Volume 9 Week 3

Sunday, Dec. 14 9


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Updated March 18

Updated Apr. 12

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

(Posted 7:30 a.m., May 14)
Leeming dancers return from Montreal competition with bevy of titles
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Leeming Danceworks students Vanessa Roby, Kevin Howe and Jasmine Lee returned from the American Dance Awards competition in Montreal last weekend with a trio of titles. A fourth dancer, Olivier Roy, also picked up a title in the Junior Male category. Fred Sherwin/Photo

In a little over six weeks a contingent of dancers from the Leeming Danceworks studio in Orléans will be travelling to Orlando, Florida to take part in the North American finals of the American Dance Awards (ADA).

When they compete, they will be led by no less than six title holders. Two of the dancers, Brendan Lee and Isabelle Proulx won "Male Junior Dancer of the Year" and "Teen Dancer of the Year" respectively at the Ottawa ADA competition in April.

A third dancer, Vanessa Roby, finished a disappointing fourth in the Ottawa competition and needed to win a title in Montreal to qualify for the title competition in Orlando.

Two of the remaining three dancers, Jasmine Lee and Kevin Howe, had won the "Junior Dancer of the Year" and "Teen Dancer of the Year" titles last year in Ottawa and competition rules state that a dancer can not win back to back titles at a regional competition. In order to compete in Orlando they had to win a title in Montreal.

Both dancers did just that as did Olivier Roy, who won "Male Junior Dancer of the Year" with the top overall score among dancers 12 and under. But while Roy's competition consisted of one other dancer, Roby had to compete against a field of 57 of the best dancers in Quebec and Eastern Ontario.

According to the American Dance Awards rules each competitor can dance in one or more events including jazz, tap and ballet. The top scores among all the routines are then recognized in handing out the awards.

Roby's strong suit is normally her tap routine performed to "That Old Black Magic". But while the 13-year-old did do her tap number, it was her jazz routine that caught the eye of the judges.

Performed to the music from "Chicago", Roby's jazz routine was not only recognized as the best performance in the Teen competition, it received the third best overall score and the top solo costume award among dancers 13 and over.

Needless to say it was a very exciting weekend for the young dancer who is competing in her first year in the Teen category (aged 13-14).

"I thought my tap routine was a lot better, but my dad said my jazz routine was really good. Usually if I feel I did it bad and my dad says it was good it means I did pretty well," says Roby.

Roby will now be joining a large contingent of dancers from Leeming Danceworks at the ADA North American Championships in Orlando, Florida from July 1-7.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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