When it comes to dancing, the Tri-Cities has a lot to brag about. Not one, nor two, but three local dancers made the Canadian National Dance Team this year, ranging in age from 11-to 17-yearsold, and will be competing against dancers from around the world at the World Dance Championships in Poland.
Local dancers Morgan Bringeland-Powell and Carley Ishii, both of Coquitlam, and Serena Crouse of Port Coquitlam will take their dancing talents to Poland in December.
"It felt so good," Ishii told the Tri-Cities NOW. "All my hard work paid off, and it just felt amazing that I get to represent my country at a world championship."
"We were just thrilled," said Bonnie Ishii, Carley's mom, after hearing her daughter made the team. "[Carley] was surprised too, she wasn't quite sure if she could do it. She was nervous to begin with, then when she couldn't do a live audition she thought that perhaps it wasn't going to go very well."
Ishii sprained her ankle two weeks before the audition. It was a heartbreaking moment, as she had been training hard to make sure she was in top form for the audition.
But that didn't stop her.
"We quickly put together a video reel and submitted a video audition," Bonnie said. "And after that she was accepted."
Ishii began dancing as a four-year-old at the Port Moody School of Dance.
Since then, she and Bringeland-Powell, have studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, acro, contemporary, hip-hop, and stage dance. A good thing too, as the competition covers a variety of dance styles.
"I just like the movements in the dance," Ishii said. "I like contemporary because it's different from all the other ones, and it's kind of your own."
Bringeland-Powell was equally ecstatic about the good news.
"In June my best friend of 12 years was sleeping over and we were watching TV in my basement," she said. "My mom came downstairs with a really suspicious look on her face and she told me she had gotten an email from the Team Canada director."
At this point, her stomach dropped.
"So I asked her what it said, expecting the worst, and she handed me the acceptance email," Bringeland-Powell said. "The feeling I had when I first read it is kind of indescribable."
Under the tutelage of Surrey's Danielle Gardner, a former top-10 contestant onSo You Think You Can Dance? Canada, and MOVE artistic director Josh Beamish, they will step lively amongst the nation's best dancers.
The thrill of success, however, is just the beginning. The three are working hard from now to December in preparation for the worlds.
Dancing, however, is not recognized as an official sport, so there is no government funding to help send these girls across the globe.
Over the next few months, the girls will hold several events to raise the roughly $3,500 needed.
"I am fundraising like crazy so my daughter can participate in this event," Sheri Cosco, Crouse's mother said. "I am a single mom so for me this is extremely stressful on me to have to raise all this money, but Serena and I are trying our very best, I would hate for her to miss this opportunity."
Upcoming fundraising events include Oct. 5 at the Marine Pub in Burnaby, and a silent auction, from Sept. 16 to Oct. 5, at the Douglas Ballet Academy.
Bringeland-Powell has posted an official fundraising website at fourdancersonedream. com.
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