Time-honoured tranditions set to dance

Students at the Shuswap Dance Center rehearse for their Winter Traditions recital which takes place this Friday and Saturday at the Nexus at First. The senior students dance on Friday evening and the juniors take to the stage on Saturday afternoon. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer) Students at the Shuswap Dance Center rehearse for their Winter Traditions recital which takes place this Friday and Saturday at the Nexus at First. The senior students dance on Friday evening and the juniors take to the stage on Saturday afternoon. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap Dance Center students rehearse for their Winter Traditions recital, which takes place this weekend with performances in many genres. The senior show takes place Friday night at 7 p.m. and the junior show takes place at 1 p.m., both at the Nexus at First. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer) Shuswap Dance Center students rehearse for their Winter Traditions recital, which takes place this weekend with performances in many genres. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap Dance Center students rehearse for their Winter Traditions recital, which takes place this weekend with performances in many genres. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap Dance Center students rehearse for their Winter Traditions recital, which takes place this weekend with performances in many genres. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap Dance Center students rehearse for their Winter Traditions recital, which takes place this weekend with performances in many genres. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

If you see the Sugar Plum Fairies dancing before your eyes, there’s a good chance you’re at Shuswap Dance Center’s Winter Traditions concert.

It is a show about traditions from around the world, says owner and teacher Carolyn Wonacott of the senior show that takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 and the junior show that will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Nexus at First.

“There will be The Yule Lads, a tradition from the Netherlands, the winter solstice, an Aussie Christmas and our musical theatre is doing Elvis’ Blue Christmas,” Wonacott says. “Then there are church bells from England, a polar bear swim, a tropical Christmas from Hawaii, a sleigh ride and a fabulous finale.”

With 150 students attending the dance centre, Wonacott had to divide the students into two shows, but some of the contemporary students from 10 to 18 years will perform at both shows.

The Grade 5 ballet students are poinsettias and the familiar faces of Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer will dance their way into everyone’s hearts.

“There will be a beautiful lantern dance by the advanced ballet group and, of course, we have the Sugar Plum Fairies and the Nutcracker and Hide the Broom from Norway.

Wonacott promises fabulous costumes – not many tutus for this production, but lots of sparkle and colour.

Wonacott is delighted that professional lighting and music will be available to spice up the production.

As always there will be a delicious blending of dance genres, from ballet, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, tap, modern and macro, a combination of dance and gymnastics.

“There will be two macro numbers and two live singing musical theatre numbers as well,” says Wonacott.

While Wonacott’s students did not take a big trip last summer, they did accomplish some important feats with their feet.

Several of the dancers auditioned and were accepted to a program at the Victoria Academy of Dance, while two others took leaps in their dance careers.

Wonacott’s daughter Shea is going to be a dancer on the big new cruise ship Disney Fantasy for nine months beginning in January. Her character will be Anna from the film Frozen.

And former student Morgan Paiment is dancing with a company called The Platform Contemporary Dance Company in Vancouver.

“This coming summer we’re going to the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance in London, England, Wonacott says. “I’m taking three of the senior students to do a teachers course that will be held at University of Chichester for two weeks.”

Several intermediate dancers between the ages of 13 and 16 will spend 10 days in New York, where they will take classes and dance at the Broadway Dance Centre and Peridance Capezio Centre.

“So far four are going and we’re hoping to get more,” she adds.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

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