The B.C. Annual Dance Competition returned in a big way in 2018, welcoming more than 390 dancers to Prince Rupert in what was its biggest competition to date.
This year brought together exceptionally talented teams from outside of B.C. to compete both with local dance studios and groups from the Lower Mainland, for more than $70,000 in prizes.
“I thought it went extremely well,” said Teresa Mackareth, one of the event’s organizers. “I thought it was exciting viewing, exciting choreography, and it was great to have the out of town team return to the competition.
“It was an extremely high calibre of entertainment and dance on the stage of the Lester Centre.”
The audience was enthralled by high-intensity acro and jazz pieces such as E-Motion’s Believer and Dance Unlimited’s Blue Monday.
Prince Rupert’s studios also got to show off both their vocal chops and their ability to dance to lyrical pieces as Dance Unlimited sang familiar tunes from Mamma Mia and E-Motion performed Glorious.
Ultimately, it was two Edmonton dancers who took home the two Performer of the Year awards for this year’s competition.
Daniel Paladino claimed the $2,000 Senior Performer of the Year award at the competition’s gala on Saturday night, while Mia Ayobahan won the $1,000 Junior Performer of the Year prize.
Prince Rupert’s dance studios had strong showings at the competition, with a number of groups receiving top marks as well as individual performers receiving awards.
The Dance Academy of Prince Rupert’s Faith Long received the $500 William Murray Memorial Award. Sienna Lomba received a Summer Dance Scholarship. Tallulah Mackereth received the $50 Bound for Broadway Award and was also selected to go to the Junior Stage Dance provincials. Bailey Rae received the $200 13-and-up Most Promising Dancer Award, and was chosen as the Senior Modern Provincials representative. Karlie Fudger won the $300 Tracey Drummond Memorial Award. Taylor Jackson won the Mary Lester award for most memorable variety solo 12 and under. The Dance Academy as a whole won the most memorable group with their performance of Synchronized.
Six students from Spectrum City Dance were selected to go to provincials: Nathania Cam, Hannah Graham, Zosia Stevenson, Gillian Jardim, Kayla Main and Katrina Duong. Nolan Robinson won the $200 12-and-younger Most Promising Prince Rupert Dancer award. Zosia Stevenson won the $50 13-and-older Mary Lester Variety award. Ruby Ferlaino was awarded a special scholarship to a summer workshop at Shelly’s Dance Centre in Edmonton. Anna Nguyen won a summer scholarship at Art in Motion. Finally, Masoom Johal won a scholarship to Art in Motion’s summer workshop in Terrace.
The Mary Lester Service Award was given to longtime Lester Centre manager Crystal Lorette, who has been a staple both on the stage and behind the scenes at the competition for more than 15 years.
Kelly Grainger was the evening’s emcee, who along with adjudicators Samantha Schleese, Ray Hogg and Marisa Ricci, was thrilled to see the next generation of performers on stage.
“I can’t wait to see what these young dancers accomplish in years to come,” she said.