Miss Brooke Myers-Kurczak
(1980 – 2021)
Miss Brooke founded Dance Adventure in 1999. She was passionate about inspiring young dancers and loved to see them on stage. Miss Brooke loved her dancers and all of her dance families.
Miss Brooke passed away peacefully at home surrounded by the love of her family, on Sunday April 18, 2021, after a 15 month battle with breast cancer.
She had a simple motto in life:
Brooke’s laugh and smile were infectious. She would light up the room when she entered. Everyone knew there was something special about her. Whether it was her easy-going demeanour or her ability to make even the most uncomfortable situation somehow comfortable, by all accounts, Brooke was amazing. She was the first one on the dance floor, and always found a way to coax some moves out of reluctant participants.
As a native of KW, Brooke attended Franklin, Stanley Park and Grand River Collegiate. She found her love of dance at the age of six and continued to train until her graduation. During these years, Brooke made many lifelong friendships and developed a love for each of her dance teachers, whom she always spoke of fondly. Brooke won many scholarships and awards and had the chance to dance in Las Vegas and in Disney. She also had the opportunity to perform on many occasions with KW Musical Productions. Brooke shone brightly when she was on stage, but loved equally, being back-stage directing her shows and recitals. She encouraged her dancers to pursue their dreams of being on stage and made a point of attending their performances to support them. You could always count on a flower, or a bag of skittles, from Miss Brooke outside the stage door, at the end of a show.
From the beginning, Brooke was drawn to younger children and had a special connection to them. Her parents like to joke that if you couldn’t find Brooke, you just needed to find the nearest pile of children. She would be somewhere near the bottom giggling and laughing with them. Brooke loved working with dancers of all ages, but there was a special place in her heart for the littlest ones who entered the studio. She knew that was the time to help them find a lifelong love of dance and she did her best to help them discover it.
In 1999, fresh out of high school, Brooke took a risk that very few in her generation did. She decided to live her passion and started Dance Adventure. With the support of her parents, she opened a one room studio that grew over the years to be a home to more than 400 dancers annually who hope to learn, grow, and absorb some of the passion Miss Brooke had for her art.
It was through the studio and a chance crossing through mutual friends that she met the love of her life, Braden. He likes to tell the story about how he won the dance teacher’s heart; she likes to tell the story about how she rolled her eyes when he started talking. Brooke and Braden complimented one another and through their love, made the other better. Together, they have two brave, strong, beautiful, intelligent, and talented daughters, who share their mother’s love of dance and music. Brooke loved her girls and made sure they felt special each moment they were together.
Brooke will forever be the connector, the instigator, and the first to do something unexpected. She had a kind soul. She brought out the best in the people around her. She provided joy and love to the lives of everyone she met. Brooke was, quite literally, a ray of sunshine.
Brooke showed us the things that made for a great family were love, laughter, hugs, and dancing, which was ceaseless in her home. When asked what made her most proud, she said it was watching her dancers performing on stage. She loved each and every one of her dancers and made sure they knew they always had a place at DA, no matter what.
Brooke found joy in the simple things in life. A swim in the pool. A beautiful sunset. A sappy movie or a design show on TV. We know in our hearts that she is in a better place, with a smile on her face, probably in the midst of pulling together the greatest production, or jazz line, of all time.
Miss Brooke always left her dancers with something to work on outside of class. So here is your challenge:
Once a week, have a kitchen dance party, sing some songs together or take some silly pictures. Most importantly, every day, please take a moment to tell the people you love how much they mean to you – give them a hug if you can or send them a comforting message. And every chance you get, squeeze your kids like you never want to let them go.
Brooke is, and will always be, an inspiration to all of us. She will forever be our Miss Brooke.
Brooke’s Legacy Fund
Part of Miss Brooke’s vision for Dance Adventure was to ensure everyone had an equal opportunity to dance.
Each year Brooke made a point of providing financial assistance to families of dancers she knew were struggling financially. She wanted to ensure the cost of dance was not a barrier to participation in the case of these students. Brooke felt it was important to support and encourage the love of dance in her students, no matter their financial situation.
Brooke’s family has established the Brooke Myers Legacy Fund, an endowed charitable fund, in Brooke’s honour to continue Brooke’s legacy of love and support of the dance community in the Region of Waterloo. Through this fund, grants will be offered to dance studios in the Region to support students in need.