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Beeton’s Ivy Hill competing with dance group at CNE Rising Star Competition

August 25, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Seven young dancers from the Simcoe Dance Academy in Bradford will be performing at the Canadian National Exhibition Rising Star Competition.

Ivy Hill, a ten-year-old dancer from Beeton is one of the members of the group, Girl Power, who qualified to compete in the CNE’s annual talent contest.

Hundreds of hopefuls apply to enter the competition each year but only the top entries are given the chance to compete at the Fair.

The rest of Girl Power includes Zoe Capitano, Gwenyth Hurry, Mia and Luca Araujo, Sarah Read, and Sadie Kneeshaw.

Ivy began her dancing career when she was only two years-old and has been at the Academy ever since. It’s somewhat of a family tradition as her mom, Emily, also danced at the Academy.

“The style of dance that we will be doing is called ‘open’,” Emily explained of the category which allows them to incorporate any type of dance moves. “It’s kind of jazzy, but you can also do tumbling. Every competition usually has an open category, but there’s a limit to how many tricks you can do. We started learning the dance in October, so it took us a while. We weren’t that strong at the beginning but now we’re a lot stronger.”

The dance group competes at several different competitions through the year so they are used to performing in front of an audience.

“We go to a lot of dance competitions so it’s kind of normal for us, but we’ve never really done anything like this competition,’ Ivy said. “I’m excited to dance with my friends and have a lot of fun.”

The dance group’s teacher and choreography, Alex Lane, said the group qualified after sending in a video of their routine and they made the cut.

As choreographer, Alex picked the music and choreographed the moves, and designed the girls’ costumes.

“This is just fun – they signed up to do this on their own,” Alex explained. “They submitted a video of them doing it on stage at a competition and were chosen. In the past there has been hundreds of entries. When they got to the competition, they compete against all the other entries that made it. There will be judges who pick the best, and possibly go to the next round.”

The Simcoe Dance Academy has been training young dancers for over 40 years. Alex’ grandmother started the studio and it now sees the next generation of family coming to the studio to learn how to dance and be a part of it all.

The CNE competition is not just for dancers. Girl Power will be competing against others who will perform by singing, playing an instrument, or any other kind of performance.

The competition is celebrating its 35th anniversary and returning for the first time since the CNE’s two-year hiatus. Hundreds of hopefuls apply each year but only the top candidates earn a spot to compete during the Fair. 

Contestants are from ages six to 21, and are judged on their natural ability, audience appeal, stage presence, and the quality of their performance.

The Rising Star Competition got underway on August 19, and the finals will take place on September 4, inside the Enercare Centre.

By Brian Lockhart

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