Volume 10 Week 23

Tuesday, Dec. 302


Posted Feb. 1

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Posted Feb. 17

This week:
Rainer Bloess


(Posted 8:30 a.m., July 31)

Local dance school shines at ADA national championships
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Mary Kathryn and Emma Bohn (right) pose with some of the hardware they won at the recent American Dance Award championships in Orlando. Fred Sherwin/Photo

For a small dance school from little old Orléans, Leeming Danceworks is quickly gaining a giant reputation for developing highly talented competitive dancers.

During the recent American Dance Awards National Championships in Orlando, Florida, a contingent of Leeming dancers led by owner Sharon Leeming and choreographer Kim McMahon managed to qualify seven routines for the national junior and senior DanceOffs which traditionally bring the week long competition to a close.

To get to the national DanceOff you have to finish in the top eight within your category and age group.

Nine-year-old Emma Bohn was able to perform in the DanceOff, not only as part of an ensemble routine, but also as a solo dancer and with her older sister Mary Kathryn as a duet.

Emma started off the competition by being named second runner up for the Young Dancer of the Year title in which she competed against 22 other regional title holders from across Eastern Canada and the United States. She then proved the honour was no fluke by receiving the second highest score in the nine- and 10-year-old solo competition for her jazz routine “If They Could See Me Know” which also earned her the Christina Richmond Award for the most entertaining solo in the 12 and under age group.

“I was really excited. I thought I had a really good run and I was hoping to finish top five, but to finish second runner up it was amazing,” says the little dynamo who improved upon her fifth place finish last year in New York City.

After the solo performances Emma and Mary Kathryn teamed up to earn the top mark in the nine- and 10-year-old duet or trio category for their ballet routine “Dream Catcher” which they also got to perform in the junior DanceOff.

Mary Kathryn is especially proud of the routine which garnered a number of top marks and awards at the regional ADA and CanDance competitions during the spring.

“It’s a big change from our earlier routines which were a lot happier. We’re getting older now so we decided to do something with a little more emotion,” says Mary Kathryn.

Over 2,000 dancers took part in this year’s ADA Championships. At the outset of the competition the competing dance schools were divided up into two rooms – Team Mickey was in one room and Team Minnie was in the other. The top eight routines at both the junior (12 and under) and senior (13 and over) levels, as selected by the judges in each room, were invited to the Danceoff.

“Hot Honey Rag” made it through after receiving the top score in the 12 and under Class category in the Team Minnie room. “Chapel of Love” also received the top mark in the large group, 10 and under category as did “Little Keys” in the eight and under small group division.

Other Leeming Danceworks routines that did well include “L’Amour a Paris”, second place in the 12 and under Production category; “My Everything”, third place in the 15 and over large group division; “True Colours”, fourth place in the 17 and over small group category; “Country Cuties”, third place in the nine- to 10-year-old small group division; and “Rendezvous”, third place in the eight and under small group category.

“L’Amour a Paris” also received the second highest mark in the 12 and under division for choreography and the highest mark for costume.

Kevin Howe wrapped up his celebrated career as a competitive dancer at Leeming by finishing fifth in the Senior Male Dancer of the Year title competition. He then teamed up with duet partner Isabelle Proulx to earn the third highest score in the duet or trio 17 and over category in the Team Minnie room for which they received an invitation to perform in the senior DanceOff.

But what Howe was most proud of was receiving the Top Young Choreographer of the Year award for “Beautiful” which received the fourth highest score in the 15-and 16-year-old small group category and which he also got to perform in the DanceOff with Proulx and fellow Leeming Danceworks members Stephanie Harding, Rachel Cogan, Stephanie Therrien, Jessica Lee and Gabrielle Prud’homme.

“Honestly, I was on top of the world, for me that was the highlight of my career so far,” says Howe, who was approached by several American choreographers and dance schools about possibly working with them in the future.

“That’s where my real passion is, choreography. I love creating routines and seeing them come alive. It’s an amazing feeling.”

For more information about Leeming Danceworks visit www.leemingdanceworks.com...

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



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