Obara off to com­pete at World Dance Cham­pi­onships

Lethbridge Herald - - SPORTS - Dale Woodard LETHBRIDGE HER­ALD

The world is about to be­come the stage for Macy Obara. The 14-year-old dancer is headed to the World Show Dance Cham­pi­onships in Riesa, Germany, Nov. 20-25 as a mem­ber of Team Canada West as well as Ex­is­dance in Lethbridge.

As she gets ready for her first per­for­mance at a world cham­pi­onship, Obara will be busy with four dances.

“Team Canada West brings a large group and small group duo and two soloists,” said Obara, who will com­pete in the ju­nior cat­e­gory (12-15). “I’m do­ing the large group, the small group, a duo with Tianna (Chilibeck, from Sur­rey) and a solo.”

It’s a full slate, but it’ll al­low Obara the chance to per­form in front of a world-wide au­di­ence.

Canada sends an East team and a West team to the worlds.

Team West is com­posed of 22 dancers who will per­form one group Show Dance.

The Cana­dian Dance Or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fers elite dancers an op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent their coun­try at the of­fi­cial World Dance Cham­pi­onships, giv­ing Obara and her team­mates the chance to meet other in­ter­na­tional dancers and dance to­gether as a team with other dancers from across Canada.

The competition for­mat is Olympic style with podium, flag rais­ing and play­ing of the na­tional an­them.

“It’s some­thing I’ve al­ways wanted to do out­side of the stu­dio,” said Obara, who has been train­ing with Team West in Lan­g­ley, B.C., since Au­gust in prepa­ra­tion for her worlds de­but.

“Also, I get to dance with a bunch of dancers I’ve never met be­fore. They’re all dif­fer­ent be­cause they’re from B.C. And every week I get to go see them. As well, I have a chore­og­ra­pher, Danielle (Gard­ner), who is amaz­ing and fun to work with. I have a dif­fer­ent chore­og­ra­pher (Charlene Hart), also from Lan­g­ley, who does my duo and she’s amaz­ing, too.”

It’s been an in­tense 10 weeks of train­ing and travel lead­ing up to the worlds.

“In Au­gust we started train­ing and every week­end I’d fly to B.C. and prac­tise on Satur­days and Sun­days,” said Obara, who has been danc­ing since she was four. “We learned all of our dances at our first prac­tice. Now, we clean them up and change them be­cause there are a bunch of props. It’s a lot of work be­cause you don’t have that much time. But it gets done fast.”

But, the hard work put into all four rou­tines has paid off.

“Our large group has a re­ally cool con­cept with Lit­tle Red Rid­ing Hood and the Wolves. I’m Lit­tle Red Rid­ing Hood in that one,” said Obara. “There are 21 wolves. It’s kind of a darker theme. That one, I think, looks re­ally cool with all the props be­cause we have trees and bushes. Our small group is a samu­rai theme and then we have a queen. There’s one queen and six samu­rais. Our duo is a Michael Jack­son, that one is prob­a­bly my favourite. We’re big fans of Michael Jack­son.

“My solo that I’m get­ting help from my teacher (Ex­is­dance Move­ment Com­pany Inc. owner Janielle Scott) is kind of an escaping dark­ness theme. I start on the dark side and find light.”

Train­ing in B.C. has been a high­light for Obara with the world event around the cor­ner.

“I’ve be­come re­ally good friends with my duo part­ner, Tianna,” she said “So that’s a big part of it. It’s crazy be­cause I only see her once a week and we’re re­ally close now. I get taught dance here, but when I go to B.C. I get taught dif­fer­ent moves.”

As she pre­pares to leave for Germany Satur­day, Obara’s fo­cus is more on the rou­tines she’s worked hard to hone rather than the podium.

“I don’t even re­ally care if I win,” she said. “I think it’s go­ing to be re­ally cool be­cause I get to see a bunch of other coun­tries dance and I’ve never com­peted against any­one (out­side) of Canada. Just the whole trip, go­ing there with all my dancer friends. It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

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