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Bob Monette




(Posted 10:30 p.m., May 1)

East end well represented at Ottawa CanDance event
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Isabelle Proulx and Kevin Howe perform one of their spellbinding duets during the Diamond Dance Off portion of the Ottawa CanDance competition on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo

The east end was well represented at the National Capital CanDance competition held this past week at the Palais du Congrés in Gatineau, with several area dancers finishing at the top of their class.

Two area youngsters managed to win titles; three routines earned the overall high score in their respective age groups and the Leeming Danceworks studio placed 10 routines in the grand finale Diamond Dance Off.

Eleven-year-old Jasmine Lee from the Greta Leeming Dance Studio in Nepean won the Junior Miss CanDance title for her tap dance routine "A Dream is a Wish" and eight-year-old Emma Bohn from Leeming Danceworks was crowned Mini Miss CanDance for her jazz dance routine "It's A Small World".

Emma's sister and duet partner Mary Kathryn received the top overall mark among the solo junior competitors 10 and under for her interpretation of "A Dream is a Wish", while fellow Leeming Danceworks member Kevin Howe, 17, earned the top overall mark among the solo senior dancers 15 and over.

It was the second time that Howe received the top senior solo score in three weeks. He accomplished the same feat at the Montreal CanDance event two weeks ago performing a different routine.

"It's unbeliveable," Howe said in reference to his most recent performance. "I know a lot of the girls in this competition and they're unbelieveable, so to receive the highest score was definitely a shock."

Besides Bohn and Howe, Leeming Danceworks also earned the highest score in the senior year group category for "Over the Rainbow", which also took first palce honours in the senior small group lyrical class 15 and over. The group consisted of Howe, Isabelle Proulx, Rachel Cogan, Stephanie Harding, Gabrielle Prud'homme, Jessica Lee and Stephanie Therrien.

All seven dancers returned to the Palais du Congrés on Sunday night to take part in the Diamond Dance Off, along with 51 other groups and duets. All told, Leeming had 10 routines in the grand finale which features the best of the best in head-to-head competition.

"I'm very happy," said Leeming Danceworks owner Sharon Leeming. "Last year we had eight routines in the Dance Off and the year before that we only had three, so I'm thrilled."

Howe and duet partner Isabelle Proulx were kept extremely busy having to perform in seven out of the 10 routines each, requiring seven different costume changes.

In the end, the school's intermediate extended line tap routine "Christmas Presence" was the only performance that placed in the top three, taking second place honours among the senior groups.

Three other east end dancers also competed in the Diamond Dance Off. Fresh off of winning the Junior Miss CanDance title, Jasmine Lee performed in "Chopsticks" and her nine-year-old brother Brendan was front and centre in "Under The Apple Tree". Both dancers are now with the the Greta Leeming School of Dance after spending several years at Leeming Danceworks.

Another former Leeming student, Vanessa Roby, performed in six routines in the Diamond Dance Off including "Stradivarius" which received a special award for being the most artisitc routine in the entire competition. The 15-year-old also recieved two diamond awards for finishing first in teen solo tap and second in teen solo lyrical.

Many of the dancers will be at it again next week when they take part in the regional American Dance Awards competition at the Nepean Sportsplex.

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


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