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BC Annual Dance Competition grows again

More than 200 new entries, 250 dancers and two new studios ready to compete
The Dance Academy of Prince Rupert Senior group previewed one of the performances they will be doing at the upcoming BC Annual Dance Competition at the Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards April 6. (Thom Barker/Black Press Media)

The BC Annual Dance Competition presented by Jazz Productions Association of BC (JPA) is always a big deal, but in 2024 it will be an even bigger deal.

From May 5 to May 11, more than 250 dancers from nine schools throughout the north will perform more than 800 dances with a total purse of more than $75,000 in cash, scholarships and awards.

Shauna Chandler, JPA vice-president, said that is the foundation of the Annual Dance Competition.

“Our biggest… goal is to provide education for the dancers,” she said. “And our awards have always been exceptional, to give back to the dance community, because dance is a costly sport. And we want to be able to supplement the cost so that dancers can continue to dance, whether that’s in their next year, while they’re minors under 18 or if they’re looking to graduate and go into the real world of dance.”

As always, the top cash prizes are for the Performer of the Year in each of the age groups, junior, intermediate and senior. That prize is $1,000.

The Dance Academy of Prince Rupert is ready to go with one competition already under its belt. Prince Rupert dancers came home from the March competition in Prince George numerous scholarships, trophies and high scores.

READ MORE: Dance Academy does Prince Rupert proud in Prince George

And, as usual, the local group will be joined by dancers from Quesnel, Prince George, Terrace and Kitimat, but this year two new schools are being introduced as well, one from Haida Gwaii and the other from Hazelton.

“It’s going to be an exciting year for everyone involved,” Chandler said. “I think the dancers are going to like the competition. And they’re going to meet new dancers from all over the province.”

While the JPA, an entirely volunteer-based organization hosts and organizes the competition, Chandler said it would not be possible without the support of the community.

“The community is super helpful with donations from small businesses and this year we’re blessed to have donations from big industry as well,” she said.

“The competition basically just wouldn’t be as great as it is without the support from the community. And that’s in donations and in volunteer hours. So we’re super thankful for them.”

Highlights from the competition will be presented on the stage on May 11 for the gala finale.

The gala begins at 6 p.m. with complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres in the lobby of the Lester Centre, followed by a dance performance by the competition winners.

Tickets for the gala evening are $35 for adults and $15 for those under 18.

Each daily competition session is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and entry is $5. The evening sessions from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. are $8.

Tickets for the evening sessions can be purchased in advance online at

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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