Providing dancers with an early start to the dance season, the inaugural Prince Albert Performing Arts Warehouse Dance Blast Festival saw 428 dancers showcase their talent over the weekend.
Drawing from the surrounding area, the three-day event gave dancers a soft competition to jumpstart the season, organizer Karen Malec said.
‚ÄúIt is a competition, but it‚Äôs meant to be a fun competition,‚ÄĚ she explained. ‚ÄúEverybody who‚Äôs participating gets a medal and a chance to perform in our fine facilities in town.‚ÄĚ
Friday saw dancers perform at the Rivier Academy stage, while Saturday and Sunday had performers showcase their talents at the E. A. Rawlinson Centre stage.
Usually, the weekend would have been spent rehearsing for future events, Performing Arts Warehouse co-owner Donna Malach said, adding that this year‚Äôs full-on event better prepares youth for the competitive season.
‚ÄúWe wanted an early fun competition for the kids -- just to get out on stage and dance in front of family, friends, and to get a mark from a judicator, which will help them for the rest of the season,‚ÄĚ she explained.
Of the 428 performers, about 100 are from Prince Albert, she said, noting that there are an additional 400 local dance students who don‚Äôt compete.
Malach discourages her youngest students from competing, preferring instead that they first develop their skills, although she notes that some competitors are as young as seven.
In addition to preparing local area dancers for the dance season, Dance Blast was a fundraiser for a 2015 trip to Disney World.
We wanted an early fun competition for the kids -- just to get out on stage and dance in front of family, friends, and to get a mark from a judicator, which will help them for the rest of the season. Donna Malach
Last summer, a group of youth studied dance in New York City, Malach explained, noting that the Disney World trip will be similar, albeit more geared toward entire families.
‚ÄúYou can take classes with dancing choreographers, so they learn music and the dancing,‚ÄĚ she said.
‚ÄúThey will be dancing in various workshops and be part of the parade, and have a little bit of fun at the same time,‚ÄĚ Malec said.
For more information on the local dance group, visit their website, online at www.performingartswarehouse.com.