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(Posted 2:30 p.m., April 16)

Leeming dance studio posts top marks at Ottawa CanDance event
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Kevin Howe and Isabelle Proulx perform their duet 'For All We Know' during the Diamond Dance Off portion of the Ottawa CanDance competition on Sunday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Leeming Danceworks studio had their best ever showing at the National Capital CanDance competition on the weekend, posting 23 diamond, 39 platinum and seven high gold marks during the four day event which wrapped up Sunday night at the Palais du Congrés in Gatineau.

That's almost double the number of top marks they earned last year when they were awarded 12 diamond, 20 platinum and 20 high gold marks.

Individually, Emma Bohn, 9, earned the top two overall scores in the junior solo division, while her 10-year-old sister Mary Kathryn received the third highest mark. Olivier Roy also received the top overall mark in the intermediate solo division for his tap routine "Route 66".

In the junior duet/trio division, Emma and Mary Kathryn Bohn were joined by Alyssa Bergeron in picking up the second highest overall score for their jazz routine "Got This Feeling".

But as successful as the dance studio was in the solo and duet categories, it was in the group competitions where they really shined. In the senior small group division they received the top two overall marks for "True Colours" and "Beautiful" which earned the Julian Massey Memorial Award as the top artistic performance in the entire competition.

The routine was created by senior dancer and choreographer Kevin Howe who first began developing the concept for the routine a little over a month ago.

"It actually started out as something else and then I saw a presentation at my high school about being self-conscious and I asked the girls what made them the most self-conscious and they all said it was their looks," says Howe who first heard the song "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera a couple of years ago.

"I thought it would be the perfect song and it's never been used in a competition before," says Howe who worked on the choreography right up until a week before the CanDance event. "I was a little skeptical at first but everyone caught on really fast and we pulled it off."

Besides Howe, the group also included Isabelle Proulx, Stephanie Harding, Rachel Cogan, Jessica Lee, Gabrielle Prud'homme and Stephanie Therrien, most of whom also performed in "True Colours" and "Behind The Wall" which received diamond scores and were included in the Diamond Dance Off competition which brought together the top 59 routines from all of the various categories and age groups.

One of the routines included in the Diamond Dance Off competition was "You Don't, You Won't" which earned the Leeming Danceworks studio the second highest overall score in the junior small group division. When the results of the Diamond Dance Off were announced, the routine placed third.

Among the other Leeming routines that fared well were "My Everything" which placed second in the senior large group division, "Rodeo" which earned the Junior Adjudicators Choice Award and "L'Amour a Paris" which was received the Top Production Award.

Leeming Danceworks founder Sharon Leeming-Mann is justifiably proud with how the studio's dancers did during the competition.

"They're so talented and they work so hard. They just keep raising the bar every year," says Leeming-Mann who also acknowledged the studio's teachers for constantly striving to come up with top notch routines. "The teachers have done some amazing choreography and it shows in the scores we recieved."

With the Ottawa CanDance event out of the way, the dancers will continue to hone their skills and perfect their routines in preparation for a number of upcoming competitions including the regional American Dance Awards from May 4-6 and the Montreal CanDance event a week later.

Students from Leeming Danceworks perform 'You Don't, You Won't' during the Diamond Dance Off portion of the Ottawa CanDance competition on Sunday for which they finished in third place in the junior division. Fred Sherwin/Photo

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

 

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