Volume 9 Week 3

Tuesday, Dec. 309


Updated March 18

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Updated June 1

This week:
Rob Jellett

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette




(Posted 4:30 p.m., May 14)

Orléans teen caps off magical year with Dancer of the Year title
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orléans teenager Vanessa Roby poses with the trophy she received for winning the Teen Dancer of the Year title at the recent American Dance Awards (ADA) competition in Ottawa. File photo

All things considered, it's been a magical year for Vanessa Roby.

After winning a bevy of awards as a member of Leeming Danceworks in Orléans over the past several years, Vanessa decided to join the Greta Leeming Dance School in Nepean last summer.

As the new kid on the block, Vanessa wasn't expecting to compete as a soloist during her first year at Greta's. When she finally did, she made the most of the opportunity, finishing in first place in the intermediate division at the prestigious Rhythm Dance competition in Brantford in April

Two weeks later at the CanDance competition in Gatineau, Vanessa was an integral part of several group productions that received six diamond and one platinum score. Diamond is the highest score awarded at a CanDance event, while platinum is the second highest.

With the CanDance competition out of the way, Vanessa was able to turn her attention to the American Dance Awards (ADA) regional competition in Ottawa last weekend where she competed as a soloist in the teen division.

Vanessa won the Teen Dancer of the Year title at the ADA regional event in Montreal last year, competing in the division for the first time. In Ottawa, she had to compete against one of the largest fields in recent memory. No fewer than 81 competitors had registered in the teen category, forcing organizers to divide the field into two separate divisions.

Despite the level of competition, Vanessa still managed to come out on top, winning her third ADA Dancer of the Year title in the past four years.

All in all, it's been a tremendously successful year for Vanessa. Besides her two solo titles at the Rhythm Dance competition in Brantford and the ADA event in Ottawa, she finished third in the solo event at the Ottawa CanDance competition, despite taking an uncharacteristic spill.

Vanessa credits her decision to move to the Greta Leeming Studio for taking her dancing to another level.

"I like to be challenged," she explains. "(Since joining Greta) I've had to learn harder and harder steps every day. You're constantly pushing yourself."

Vanessa also benefited from being able to concentrate on her solo tap routine.

"That made it a lot easier," says Vanessa who usually performs a tap, jazz and ballet routine in competition.

Socially, Vanessa was accepted with open arms at Greta which is a much larger studio than Leeming Danceworks. (Leeming Danceworks owner Sharon Leeming-Mann is actually Greta's daughter.)

"Everyone has been really nice," says Vanessa.

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


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