More than 300 dancers will showcase their skills in the 30th annual B.C. Dance Competition in Prince Rupert, May 5 to 11.
The competition started in 1988 and often attracts dancers from beyond the province, last year a group of 24 dancers came from Edmonton. This year, the event will see young performers travelling to Kaien Island from across B.C.
For the 30th anniversary of the dance competition the event promises to be a spectacular affair with over $60,000 in prize money and scholarships.
Shannon Vallee, a teacher with the Dance Academy of Prince Rupert, will be staging dancers at the event. She said that the B.C. Annual Dance Competition has been attracting high-level competitors to the Lester Centre stage since she arrived in Prince Rupert 18 years ago.
“The calibre of dance is incredible,” said Vallee. “At first, the Rupert dancers would watch in awe and aspire to be like those top competitors, but now, years later, they are matching the calibre and often winning the top placements themselves.”
Vallee went on to say that the competition was the driving force in creating the professional standards of dance that Prince Rupert offers today, which has led to many graduates having a sustainable career in the performing arts.
“Besides being a motivator for the dancers in town, the event itself should be an inspiration to other competitions. It is still an entirely volunteer-run top quality event completely supported and sustained by the small community who hosts it,” Vallee said.
Alison Sherman of Spectrum City Dance is excited for the upcoming dance competition as well.
“It is always a great competition that is able to showcase such talented local and out-of-town dancers and also award amazing cash prizes thanks to donations from many local businesses,” Sherman said.
“We are fortunate to have the Lester Centre here in Prince Rupert year after year host this great event that brings people near and far to Prince Rupert.”
Adjudicators this year are Janie Richard, Peter Christo and Sarah Vance.
A native of Terrebonne, Quebec, Janie Richard began her professional dance training at the École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec and has been a professional interpreter for 13 years.
Peter Christo has performed in A Chorus Line to Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat as well as singing and dancing for five years with Carnival Cruise Lines.
Sarah Vance is a creative powerhouse, choreographer and triple threat performer originating from Waterloo Ontario. Having established herself as an industry elite in the musical theatre world and in between contracts, Sarah has also accumulated impressive credits in the film and television industry.
The annual event has attracted international acclaim as a friendly, positive, high-quality dance event and it gives back to the community who supports it in the form of scholarships for our children. Vallee said it is a wonderful event created by and continued on by many dedicated volunteers and sponsors from our marvellous community.
The gala will take place Saturday, May 11, on the final evening with a champagne reception, hors d’oeuvre, refreshments and dance.
Tickets are available at the Lester Centre of the Arts and Cook’s Jewellers: $25 for adults and $15 for children.
The day rate is $2 for a morning or afternoon session, which is when the solos and duets take place, and $5 for an evening group performance. A wristband comes at $40, which encompasses the cost of the whole week with the exception of the gala evening.