the Innovative dance arts studio in Parksville will have nine young women between the ages of 11 and 17 represented at the 2022 Provincial Performing Arts Festival in British Columbia in June.
Sarah DeVito, Owner and Director of Superior Intensive Programming, said each dancer qualified for the provincial festival by achieving high marks in the North Island (held in late February) or Central Island regional competitions. island (early March). .
While Regionals were in-person events attended by dancers, Provincials, however, will be held virtually for 2022 between June 5 and June 9.
“Because they were selected from regional festivals to participate in, they have videos from these festivals. So they’re going to use those videos to submit to the provinces,” said Deena DeVito-Carl, owner and director of preschool and less intensive programs. “They’ll have classes they’ll have to take on Zoom – which they’ll probably have to do here at the studio.”
DeVito-Carl went on to say that most of their provincial-qualified dancers would be in the modern/contemporary category, with only two of the nine representing the “stage” (tap and jazz).
“In order to qualify to be considered, they must do two solos in their genre. So the kids going as modern reps had to do a modern solo and a contemporary,” she said.
Most of the dancers won first or second place in the regional competitions and had to receive a mark above 85 based on artistic quality and technical ability for the two solos.
Isla Melanson, 11, junior stage representative for the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; Brynn Binder, 13, middle stage representative for the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; Sianna Drummond, 18, senior stage representative for the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; Maria Pettigrew, 14, mid-level substitute for the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; Shaylee Gardiner, 14, for the mid-modern representative of the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; Maria Pettigrew, 13, for the middle modern representative of the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; Keana Jeffs, 14, for Intermediate Modern Alternate for the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; Grace Amendt, 17, senior modern representative for the North Island Festival of Performing Arts; and Aleria Campagnolo-Kasteel, 16, for the senior modern representative of the Mid Island Performing Arts Festival.
“We’ve had a rep at pretty much every festival I can think of,” DeVito-Carl said.
“And usually we have several,” Sarah DeVito said with a chuckle. “Like, I went to provincials when I danced…which was a long time ago.”
“Having nine reps for one studio is pretty high,” DeVito-Carl said. “Especially for a small studio. In our intensive program, which these girls come out of, there are probably about 95. The whole school, there are about 235.
For at least three of the dancers, 2022 is the first year they qualified for provincials.
Amendt, who lives in Parksville and attends Ballenas High School, qualified for provincials through the North Island regional competition, is currently studying modern/contemporary, jazz and ballet, to name a few only a few.
“I hope to learn from the different people who come together and see all their versions of their dances. And just watch them and learn. That’s my favorite thing about going to competitions,” she said A post-secondary graduate, Amendt hopes to remain involved in the performing arts in some way, either through continuing education or joining a company.
Pettigrew, who also lives in Parksville and attends Ballenas High School, also qualified at the North Island regional competition.
“I’m looking for more dance experience beyond this studio,” she says.
Binder, who lives in Qualicum Beach and attends Kwalikum High School, has attended Innovate Dance Arts since 2015. She takes classes in Ballet, Modern/Contemporary, Reinforcement, and Jazz, and has also qualified in the areas of the North Island.
“I want to build my confidence — and just look at others and be inspired and meet new people,” she said. Binder also intends to stick with post-secondary performing arts as well.