Elite Dance Centre’s 9th annual Showcase may not be a Showstopper, but it might be the first step in that direction.
“Showcase is their first time doing their routines on stage (this season),” said Rob Leduc, Elite Dance Centre director. “It’s a fun day because it’s a chance to do their routines for an audience – for their family and friends – without being in a competition. It’s the same routines we will bring to each competition.”
A total of 60 competitive and pre-competitive Woodstock EDC members will take part in the 2013 Showcase at Brantford’s Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. Ticket’s are $20. See www.elitedance.ca for more information.
“It’s free to all (current) Elite Dance Centre students. There’s been a lot of people coming out to support it, a lot of alumni. A lot of friends, families…”
“It really is almost like a family reunion,” said Tonya Leduc, EDC director. “Showcase, it’s about giving the kids the on-stage experience, the opportunity to perform.”
Proceeds from their Showcase go back to the competitive team.
“We do other fundraisers, too, but this is one where people can come out to see a show, too.”
“We also do an end-of-season recital,” Rob noted. “The Showcase is just the competitive team. At the recital we do all of the routines, including recreational classes.”
“Our competitive kids have a big year coming up,” said Rob, taking a quick break between classes Thursday night in Woodstock.
The excitement is building as they prepare for one of the highlight competitions of the year – Showstopper – with a Michigan qualifier that’s expected to take them to the Showstopper East Coast National Finals in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in July.
“I think that’s a big part of it,” he nodded. “I don’t think any time we’ve gone in the past (four times) we didn’t go on to the Finals.”
“In the past the scores have all been pretty high, so it’s very promising for all the students,” said Tonya, also looking forward to the Battle Creek, Michigan qualifier in March. “So they’re looking forward to the possibility of finals in July. The last time we went in 2010, they came back with a North American title in the Mini Division. We’re hoping to make a strong showing again… it’s nice to bring that back to Canada.”
What helps make it even more special, said Rob, is that Showstopper takes the Top 10 scoring groups and makes a high-quality web cast. Elite Dance Centre made it to the web cast their last two trips.
“We’re hoping to do that again,” said Tonya. “The students are very excited – there is a ‘buzz’ in the studio, for sure.”
That ‘buzz’ might have something to do with 400-plus costumes in the studio, Rob smiled.
“This is the first time they are actually trying them on, getting them ready, and running their routines in costumes,” Tonya noted.
The 2013 season for Elite Dance Centre’s competitive team begins in early March, with their first event in just three weeks.
Elite typically will send its team to three ‘local’ competitions, ranging from London to Toronto, and two ‘away’ competitions in a region outside Ontario.
“That allows the students to be exposed to different areas, different styles. For example, Michigan will train their students differently than Ohio will.”
At the top of the list, this year, is Showstopper, one of the largest and longest-running dance competitions in North America.
“It is the gold standard of dance competitions, and one of the reasons the students are so pumped. And also why we continue to go – it allows the students to see what’s out there.”
“It’s quite a spectacle,” Rob nodded. “The local competitions that we’ll go to, like Brantford, they typically have the banners, the trophies, the awards… but Showstopper’s kind of a different level. They bring their own transport trucks to unload in an arena and they build a stage from scratch. They hang lights, they have television screens…”
“It’s a whole different experience,” added Tonya.
An Elite Studio
Woodstock’s EDC, which draws students from around Oxford County, has about 280 students in total.
“I think what sets Elite apart,” summed up Tonya, “is that once a student starts training at Elite, they love dance so much that they want to continue. And we give them that opportunity to continue in whatever avenue they choose. That’s one of the reasons why this studio has been so successful.”