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A time to dance

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A time to dance
Kayla Mortimer and Sydney Ernst of the Tisdale Dance Centre felt inspired with their matching dance clothes as they danced to a remix of “Puttin’ on the Ritz”. -- Marjorie Roden/Daily Herald

After two years worth of empty stages for in-person dance competitions in Prince Albert, dancing came back with gusto at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre March 11th to 13th.

“As far as their performances, after having two years off of competition, their energy is definitely up there, and they’re eager to perform on stage,” said Abby Blanchard, one of the dance instructors from the Performing Arts Warehouse in Prince Albert.

The intensity of all of the dancers was apparent, as was their enthusiasm.

“Finding a specific style that suits the student is also super helpful, in terms of getting them to put their all into it,” said Jill Klassen, also an instructor from the Performing Arts Warehouse. “If they’re doing a dance that they enjoy, then they’re going to perform it at the best of their abilities.”

An intensely lighthearted performance came from Naomi Phillips, who was donning a cheerful yellow sundress in her 16 year old Lyrical Solo performance.

“My whole family just likes me wearing yellow so I decided to wear it when I danced,” said Phillips. “I just really like lyrical and wanted to do something nice and pretty for my family.”

Reece Blanchard, also competing in the 16 year old Lyrical Solo category, danced a very intense performance to the spoken word song “Keep Forgiving” by Mercy McDonald, which didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.

“There’s just so much going on, we just really wanted to create a piece that was really moving and told a strong story,” Reece said. “(People) can relate it to everything going on in the world right now….I’ve been keeping up with the news stories (of Ukraine), and they’re very heartbreaking.”

Also performing were some jazz duet numbers, including a cheery number to a remix of Taco’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz” done by Kayla Mortimer and Sydney Ernst in the 11-12 year old competitive category.

“It was good, and it was fun being on stage,” said Mortimer.

“It was also good to see the others on stage,” Ernst added.

The pair have been dancing duets for about five years now, and had some sage advice to give to anyone considering taking up dance.

“Just be happy and proud of what you did, and take dance class!” Ernst said.

“Try your best and practice a lot,” Mortimer added.

Dance instructors Blanchard and Klassen also had a bit of encouragement for potential students.

“I would tell them just to do their very best, because anyone can be a dancer,” Klassen said. “It’s all about that state of mind.”

“I would say don’t be afraid or nervous,” Blanchard said, adding “It’s never too late to start. If you have the passion and dedication for it, that’s really all you need to catch up to any years that you’ve missed. I’d just encourage them to go for it!”

Dance Blast goes on through to Saturday evening at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. A day’s pass is $20.00.