Despite a unique rehearsal environment and judging via video, Shuswap Dance Center students were recognized for their performance at a recent dance festival in Kamloops.
Studio owner Carolyn Wonacott said all 35 of her students placed in the top three in either a solo or group number. Rather than travelling to Kamloops to perform, judging was done over video. Wonacott said this format had an interesting effect on her students, with about half performing better and the other half really missing the live audience.
Wonacott said the entire past year has been a major learning curve for the studio, with classes running over Zoom last spring and then changing the ways things are done in the studio with social distancing or masks being incorporated into practices and routines. Wonacott said bubbles within the studio were also respected.
The virtual judging like the festival in Kamloops employed has become the rule over the past year. Wonacott said Shuswap Dance Center students have done ballet and modern dance exams virtually and did very well.
Some of the stand-out performances at the festival in Kamloops came from Heidi Boileau and Genevieve Reynard. Boileau was named the most promising dancer 13 and older for the whole competition, and also won a modern dance encouragement scholarship. Reynard received merit on her advanced 2 ballet exam, placed first in her 2 Ballet III Solos, first in lyrical jazz and second in tap. Both Boileau and Reynard qualified as provincial competitors.
Three other dancers qualified as merited participants for the provincials which Wonacott explained means they will be able to perform at provincials as second-level competitors. They are: Alexa Robinson, Camille Boilleau and Nathan Williams.
Wonacott said the festival in Kamloops is one of several upcoming opportunities for the Shuswap Dance Center students to show what they have learned.