Four Vermilion dancers have been selected to compete as part of Team Canada at the International Dance Organization’s World Tap Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany held November 26 – 30.
Asia Clark, Aaralyn Tupper, and Jett Wilson were selected to be on the Children’s Tap Team Canada; and Phoenix Wilson was selected to be on the Junior Tap Team Canada. Many of their family members, dance family companions, and community members were thrilled to support them and are eager to hear about their experience abroad.
According to parent, Sabrena Clark, the dancers will head to Calgary for a choreography session before they fly out.
“We are thrilled from how many children applied, that four children from a team of 18 were selected; proportionately this is a huge number from our town. I can’t be more proud as a mom. My daughter is 10 and going across the ocean to represent Canada, and Germany is where my family is from. All of the dancers worked super hard; even in moments of waiting, they volunteered to start practicing their routine,” said Sabrena Clark.
“It will be a great experience for the team. We have been practicing down in Calgary since August, with famous choreographer Lisa La Touché who fly’s in from New York to work with the team. The four dancers from Vermilion auditioned against dancers from across Western Canada and were hand picked by her. It is competitive dance and these dancers have had some great discipline training from Vermilion’s Dance Impressions by Ryan. Very little adjustment was needed to bring the local dancer’s current level of discipline up to meet that of a team competing against the best in the world. It’s an accomplishment for rural small-town Alberta to be sending dancers to Team Canada.
It’s a once in a life-time opportunity and a big commitment for a 3-minute dance routine across the globe. However, the memories made, experience, new friends and opened doors will last a lifetime. The team practices hard and gives 110% during each performance – as a parent you can not be prouder. I’m excited to attend and cheer for Team Canada’s Tap formations next week,” said parent, Brandon Tupper.
Instructor and parent, Ryan Wilson said, “It’s awesome to have the community support this amazing accomplishment! As a parent I feel so proud to have both of my children be on Team Canada. The dedication and discipline it takes to be rewarded with an opportunity of this caliber and recognition is incredible for them. They are representing not only their family and fellow dance peers but also are a part of a much bigger picture of representing Vermilion, Alberta, and Canada. The opportunity to work with and learn from some of the best tap dancers and choreographers in the world gives them a entirely new perspective on dance and the opportunity, relationships, and connections it can build in your life.
As a dance instructor having four of my students that I have trained since they were preschool age be selected for Team Canada is an accomplishment I have dedicated my entire adult life towards. As a dancer myself who was born in Vermilion, grew up in Vermilion, and trained my entire life in Vermilion I have a unique perspective. When I was 19 years old and thought I would pursue professional opportunities in dance it was brought to my attention very abruptly that because I was trained in a very small town with very limited resources by teachers who I adored but had limited qualifications themselves I lacked the ability to be able to pursue anything greater. I made it a life goal at that time that no student of mine would ever put in ‘years’ of training and have that be their outcome. Through the next 15+ years I completely retrained my body, my awareness, my level of knowledge in pursuit of the highest most skilled dance teacher education and Certification Programs that I could find. The level of certification I was after was only granted to me nearly a short five and a half years ago. To have even one of my students make the team would have validated the amount of work, dedication, and courage it took for me to change my level of knowledge and understanding in my own teaching. Now my What, When, and How approach I have to teaching dance gives my student’s a much more accurate layering of foundational skills every year. It allows my students to pursue opportunities with success because of the years of training they have put into foundational work.
Results like this give me the confidence to believe that more of these kinds of opportunities are going to be available for our students. Having four students make the team is perhaps one of the most overwhelming feelings I have ever experienced. I am so proud of them. To all of these students, their parents, all of my current students and parents, and all of my past students and parents - this is an achievement for all of us and all of Vermilion. My entire life has been invested in dance in Vermilion. Thank you for believing in me while I believed in your children and trusting in the process.”