5 p.m., Apr. 25)
dance school shines at Ottawa CanDance competition
Danceworks members Kevin Howe and Isabelle Proulx tied themselves for the top
mark among intermediate duets aged 11-14 at the Ottawa CanDance competition on
the weekend. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Leeming Danceworks dance school has seven reasons to smile this morning after
placing seven routines in the Diamond Dance-off portion of the Ottawa CanDance
competition Sunday evening.
is a nationally recognized series of regional dance competitions held every spring
and the Ottawa event is one of the most popular on the calendar bringing together
dancers from as far away as Toronto and Montreal. This year's competition attracted
19 dance schools in all, including The Dance Factory from Mississauga.
Diamond Dance-Off brings together those junior and senior competitors who scored
a 95 or better during the four day event for one final competition. The top three
routines in both categories are then presented a small cash award.
the way for Leeming Danceworks was the duet of Kevin Howe, 16, and Isabelle Proulx,
14. Unbelievably, the pair tied themselves for the top mark among all duets in
jazz, ballet, variety, and tap between the ages of 11 and 14 for their lyrical
duet "My Dear Old Friend" and their jazz routine "Shiver".
were very surprised," said Howe, who won the Teen Mr. CanDance title on the
opening day of the competition. "To have the high score for one routine is
amazing, but to have both high scores is unbelievable."
also received two diamond scores for his solo jazz and tap routines, winning both
the senior solo jazz and tap categories against nine other dancers, all of them
female. For the first time in his dance career, Howe started working out last
summer to improve his conditioning. He also had his tonsils removed which has
helped with his breathing.
made a big difference. I don't get as winded as much anymore," said Howe.
solo performers who did well include nine-year-old Sierra Slegtenhorst who was
first runner-up in the Mini Miss CanDance event, Stephanie Harding, 14, who received
the top mark among the novice competitors and Jasmine Lee, 10, who was second
runner-up competing against 15 other dancers for the Junior Miss CanDance title.
Mary Kathryn and Emma Bohn (right) received the top mark among junior duets aged
10 and under at the Ottawa CanDance Competition on the weekend. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Not to be
outdone by their older studiomates, the sister duet of Mary Kathryn Bohn, 8, and
Emma Bohn, 7, earned the high score for duets among competitors 11 years and under
for their demi-character tap routine "Tea for Two".
the two girls didn't quite score high enough to make it into the Diamond Dance-Off
they still earned more than 90 points which put them into the platinum category.
Just two weeks ago they earned diamond at the Montreal CanDance competition and
Emma won the Mini Miss title.
girls say they love to dance and have made a ton of friends through Leeming Danceworks
and the various competitions they've entered.
the 65 routines that made it into the Diamond Dance-Off competition, there were
only five duets. Two were Howe and Proulx, while a third featured Olivier Roy,
11, and Jasmine Lee, 10 who were the youngest intermediate (11-14) competitors
to earn a diamond score for their routine "Slow Boat to China".
and Lee were also part of the "Sing, Sing" production number that earned
a diamond score in intermediate line tap along with Howe, Proulx, the Bohn sisters
and 17 other Leeming Dancers.
school's senior large group tap routine, "Tainted Love", also picked
up a diamond score as did "Twinkle" which earned a diamond in junior
but by no means least, the small junior tap group of Brendan Lee, Mary Kathryn
and Emma Bohn, Sierra Slegtenhorst, Emma Cowie, Juliana Krajcovic, Marianne Lynch,
Emma Portner and Mahafin Elkhazin walked away from the competition with the runner-up
prize in the junior Diamond Dance-Off as well as the Adjudicator's Choice Award
for junior routines 10 years and under.
in all it was a tremendously successful competition for the Leeming Danceworks
school which only recently expanded its studio space on Youville Drive.
amazing. Every year the kids keep improving by leaps and bounds. Last year I told
them they had improved by 100 per cent. This year I'm going to have to tell them
they've improved by 200 per cent," says Leeming.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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