Danc­ing their way to the top

East-end per­form­ers grab sil­ver at in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion

Orleans Star - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - Laura Cum­mings

Agroup of up-and-com­ing dancers have walked away big win­ners from a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, bring­ing back a medal win to their Or­léans-based stu­dio ear­lier this month.

Per­form­ers from Cen­trum Boule­vard’s DanceR Stu­dio emerged as sil­ver medal­lists from the Dance World Cup, Canada’s first and only world­wide dance com­pe­ti­tion, held from June 26 to July 1 in Montreal. The event fea­tures more than 1,200 dancers from five con­ti­nents in a range of styles.

DanceR Stu­dio hit a mile­stone when af­ter two rou­tines qual­i­fied at re­gion­als and one moved on, owner Miki Whyte re­counts, mark­ing the first time the east-end dancers had been in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in the World Cup.

“I was more than elated about it as my school is new so not many schools know of us yet,” she adds.

That group, Whyte says, was made up of six novice jazz dancers, aged six to nine, who per­formed Whyte’s chore­ographed rou­tine called Back From Mars.

Com­pet­ing against dance schools from across Que­bec for April’s re­gion­als, the rou­tine – in which the dancers play “aliens who just landed on Earth,” ex­plains par­ent Shan­non Bell­foy – gar­nered so much praise from judges they skipped na­tion­als and went straight to the World Cup, she in­di­cates.

“Every­one is very proud of the hard work th­ese lit­tle kids have done,” Bell­foy says. “A lot of hard work is put in to each com­pe­ti­tion and the re­sults show.”

Their progress over the months has been clear, con­tin­ues Whyte, de­scrib­ing the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of par­tic­i­pat­ing in such a ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion.

“It was ex­cit­ing to see all those happy faces bounc­ing around, get­ting ready in their cos­tumes, be­ing all dolled up for the per­for­mance,” she re­counts. “It was just over­all an en­joy­able mo­ment, some­thing the par­ents and the dancers won’t for­get.”

Looking ahead, Whyte – who says she “ab­so­lutely”hopes fu­ture groups from her stu­dio are cho­sen to com­pete in the World Cup – sug­gests the value of the ex­pe­ri­ence also comes from the mo­ti­va­tion it will pro­vide.

“It’s nice for them to win some­thing be­cause they are so young. It will give them mo­ti­va­tion to work hard for any fu­ture com­pe­ti­tions.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on DanceR stu­dio, please visit www.dancer­stu­dio.ca, or call the school at 613-834-4329.

Photo sup­plied

Per­form­ers from DanceR Stu­dio won sil­ver in a re­cent world­wide dance com­pe­ti­tion.

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