst graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada in 1976 and from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in 1979. She performed in numerous productions with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company before directing her energies to teaching full-time.
Ms Minkhorst first joined the faculty of the RWB School in 1979 and was appointed Vice-Principal in 1991. At the commencement of the 2002-2003 season, she was appointed Associate Director and in July 2004 took over the Directorship of the RWB School from Founding Director, David Moroni, C.M.
Ms Minkhorst has taught all levels of ballet and pointe technique, repertoire classes, conducted rehearsals for performances and taught in the RWB School Professional Division’s Teacher Training Program. She has toured Manitoba and neighbouring provinces with Concert Hour Ballet, the School’s performing group, and presented lectures about dance and dance training in Manitoba public schools. Ms Minkhorst continues to teach classical ballet technique, pointe technique, teaches in the Teacher Training Program and rehearses students for performances.
Prior to taking over the directorship of the RWB School, Ms Minkhorst recognized the importance and the need for the RWB School Professional Division Ballet Academic Program to have integrated academics and ballet training. She subsequently developed, pursued and implemented a supportive academic/dance structure with Winnipeg school divisions, middle schools and high schools. Her work in this area continues to inform the present model of the Ballet Academic Program and its academic partnerships to this day, allowing the students to attain a strong academic education concurrently with their professional dance training.
The boys programming offered through the RWB School Recreational Division was first facilitated by Ms Minkhorst in the late 1990s, when she oversaw the restructuring of classes and programs that were specifically geared towards encouraging boys to participate in dance. This program continues to be highly successful and now provides dance instruction to up to 250 Winnipeg boys annually.
Ms Minkhorst has accepted engagements to work as a guest teacher and adjudicator for dance festivals and dance competitions across Canada and the United States. She has been a member of the jury for the Youth America Grand Prix in New York, the Prix de Lausanne, the Japan Grand Prix and the Tanzolymp in Berlin, Germany.
A dedicated pedagogue in classical ballet training, Ms Minkhorst regularly pursues opportunities to further her own knowledge of her chosen field and has travelled to observe classes, performances and operations at other internationally recognized schools.