Central Nova Scotia dancers win World Cup competition in Montreal
TRURO - A dance troupe from central Nova Scotia really stepped up their routine to win gold at a recent world cup event.
Members of the Dance Zone School preformed nine routines at the Dance World Cup in Montreal from June 30 to July 1, claiming medals in five categories.
"It was just so exciting," said Devonne Goad, a member of the senior troupe that won gold. "It was phenomenal. I've never seen such skill in person."
The girls practised backstage to calm their nerves prior to their jazz performance choreographed to the Beatles classic Come Together and did their ritual pre-competition good luck seniors shuffle.
Goad said she had not expected to win anything and was swept off her feet with shock when the list of champions was posted and their names were at the top.
"It was surreal, I really couldn't believe it," she said. "Whoever was closet to the sheet screamed it and we all started jumping around. We were so proud."
She said winning has given all of them a real sense of accomplishment.
The senior troupe also claimed third prize in the hip hop category for their routine Oompa and were chosen to do an encore performance of their gold-winning routine during the closing ceremony.
Other medal winners from Dance Zone include MacKenzie and Madison Hopewell, of Lance, first place for their jazz duo Spice Up Your Life; Tara Philpott, of Elmsdale, second place for her lyrical solo This is Me; Taylor Shive, of Elmsdale, second place for her cabaret solo Hollywood and Jeannine Philpott, third place for her lyrical solo God's Creatures.
The young dancers received their medals from celebrity dancer Francis Lafreniere, who was in the top 12 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada and the Canadian National Ballroom Championship.
Dance Zone artistic director Erin Hopewell said even though the regular dance season had ended in May, the girls had continued to practise their routine once a week to prepare for the high calibre competition.
She said she accidentally stumbled across the troupe's music that became a perfect fit and it has been dubbed the never-ending jazz routine by the group because of their success performing it at several events during the past few months.
"When I heard the song I loved it," she said. "It all came together."
She said one of the troupe's greatest strengths is the ability to work together as a team moving as a single unit on stage.
The world cup win raises the bar for future competitions.
"I am so proud of them," said Hopewell. "It's beyond anything I could have imagined."