Ballet Retreat with Maria Osende

October 20-22, 2023
The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, Canning, Nova Scotia, Canada

Embrace Movement, Serenity, and Artistry

Join us for a remarkable ballet retreat led by professional ballerina and teacher, Maria Osende. Nestled in the Annapolis Valley, this retreat offers art, relaxation, and local cuisine.

Experience a delightful weekend filled with ballet classes, workshops, one-on-one sessions, a Swan Lake movie night, nature walks, stretching, relaxation and social time. Package options include eco-cabins, single or double at the farm house across the centre or dorm-style rooms at the center, with delicious, healthy meals sourced from their own vegetable garden.

This retreat caters to ballet enthusiasts of all fitness levels, including those with physical limitations or injuries. The program is adaptable to varying expertise levels to ensure everyone feels included.

Revel in a rejuvenating ballet experience amid the picturesque Nova Scotia valley at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts.


Level and Fitness Considerations for our Adult Ballet Workshop

We anticipate a diverse range of ages among our participants. We recognize that each of you brings unique abilities and fitness levels, so we wholeheartedly encourage you to engage at your own comfort level. Ideally, you are able to follow fundamental barre exercises and some center exercises. If you indulge in ballet for personal enjoyment, whether it’s once a week, a cherished practice from years ago, or a regular practise you do often, you are warmly welcomed.


Whether you’ve recently embarked on your ballet journey or danced passionately in the past, rest assured that we prioritize your well-being, fostering a caring and secure environment where you can tailor your activities to suit your individual physical fitness. Your comfort and enjoyment are our utmost concern.


Here is a summary of the Retreat Schedule:

Friday, October 20, 2023

5-7pm Arrival, meet & greet, dinner
7pm onwards Movie night with Marel’s popcorn and social


Saturday, October 21, 2023

  • Morning: Breakfast, Warm-up followed by a through ballet class that will be divided in two parts with a coffee break included
  • Lunch break
  • Afternoon: Free time or optional workshops, one-on-one sessions, we dance some more with Swan Lake style as our guide, stretch and relaxation
  • Evening: Dinner, Social time and bonfire

Sunday, October 22, 2023

  • Morning: Breakfast, Gentle warm-up, ballet exercises, Ballet Center and Swan Lake
  • Lunch break
  • Early Afternoon: Break and packing up, Ballet Workshops
  • Afternoon: Stretch and relaxation Early dinner and departure


Meet the Artists/Instructors

Maria Osende: Award-winning dancer, teacher and choreographer, will lead classes, guide stretches and lead you through dreamy ballet moments inspired in the classes. 

Marel Eager: Butler University graduate, ballet instructor since 1980, will act as support staff through the guided one-on -one alignment sessions and as support staff to help those who need more assistance, she has a kinesthetic approach.

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Extended Bios 

Maria Osende 

Maria Osende is an award-winning dance artist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. With a background in ballet and a deep love for flamenco, she is a prominent figure in Canadian dance. Maria teaches both dance forms at her school in Halifax and online. She is excited to host her special retreat for the third consecutive year at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, where her Canadian journey began in 2004.

Dance Education: Maria studied ballet in Madrid, achieving high commendation at the Real Conservatorio de Danza de Madrid. She also received a Fulbright scholarship to attend the School of American Ballet in New York. Her flamenco training took place at the Centro de Arte Flamenco Amor de Dios in Madrid, Spain.

Professional Dance Career: Maria danced professionally for a decade with the Ballet National de España in Madrid and later with the Berlin Ballet in Germany, where she became a soloist. Her repertoire includes classical ballet to contemporary dance, collaborating with renowned choreographers. Since 2004, she has led her own flamenco dance company in Halifax, touring across Canada.

Teaching: Maria has been teaching ballet and flamenco since 2004 at various schools in Halifax and New Brunswick. She also lectured on flamenco and the creative process. She runs her own dance school in Halifax, catering to adult students. Learn more at

Choreography: Maria excels in choreography, creating works for her company and solo/group pieces for ballet and flamenco dancers. She enjoys adapting ballet classics for adult students and has been commissioned to create contemporary dance works.

Marel Eager

Marel Eager, with a BA in Dance from Butler University, began her teaching career in 1977. She has taught ballet, pointe, and character dance at Halifax Dance since 1980. Marel is an Associate with the Society of Russian Ballet and examined students in the Vaganova technique. She has served in various administrative and artistic roles at Halifax Dance and was a founding faculty member of Dance Nova Scotia’s Summer Dance Camp.

Marel’s passion is teaching ballet to students of all ages, emphasizing proper alignment and technique. She uses a kinesthetic teaching approach based on the work of Irene Dowd and continuously expands her knowledge through international teacher training courses. Marel has received recognition for her contributions to dance education, including the DANS Recognition of Service Award and the Halifax Dance Award of Distinction.