Dance takes discipline and dollars.
To reach the next level of excellence, dancers can showcase their talent and technique on a local stage during recitals, shows and dance festivals. However when they get the chance to compete at the B.C. Provincials, to be held in Pentiction from June 3 to 7, it’s like reaching out to grab the brass ring.
It is a solid achievement.
Dancers from all over the province perform a wide variety of dance disciplines at the Provincials and cash prizes and scholarships are awarded.
This month, dancers chosen for their performances at the P.G. Dance Festival will go on to Provincials. Before that, however, some dancers will go to Prince Rupert for the B.C. Dance Competition.
That costs money.
Performers North Entertainment Company from Judy Russell Enchainement Dance Centre has that well in hand with an April 13 fundraiser dance show, Raise You Up.
Two pairs of siblings from the local studio can’t wait to get on the road – and on centre stage.
Laura Buchanan, 11, has been dancing with Enchainement dance centre since she was about three. Her brother Steven, 14, began his dance lessons a little later, at age eight, but his passion for dance is just as strong. Both dancers gave stellar performances at this year’s P.G. Dance Festival and they were both chosen by festival judges to dance at the 2014 Provincials.
“I really like [the idea of] going to competition, so we can learn from other dancers and adjudicators,” said Laura.
What advice on technique or adjudicators’ “pointers” have stayed with her the most as she dances?
“I remember the adjudicator telling us when we do our turns or pirouettes to make sure one leg attaches to the other leg,” Laura says, giggling. (She knows to a non-dancer, this makes no sense.) Is that something she has to work on?
“Oh, yes, every time,” she says, laughing, as the three other dancers in the interview room nod in agreement.
Steven prefers lyrical and jazz dance and he too is looking forward to the dance competition. There are still far fewer males in dance, something Steven hopes will pick up with the success of Judy Russell alumni like Isaac Smith of So You Think You Can Dance Canada fame.
“For me, dancing gives me a goal to work towards and to reach. I have a lot of friends who are in dance so we are like a family [at the studio] and I think it would be good to see more boys starting to dance.”
Two other siblings, Sara McGowan, 12 and her sister Kate, 14, share a common bond with their love of dance. They (along with the Buchanans and several other dancers from the studio and the dance community) will get to share a memorable experience at the Provincials.
The McGowan sisters both started dancing as toddlers.
Red-haired Kate says she loves ballet “best” of all the dance disciplines.
“I have a lot of friends in dance, everyone is very supportive. And [Provincials] will be a good learning opportunity for me.”
Sara who enjoys jazz dancing, hopes her future includes travelling with the company troupe.
“I like to travel when we dance in places like Quesnel and Prince Rupert.”
That’s where Performers North Entertainment Company comes in. On Tuesday, choreographer, artistic producer and dance studio owner Judy Russell says Performers North makes it possible for the studio’s dancers to have the “truly wonderful experience” of competing.
“We are getting our big show together to raise money for Performers North Entertainment Company. We are traveling once again to the B.C. Dance Competition in Prince Rupert. This event is a truly wonderful experience for the dancers and their families. It also supports a wonderful community and promotes tourism in our region.”
Sunday’s fundraiser show features over 35 exceptional dance numbers and, as a ticket holder, a chance to win a trip for two to Mexico (donated by Wood Wheaton Honda). Judy Russell Presents: Performers North Entertainment Company with Raise You Up, an evening of award-winning dance, on Sunday, April 13 at Vanier Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7 p.m. General admission seats are $15 at the door or in advance at Judy Russell’s Enchainement Dance Centre.