This grade three ballet class was among the 70 students from the Bracebridge School of Ballet who went to the Opera House Dance Festival in Orillia April 28-May 1, returning with a slew of honours. Pictured in the back row (from left) are: Natalie Northmore, Ally MacDuff, Shaman Johann, artistic director Evelyn Finlayson-Kelly, Madeleine Friesen, Stephanie Waldie and Shannon Morrison; (front row) Bailey Morrice, Megan Bird, Alicia Kelterborn, Savine Schell and Anastasia Kulchycki.
BRACEBRIDGE - The Bracebridge School of Ballet celebrated one of its best performances to date at a competition last week in Orillia.
The school sent 70 students to the Opera House Dance Festival between April 28 and May 1, where they faced competition from 600 dancers from across northern and southern Ontario. After putting on 19 choreographies, the Bracebridge dancers emerged with a slew of honours, including 11 gold medals, four trophies, two adjudicator’s choice awards and eight silver awards.
“I think it was one of our best years ever, we just keep getting stronger,” said school artistic director Evelyn Finlayson-Kelly.
The Bracebridge dancers performed in a variety of genres, ranging from hip-hop to lyrical dance and ballet. The eight silver awards and four of the gold awards were awarded with honours, meaning they received a score of 95 or higher.
“Our secret to winning is that we don’t go to win,” said Finlayson-Kelly. “We work hard and we go to enjoy ourselves, and to learn from the adjudicators.”
When Finlayson-Kelly opened the school, it was the first of its kind in Bracebridge. Since then, some of her students have gone on to dance professionally. Some have gone on to dance with the National Ballet of Canada, and others have gone on to tour with dance companies.