The Delta Hotel in St John’s was the host venue for the recent ‘5 6 7 8 Showtime Regional Dance Competition’. There were 406 dancers from across 14 different dance studios that competed in this year’s Eisteddfod.
Valley Dance Works Inc. (VDI), a local dance school from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, sent 41 dancers to participate in the weekend competitions and training workshops in what was the culmination of a year’s worth of rehearsals and fundraising to ensure they were ready to give it their best shot.
The convention style training workshops covered a variety of styles including jazz, ballet, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre and street jazz. These were facilitated by Jera Wolfe, a graduate of the Canada Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and a finalist on CTV’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’; Melissa Mitro, a runner up on season 4 of CTV’s ‘So you Think You Can Dance’; and Laura Ruiz Tamayo, a professional dancer from Barcelona who has performed with numerous dance and theatre companies in and around Europe.
With the VDI dancers competing in group dances, duos, trios and solo performances across the many different genres of dance, there was the opportunity to qualify for the Dance World Cup, which is being held at Mount Tremblant, Que. from July 1 to 8. This is an invitation only event which will see more than 8,000 dancers from across the world compete.
The VDI dancers brought back to Goose Bay 37 gold medals, 38 silver medals and 23 bronze medals. Nineteen of the VDI dance performances received invitations to perform in the Dance World Cup. These will be performed by Maddyx Aube, Emma Edmunds, Morgan Janes, Rachel Montague, Chloe O’Brien, Elena Pike, Kristy Swyer, Taryn Wallace and Chloe Walsh.
Some of the notable achievements from the VDI group dances were:
• Jazz – 1st place and an invitation to the Dance World Cup
• Musical Theatre – 1st place
• Contemporary – Two x 2nd place performances
• Hip Hop – 2nd place
• Jazz – 3rd place
In the ‘Dancer of the Year’ Awards category, the 12 and under placings went to three VDI dancers; Elena Pike – 1st, Maddyx Aube – 2nd, and Chloe Walsh – 3rd. In the 13 & under age group two VDI dancers were recognised with Kristy Swyer placing 2nd and Morgan Janes placed in 3rd.
Jenni Walsh, the president of Valley Dance Works Inc., told The Labradorian that VDI dancer Grace Voisey received a personal invitation to perform her dance titled ‘Ukiuq’ at the opening ceremony of the Dance World Cup in Mount Tremblant this summer. She will be representing her Labrador Inuit heritage in what is a great honour.
“Huge congratulations to the Valley Dance Works Inc. competitive team! Forty-One dancers poured their hearts out on the stage and every single one of them should be proud of what they have achieved. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there in front of hundreds of people.”
“Our biggest success was not what we achieved on the stage, but what they did off the stage. The VDI dancers showed exemplary sportsmanship towards their fellow competitors as we received many messages and comments from the other studios instructors and owners about how kind and congratulatory our dancers and instructors were to the other teams,” said Walsh.
5 6 7 8 Showtime also awarded scholarships with an invitation to selected dancers to attend training workshops in Paris. In what must be recognised as a remarkable achievement, only 13 scholarships/ invitations were awarded with seven of those being received by VDI dancers. Congratulations to Maddyx Aube, Morgan Janes, Elena Pike, Kristy Swyer, Taryn Wallace, Taylor Wallace and Chloe Walsh.
I remember an old football coach of mine saying to me ‘input equals output.’ Whatever you put in, is what you will get out. After these performance results, there is no doubt that these talented dancers, from the little Town of Goose Bay, certainly got the most out of their opportunity and is a credit to the VDI school to be able to not only compete with the dance schools of St John’s, but to come away with some outstanding achievements.