Each of 25 categories entered by the Spectrum Dance Studio in the Prince George Dance Festival was a winner for the local studio in a virtual competition running from March 20 to 26.
The dancers were awarded 16 first places, seven second places and two third places in their first-time virtual competition.
Alison Sherman, ballet teacher at the Prince Rupert studio said more than 40 dancers entered the competition with the school entering fewer groups this year due to COVID-19. Wearing masks for the safety of the dancers influenced the decision not to enter the variety and musical theatre categories.
“Due to COVID and our main priority to keep dancing while keeping everyone safe we entered 25 groups. We placed in every single category,” Sherman said.
Sherman said the dancers had some challenges to overcome with the close contact partners and lifts in some arrangements, but all practices and rehearsals were completed at a safe social distancing.
Dancing at home on Zoom and online with teachers during COVID-19 in preparation for the competition started in January, Sherman said.
“Zoom made the students feel more eager to perform,” Sherman said. “It was a very well-organized virtual competition. We went in not knowing what exactly to expect and it certainly exceeded our expectations.”
“Both our intermediate and senior acro groups came first place and won a trophy for highest mark 18 and under. Our junior intermediate dancers really excelled winning first place in ballet, lyrical, demi character, tap and hip hop including trophies for ballet, lyrical, acro, tap and small jazz,” Sherman said. “Our seniors also finished off winning first place in their classical ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary and small jazz bringing home trophies for contemporary, acro, ballet, large jazz and hip hop.”
“To mention a few, Mia Lan won most memorable eight and under dancer. Keilly Luong won most promising dancer 12 and under. Adjudicators choice choreography awards for stage went to our senior jazz group choreographed by Sherrie Scherger. Adjudicators choice award for ballet eight and under was awarded to McKenna Leighton Sankey. Catherine Phuong won the most outstanding acro performance award, and Alison Sherman won the adjudicators choice choreography award for Ballet,” she said.
Nolan Robinson, Keilly Luong, and Joran Rysstad were selected for the first virtual B.C Dance Provincials happening in June.
Sherman said they are so proud of all the dancers and everyone is looking forward to the next two upcoming competitions in April and May
K-J Millar | Journalist
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