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Kilburn is a native of Fredericton and, since the age of 16, has been involved in the performing arts. As a young step and tap dancer in the mid 1960s, Kilburn would take the city bus from Fredericton to Oromocto and Silverwood to teach her first handful of students. By 1970, her class sizes really began to increase, and she traveled to the United States to further train and build upon her dance repertoire, where she was first introduced to the style of jazz.
By the 1980s Kilburn was in demand for lessons all over the region. She began sending some of her top students to teach classes at satellite studios to fill demand. Over the years, Kilburn has held classes in Nackawic, Burtts Corner, Keswick, Oromocto, Chipman, Minto, Doaktown, Fredericton Junction, New Maryland, MacAdam and Harvey – each location with its own year-end recital to celebrate with families, the progress of the students.
Kilburn has been teaching for 48 years, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of her Dance Spectacular at The Fredericton Playhouse. What began as a hobby for Kilburn so many years ago has grown into a community mainstay, which now operates out of a 9000 square foot facility on the Hanwell Road with five dance studios, lots of common space for parents to observe, a nice reception area, and two administrative offices.
Very proud of what she has built from the ground up, Kilburn explains that “the children and adults that join our school develop a lot more than just dance; they also develop self confidence, leadership skills, basic social skills, and long list of those they can call a friend.”