SURREY — The bottle drives, pub nights, doughnut sales, car washes and other fundraisers are coming to an end, and the young Team Canada dancers can now focus on flying to Germany for an event that will put them on the world stage.
From Nov. 21-26, they’ll be in Riesa for the World Dance Championships hosted by the International Dance Organization (IDO), an umbrella group for 250,000-plus dancers from more than 60 countries.
The World Show Dance event will involve seven Surrey-area dancers who auditioned for Team Canada, including Tianna Chilibeck, Charyse Cerezo, Victoria Holman, Madison Yaremchuk, Isabella Bonato, Rylen Samson and Lillian Chen.
They’ll be aiming for gold medals with routines choreographed by another Surrey-raised dancer, Danielle Gardner (PICTURED).
The B.C.-based Team Canada West group, as it’s officially known, includes 42 dancers – two of them boys – in Children, Junior and Junior and Adult groups.
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This is Gardner’s fifth year of choreographing the team’s routines.
“We’ve had some success, yes,” Gardner told the Now. “We have typically brought home the most golds of all the countries.”
This year’s team includes dancers ranging in age from eight to 19, Gardner reported.
“There are a lot of new faces every year, absolutely, and every year we have three or four alumni come back, which is nice, and having the fresh faces is great, too,” she said.
If Gardner’s name sounds familiar, you might remember her as a top-eight contestant on CTV’s “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” in the fall of 2010.
She fondly remembers her time on the television show.
“It was such a fun time for me. That was my first real job I ever had, in terms of being a dancer, and I was very young and everything was very sparkly to me at that point,” she added with a laugh.
Now 27 and the founder/creator of Impact Dance Productions, Gardner is looking forward to another World Dance Championships, an event that has taken her to Norway, Poland and Germany in recent years.
“It’s kind of neat to see the whole entire team travelling like they do, with their (Team Canada) outfits on in another country,” Gardner explained. “It’s amazing to see the shift that happens. All of a sudden everyone is super full of pride and love to wear their Canadian jackets and hold the flags up, it’s really interesting.”
The team rehearses as a group at Langley Fine Arts School, and small-group sessions are held at Just For Kicks in Surrey and Xtreme Cheer and Dance in Langley.
Team Canada Dance’s national director is Bonnie Dyer. “In years to come, medals and trophies will be misplaced, but the memories of your journey and training to dance on the world stage, meeting new friends, striving to do your best and being proud to represent your country – these are the memories you will carry with you forever,” she says in a post at Teamcanadadance.com.