A wild performance
Carbonear dance troop performs at world competition
Conception Bay North residents have shown their talents on the world stage for many generations in the form of music, science and politics.
On July 9, a group of young women took the world by storm as the very first dance troop from, not only CBN, but all of Newfoundland to compete at the Dance World Cup.
This year the event was hosted in Canadian territory — Montreal.
More than 2,000 competitors from five continents twirled, tapped and shimmied their way to the prestigious competition to showcase their meticulously choreographed routines hoping to walk away world champions.
Danceworx Studios Inc. in Carbonear attended the competition with six jazz dancers to perform their award-winning dance number, Wild Animals.
Making their way to worlds
This may be the first time a Newfoundland team attended the competition, but it was not its first time qualifying.
The same group, consisting of Mary Kate King, Jillian Shute, Katie Snow, Jillian Peddle, Victoria Southwell and Taylor Hiscock, were also offered the bid to compete last year and could not attend. But this year they said they wouldn’t miss it.
“With help from our parents, friends and sponsors, we were able to travel as a group to the Dance World Cup,” Southwell said. “I felt so proud to be a member of the only team representing Newfoundland.”
Dance teacher and choreographer Katie O’Leary attended the competition with her troop.
“I found the song Animal by Kat DeLuna, which had a tribal feel to it,” she said. “I had never choreographed to music like that before, so I was quite excited to try.”
The dance was originally performed for the studio’s annual recital in 2012.
O’Leary said they had quite a few events where they performed the routine including the 2012 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games and the 2013 Newfoundland and Labrador Cheerleading Association charity classic.
Danceworx owner Denise Vokey said they achieved a very high score on their high-energy jazz performance at the regional competition at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s this past April. That score qualified them for the Dance World Cup.
O’Leary said ten students helped put off a student showcase as a fundraiser to help pay for the trip to Montreal.
“We made almost $3000,” she exclaimed.
“It was a huge success.”
The routine involved difficult jumps and precise movements.
Some observers said the dancers fit the theme of the song perfectly with their wild hair and fierce costumes
O’Leary, an accomplished dancer herself, saw the costumes in a catalogue before the studio had decided on a theme for their recital last year.
After picking the song and choreographing it, O’Leary knew this was the routine for them.
“I have been training this group for 4 years and knew it would be perfect for them,” she explained.
Part of the routine involved a growl to conclude the worlds performance, but that didn’t happen.
“The girls were so excited they couldn’t growl on stage, but smiled instead,” O’Leary continued.
Both O’Leary and Vokey were very proud of the dancers and their performance in Montreal.
“Watching my girls perform on the stage was a very thrilling moment for me,” O’Leary said.
“Our girls didn’t quite make it to the podium, but they had a great performance and solid scores,” Vokey added.
Southwell shared her thoughts on what she learned during the event.
“I had realized when I got there the importance of dance in the world and in other people’s lives,” she explained. “This competition had talented dancers from all over the world which made me realize how much I will miss dancing when I move to (St. John’s) in the fall.”
O’Leary noted some of the dancers competing at the Dance World Cup were in their own studios practicing five or more days a week. The group was quite happy with its marks, especially since they dance as an extra-curricular activity, she said.
“I was very pleased with how they represented our province and our town,” O’Leary stated. “It was quite amazing to have them compete.”
She hopes this will not be the last time dancers from Danceworx Studios travel to the World Cup.
“I’m hoping that I will have another group in the future selected to go since this was a very positive experience and I would certainly do it again.”
To watch the group’s jazz routine, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlZWqVCwDT M
Jazz dancers from Danceworx Studios Inc. in Carbonear were the first team from the province to compete at the Dance World Cup competition. Those that performed in Montreal July 9 were: front (l-r) — Mary Kate King, Jillian Shute and Katie Snow; back — Jillian Peddle, Victoria Southwell and Taylor Hiscock.