Dance studio wins big at Regina showcase

Matt Gardner
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An invitational dance showcase in Regina last weekend resulted in an impressive trophy haul for one Prince Albert dance studio.

Approximately 100 dancers from the Performing Arts Warehouse competed in the annual showcase this year, competing against dancers between the ages of seven and 18 from across Saskatchewan.

Performing Arts Warehouse co-owner Jenna Malach said that the event went very well for her studio in its fourth year competing.

“We came home winning a lot more awards than previous years,” Malach noted.

“I think the kids have really stepped up and been very committed and have been working really hard for these competitions,” she added. “So I think it’s not just one person -- it’s been a group effort.”

As part of the showcase, dancers contended against other studios in a wide range of categories including ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop dance. Each routine is presided over by a pair of adjudicators who assign marks.

The protracted training process for the competition began early on.

“We usually start in about October, preparing for it, so it takes a while to learn the choreography and to perfect it,” Malach said.

While most classes at the Performing Arts Warehouse run once a week, many students would rehearse four or five times a week, depending on how many dances they planned to take part in.

Group performances in Regina ran the gamut of genres, with the dancers showing off their skills to songs such as Johnny Angel and Ballroom Blitz.

Costumes were an important part of each performance, as was the case with the winners of Outstanding Hip Hop Group.

“That’s Too Legit,” Malach said. “So they did an MC Hammer remix with those crazy (parachute) pants.”

One of the most prominent award winners from Malach’s studio was senior dancer Michael Derworiz, 16, who was runner-up for highest mark at the entire showcase after scoring a 95 in his solo jazz routine.

I think the kids have really stepped up and been very committed and have been working really hard for these competitions. Jenna Malach

Yet there were plenty of other awards among the P.A. studio’s victory haul.

For solo routines, Breck Morgan won Promising Novice Jazz Solo, Breah Frenette won Promising Open Jazz Solo, Emma Zawislak won Promising Musical Theatre Solo, Emma Eaton won Promising Open Musical Theatre Solo and Abby Blanchard received the Smile Award.

Aside from a Promising Novice Jazz Duet award for Chessa Billo and Isabella Waldner, several group routines also received awards.

They included Outstanding Musical Theatre Group for Matilda, High Mark Novice Hip Hop Group for So Fly, Outstanding Hip Hop Group for Too Legit and Promising Beginner Group for Tortoise and the Hare.

In addition, Derworiz and Kimberlea Pfeil received the Dance Jam Scholarship and Summer Stars Dance Camp Tuition, respectively.

Malach suggested that support from family members played a major role in helping the dancers put their best feet forward.

“I think the biggest thing with dance is, unlike hockey, we don’t have lots of opportunity where the parents get to sit and watch,” she said.

“So it was really nice that at Regina, there were so many families and parents that came out to watch in support, and it just kind of boosted everyone up.”

Aside from the studio’s June recital, the Regina showcase represents one of the highlights of the year.

Next up is a showcase this weekend in Tisdale, which will mark the students’ last competition for the season.

“It’s a lot more kind of local talent,” Malach said of the Tisdale showcase.

“We know these dancers better and I know the teachers,” she added. “So it’s more of a … neighbourhood-friendly atmosphere.”

Organizations: Outstanding Hip Hop Group, Theatre Group, So Fly

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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