ARTS October 10th, 2016

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Dancing for Canada at world championships

Young Leaside troupe sets course for Wetzlar, Germany

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER JAZZ HANDS: Members of Leaside's Turning Pointe Dance Studio are heading to Wetzlar, Germany for an international competition. They include, in the back row, McKenna Jordan-Humes, Kaitlin Cheung, Sarah Verreault, Zach Williams, MacKenzie Lau, and in the front, Darah Volman, Megan Dunn and Jayden Lau.

Seven members of the Turning Pointe Dance Studio in Leaside are ready to get their dance on in Wetzlar, Germany.

The troupe, which also includes dancers from Quebec, Saskatchewan and North York, ages 10 to 16, leaves for the International Dance Organization’s World Ballet, Jazz and Modern Championships on Oct. 21, and will compete against 26 other nations from around the globe.

Excitement was the emotion on hand while the dancers gathered early on a Sunday morning at the Evergreen Brick Works.

Director and studio owner Nicole Garland beamed and shared in the excitement of the eight team members gathered. They have been training for five hours day, every Sunday, as well as attending competitions in Waterdown, Ont. and Burlington.

“It’s completely different from any other competition they’ve been to,” she said.

Most of the team has been training since July, including dancers Kaitlin Cheung, 15; Megan Dunn, 12; McKenna Jordan-Humes, 15; Jayden Lau, 11; MacKenzie Lau, 15; Sarah Verreault, 15; and Zach Williams, 13. The eighth team member, Darah Volman, 11, joined in September.

The process of travelling to Germany included auditions for the Canadian National Dance Team. The country is sending two teams, one representing the West (Alberta to British Columbia), and the East (everywhere else).

Though the electricity was palpable, some team members showed their trepidation.

“I’m scared,” Kaitlin Cheung admitted. “I don’t know the calibre of dance.”

Still, curiosity usurped fear, as most of the Turning Pointe Dance Studio members were eager to learn new choreography, and perhaps news cuisine while in Deutschland.

As for why the octet loves to dance, it’s a simple belief tied to the on-air feeling the art has to offer.

“It’s this feeling, when you feel like there’s no one else in the room with you, and you move however you want,” Volman said.

“It’s an escape from all of the work from school. It’s a lot of fun,” Cheung added. “After I come out of jazz class, I’m dripping, and I’m like, ‘Let’s go again’.”

The International Dance Organization’s World Ballet, Jazz and Modern Championships offers each team to live-stream their dances from Rittal Arena, so friends and family back home will be able to take in the show.

They are to return home after Oct. 30.

The tap dancing team will also travel to Germany on Nov. 27 for their competition which runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.

One thought on “Dancing for Canada at world championships

  1. Tammy
    October 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    McKenna Jordan-Humes is from Pure Dance Crew of North York