Glittering dance under a diamond theme

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Joy's School of Dance shines at Olds competition

INNISFAIL – Dancers with Joy’s School of Dance in Innisfail dazzled as they competed in the first spring festival of the season.

The provincial dance competition called Diamonds and Dance took place at the TransCanada Theatre in the Fine Arts and Multimedia Centre in Olds March 31 to April 2.

“This is the start to our (dance) festival season. We still have four more festivals that we are doing,” said Joy McIlwain, owner of Joy’s School of Dance. “As we go to each one, they get a little bit bigger, a little bit more competitive, so it gets a little tougher as we go along.

“Festivals run from now until the long weekend in May,” she added.

The provincial competition included studios from across southern and Central Alberta.

About 75 dancers, ages six to 18 from the Innisfail dance school, competed in the annual event, showcasing their dance skills and what they’ve learned over the past several months.

“Some of the younger ones were in one or two dances right up to the senior dancers who were in about 10,” said McIlwain. “They ranged from solos, duets, small groups, up to lines. We had some groups where we had 30 dancers involved at once while others had only five at a time.”

Students performed a variety of dance styles, including tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, lyrical, acro, contemporary and musical theatre.

“We had about 70 routines altogether in the festival,” said McIlwain. “There was about 300 entries from all over the province.”

McIlwain said she was pleased with her students’ performances at the festival and noted several awards and merits many won for choreography with the senior tap group, and a perfect presentation for senior ballet pointe. Their musical theatre performance finished second overall.

“There’s things that we knew we still needed to improve on, but this gives us a good look at everything. It gives the kids a chance to see what they can really focus on,” said McIlwain. “We were so proud of them all.”

Joy McIlwain, owner of Joy’s School of Dance

“There’s things that we knew we still needed to improve on, but this gives us a good look at everything. It gives the kids a chance to see what they can really focus on.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.