My favourite hobby is dancing, especially when I am with people that I care about.
On Fri. May 16th, my team competed at Dancity 2014 at Windermere Secondary, Vancouver BC. We did not receive any awards, but we did receive lots of experience and new skills.
Starting the Team
I started my team last year in December. After creating a successful dance team at my old school, J. N. Burnett Secondary, in grade 8, I knew that performing with a group of friends is the best feeling in the world. So, upon arriving at my new school, I continued my club even though I didn’t know many people. See video!
The team was made possible with friends that I had only met for 3 months, but dance is a common language, so I was sure that we would bond sooner or later.
My hypothesis was proven correct and now I have a team of 11 awesome people who love dancing as much as I do, and we work very hard to learn the new choreos taught by our wonderful instructor, Stewart Iguidez, a member of the crew “The Faculty” (1st place in World of Dance 2012 and 2013, Artists Emerge 2014 and more). We work with Pur Movement, a one-of-a-kind boutique Dance, Fitness, and Power Plate® Training studio catering to active lifestyles offering a modern, clean and eco-friendly workout environment lead by the best and most-knowledgeable instructors and trainers in Vancouver.
You may ask, how did I come across such a fantastic instructor and studio? Well that I would have to thank the Richmond Culture Club Diversity Talent Show, for giving me the chance to meet Stephanie Sy, a judge at the talent show and also the owner of Pur Movement.
My Opinions on a Successful Team
My goals for my dance team are always the same: have fun and be healthy. Although we join plenty of competitions, I never go thinking that we HAVE to win a trophy, but rather hoping to improve through these experiences.
In my team, I accept anyone who loves to dance and is willing to work hard, so that means I do not care whether they are beginners or pros because, eventually, if they love what they do they will become exceptional dancers. My current team consists of 90% beginners, and I am so proud of our progress in just a short 6 months.
I am glad that I have given many of my friends, which have not danced since grade 1, a chance to dance again. Why is this, one may wonder? The sad answer is that most of the time people stop dancing because they are getting busier in school and also because they are scared of being awkward.
By creating a positive dance community in school, it is less embarrassing to move our limbs because we all look awkward at the same time and we all are friends. Eventually, we will become better and it is the support we have for each other that lets us continue with our journey.
This was our 4th competition of the year, and the 1st one where we competed with our new choreo, “James Bond.” Unlike many other competitions, where grade 11 to 12 are called seniors, in this competition grade 10 to 12 were the seniors, and we were competing against groups with years of experience. We all knew that we didn’t stand a chance, but these competitions were like sweet chocolate cakes that we just couldn’t resist taking a bite. Simply watching the other groups had us in awe, and we always have fun learning from other teams.
Considering our abilities, we did great for the competition, and we definitely had a good Friday night. I was elated to meet Vanessa Prasad, Miss Teenage Surrey 2014, once again after 3 months, as she was showcasing with her PRAISE team. Her team had my mouth dangling for a few seconds here and there because they were just too good for words. I can still hear that booming applause ringing in my ears!
Hilariously, my mother bought some raffle tickets for the competition prize draws, and we were picked out of the box two times straight! I was able to win a Dancity tank top and a $10 gift certificate for Live Love Dancewear (HERE is their Facebook page), where I spent it right away at their booth to get a pair of swag pants. The owner was really friendly and I will certainly go back with my team to get more dance goodies.
Our last competition of the school year will be on Thu. May 22 (this Thursday!) at Redemption at Fraser Heights Secondary School. If you are interested in watching then COME! It will be another terrific competition and I know it!
Ariel Jingjing Cao
~ muah <3 ~