Jennifer Hansen of Dance Creations is looking for more wall space.
At St. Alberta festival, the dancers won more awards than they did all of last year, Hansen says. Last year’s awards are displayed in two locations in the dance studio. She’s not sure where she’s going to put the awards from the three festivals they competed in this year.
‘Life’, a dance which included 19 dancers aged from 10 to 12, received the highest mark in its division at Dance to the Future Dance Festival in Camrose the weekend beginning on Thursday April 04, Hansen says.
This was just one of many highlights from the festivals that the dancers competed in. The dancers competed in Camrose, Fort Saskatchewan, and St. Albert.
“The girls worked very hard,” Hansen says. “Each successive festival, they bumped up their performance.”
Hansen is pleased with the team building that happened throughout the festivals and seeing some shy dancers come out of their shells.
“It’s fun getting the extras,” Hansen says. “Ultimately, it’s about the experience.”
On May 3rd and 4th, after a month of festivals, Dance Creations put on the 9th Annual DC Showcase at the Legacy Centre.
The Friday and Saturday performances were not identical. Friday night opened with ‘Survivor’ which won first place in Fort Saskatchewan.
Performances included solo, duet, and group dances. Soloists and duettists were all experienced dancers. The three youngest soloists were eight years old.
Most of the dances were choreographed by the instructors, but two experienced soloists choreographed their own pieces: Jenna Bolan (Grade 12) and Cadence Bellerive (Grade 10).
Dance Creations has approximately 150 students between three and 17 years old. The three-year-olds do not go to festivals, Hansen says, but performed at the showcase.
Dance Creations has classes in ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, and contemporary dance.
Lyrical is a combination of ballet and jazz set to music with lyrics to tell a story, Hansen says. Classes range from beginner to advanced and in size from three to 12 students. Each class teaches one routine.
Instructors this year were Jennifer Hansen, with over 20 years experience, Jodi van den Heuvel, with over 10 years, and new this year, Jessica Cote, who was teaching for the first time.
The school teaches Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet, which is international. Last year a student moved and the new studio was easily able to integrate the dancer into the correct class based on the RAD exams she’d taken, Hansen says.
Most classes have ended for the season, but acro-dance, a technique class to teach dancers how to incorporate acrobatic moves into dance, continues over the summer. Dancers studying for ballet exams continue dancing until the RAD tests on June 10.