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Next level: high schoolers descend on Salish Secondary for massive dance competition

Clayton school welcomed more than 600 students for event

More than 600 high schoolers descended upon Salish Secondary School April 5 for “Level Up: B.C. High School Dance Team Competition.”

The dance contest attracted kids from 19 different schools.

“Everything went so well,” said Jenny-Lynn Jensen, a teacher and the head of the dance program at Salish Secondary. “The energy from the packed gym of student dancers was amazing. Everyone was so happy and excited to be there.”

Jensen said the dance teams performed very well and, even though the judges had to declare winners, the competition was very close all around.

Teams competed in various categories in the contest with first-, second-, and third-place awards handed out for most events. (See below for the full list of winners.) A panel from the Studio North Dance Complex handled the judging.

Schools competing in the dance competition were: Salish Secondary, Lord Tweedsmuir, Burnaby Mountain, Cariboo Hill, Churchill Secondary, Enver Creek, Fraser Heights, Gladstone Secondary, Grandview Heights, Guildford Park, Johnston Heights, Kwantlen Park, LA Matheson, North Delta, North Surrey, Panorama Ridge, Sardis Secondary, Spectrum Community School, and Sullivan Heights.

Jensen said Maddaugh Elementary, one of Salish Secondary’s feeder schools, opened the event with a 45-dancer ensemble comprised of kids from grades three through seven.

“The high school kids cheered so loud for them it was hard to hear their music!” Jensen exclaimed. “The elementary kids were so excited to be there and get to perform at Salish.”

She said the Studio North judges shared a lot of “valuable advice” with the dancers and were very supportive with their critiques of the dancers’ numbers.

“They gave great feedback and left the students feeling inspired and excited to further their dance training and expressing themselves through dance.”

She said the three professional studios performed dances for the students: Fusion Force, A3 District, and Studio North.

“(They) wowed the crowd with their athleticism, artistry, and unique choreography.”

The competition wrapped up with a dynamic freestyle dance number led by Sullivan Heights Secondary alumni. One of the contest’s judges even joined in and surprised the crowd with an impromptu freestyle performance.

Will Cloy, a Panorama Ridge Secondary School dance alumni student, MC’d the event .

“He kept the crowd entertained and the show running quickly,” Jensen said.

The Johnston Heights Secondary Senior Dance Team was awarded the “Overall Top Score” for the event and they also received the only platinum-level score of the competition.

Jensen said the Salish Secondary student volunteers running things backstage deserve a lot of kudos for making everything run smoothly.

“From the elaborate set up, greeters, music and lighting technicians, scorekeepers, awards prep, backstage managers, concession, and clean up crew—the event would not be possible without them.”

Jensen added she’s received a lot of positive feedback already. She noted multiple teachers and students gave her very positive comments about how great the day was.

“Schools, teachers, and students all had a great day of competition while having fun, making memories, and inspiring one another,” she explained. “Everyone could not stop talking about how high the energy was for the entire event. The students were cheering and having a great time together.”

Level Up: B.C. High School Dance Team Competition award winners for 2023 were:

Junior Hip Hop Team

1st place: Sullivan Heights

2nd place: Gladstone Secondary

Senior Hip Hop Team

1st: Gladstone Secondary

2nd: Sullivan Heights & Churchill Secondary

Jazz Dance Team

1st: Lord Tweedsmuir

2nd: Salish Secondary

3rd: Spectrum Community School

Jazz Dance Team – Student Choreography

1st place: Sullivan Heights

Contemporary Dance Team – Student Choreography

1st: Lord Tweedsmuir

2nd: Salish Secondary

3rd: Kwantlen Park

Junior Hip Hop Team – Student Choreography

1st: Johnston Heights

2nd: Kwantlen Park

3rd: Fraser Heights

Senior Hip Hop Team – Student Choreography

1st: Johnston Heights

2nd: Panorama Ridge

3rd: Gladstone Secondary

Judges Choice Impact Awards

Enver Creek Senior Hip Hop

Sullivan Heights Senior Hip Hop

Top Student Choreography Awards

Johnston Heights Junior Hip Hop Team

Johnston Heights Senior Hip Hop Team

Top Overall Score

Johnston Heights Senior Hip Hop Team

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Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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