Talent on tap

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Three Flamborough dancers have tapped their way to the world stage. They'll be representing Canada at the World Tap Dance Championships, held in Riesa, November 28 to December 5.

Meghan Kemp, 16, will join Team Canada at the Senior level, as well as at the solo level, where she placed third at the Canadian Dance Championship for The new Workout Plan, a hip hop inspired street tap, filled with fast-paced, skillful footwork.

Katherine Cornelius, 15 and Jennie Goulet, 14, will be competing for the Junior team.

All three athletes endured a rigorous audition process to reach the top. And the hard work has just begun. Now, they join the 20 to 25 other dancers on their teams, for large-scale practices. Each one is only four hours, but they don't have many chances to get it right - they'll only see each other six times before the competition.

Once they're in Germany, they'll be heading straight to practice, for grueling sessions, which often run into the wee hours of the morning. In that time they not only have to learn a completely new routine, they have to nail it as a group.

"They have to perfect it on the spot; produce it in that moment," said their teacher, Melanie Perron, of Rising Star Performing Arts. She feels these dancers were chosen for their adaptability. Each has studied a wide variety of dance styles, from ballet to jazz, which has made them well rounded and adaptable, both excellent traits for a dancer.

Performing on the world level can dramatically affect a dancer's performance, and Perron has already seen the influence in her dancers' skill level.

Exposure to different abilities has pushed them to excel, admits Cornelius.

"Some of them spin like tops. They can spin 30 times. I can't do that, but it makes you push yourself to go the distance," she said.

Despite the differences, each dancer is there with a common goal of a gold medal, which has helped build camaraderie. "Everyone there is so nice," said Cornelius.

The teams need to build a close bond to do well, noted Perron. That's why the team travels together as a group. Friends and family need to use a different plane, and stay at a different hotel.

Team Canada organizers have scouted out a small hotel in Reisa; they fill nearly every room, which helps the dancers feel at home.

They'll be heading over with renowned choreographers Matthew Clark, who teaches in Buffalo, and is familiar to many on the team, as well as Cathy Duncan, who teaches on a freelance basis at Rising Star. She choreographed Kemp's winning solo.

That familiarity has added to the experience for all three dancers.

"They know what to expect and what to do," said Perron.

And what they expect is plenty of hard work, aching muscles and great memories.

They will be given one day "off" during the trip. Although they'll be exhausted from practice and performance and will still have to spend part of that day in the studio, they will be set free for several hours. They plan to do plenty of shopping in those precious few hours. "I'm going to buy lots of cool German clothes. No-one here will have clothes like mine," said Cornelius.

Talent on tap

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Three Flamborough dancers have tapped their way to the world stage. They'll be representing Canada at the World Tap Dance Championships, held in Riesa, November 28 to December 5.

Meghan Kemp, 16, will join Team Canada at the Senior level, as well as at the solo level, where she placed third at the Canadian Dance Championship for The new Workout Plan, a hip hop inspired street tap, filled with fast-paced, skillful footwork.

Katherine Cornelius, 15 and Jennie Goulet, 14, will be competing for the Junior team.

All three athletes endured a rigorous audition process to reach the top. And the hard work has just begun. Now, they join the 20 to 25 other dancers on their teams, for large-scale practices. Each one is only four hours, but they don't have many chances to get it right - they'll only see each other six times before the competition.

Once they're in Germany, they'll be heading straight to practice, for grueling sessions, which often run into the wee hours of the morning. In that time they not only have to learn a completely new routine, they have to nail it as a group.

"They have to perfect it on the spot; produce it in that moment," said their teacher, Melanie Perron, of Rising Star Performing Arts. She feels these dancers were chosen for their adaptability. Each has studied a wide variety of dance styles, from ballet to jazz, which has made them well rounded and adaptable, both excellent traits for a dancer.

Performing on the world level can dramatically affect a dancer's performance, and Perron has already seen the influence in her dancers' skill level.

Exposure to different abilities has pushed them to excel, admits Cornelius.

"Some of them spin like tops. They can spin 30 times. I can't do that, but it makes you push yourself to go the distance," she said.

Despite the differences, each dancer is there with a common goal of a gold medal, which has helped build camaraderie. "Everyone there is so nice," said Cornelius.

The teams need to build a close bond to do well, noted Perron. That's why the team travels together as a group. Friends and family need to use a different plane, and stay at a different hotel.

Team Canada organizers have scouted out a small hotel in Reisa; they fill nearly every room, which helps the dancers feel at home.

They'll be heading over with renowned choreographers Matthew Clark, who teaches in Buffalo, and is familiar to many on the team, as well as Cathy Duncan, who teaches on a freelance basis at Rising Star. She choreographed Kemp's winning solo.

That familiarity has added to the experience for all three dancers.

"They know what to expect and what to do," said Perron.

And what they expect is plenty of hard work, aching muscles and great memories.

They will be given one day "off" during the trip. Although they'll be exhausted from practice and performance and will still have to spend part of that day in the studio, they will be set free for several hours. They plan to do plenty of shopping in those precious few hours. "I'm going to buy lots of cool German clothes. No-one here will have clothes like mine," said Cornelius.

Talent on tap

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Three Flamborough dancers have tapped their way to the world stage. They'll be representing Canada at the World Tap Dance Championships, held in Riesa, November 28 to December 5.

Meghan Kemp, 16, will join Team Canada at the Senior level, as well as at the solo level, where she placed third at the Canadian Dance Championship for The new Workout Plan, a hip hop inspired street tap, filled with fast-paced, skillful footwork.

Katherine Cornelius, 15 and Jennie Goulet, 14, will be competing for the Junior team.

All three athletes endured a rigorous audition process to reach the top. And the hard work has just begun. Now, they join the 20 to 25 other dancers on their teams, for large-scale practices. Each one is only four hours, but they don't have many chances to get it right - they'll only see each other six times before the competition.

Once they're in Germany, they'll be heading straight to practice, for grueling sessions, which often run into the wee hours of the morning. In that time they not only have to learn a completely new routine, they have to nail it as a group.

"They have to perfect it on the spot; produce it in that moment," said their teacher, Melanie Perron, of Rising Star Performing Arts. She feels these dancers were chosen for their adaptability. Each has studied a wide variety of dance styles, from ballet to jazz, which has made them well rounded and adaptable, both excellent traits for a dancer.

Performing on the world level can dramatically affect a dancer's performance, and Perron has already seen the influence in her dancers' skill level.

Exposure to different abilities has pushed them to excel, admits Cornelius.

"Some of them spin like tops. They can spin 30 times. I can't do that, but it makes you push yourself to go the distance," she said.

Despite the differences, each dancer is there with a common goal of a gold medal, which has helped build camaraderie. "Everyone there is so nice," said Cornelius.

The teams need to build a close bond to do well, noted Perron. That's why the team travels together as a group. Friends and family need to use a different plane, and stay at a different hotel.

Team Canada organizers have scouted out a small hotel in Reisa; they fill nearly every room, which helps the dancers feel at home.

They'll be heading over with renowned choreographers Matthew Clark, who teaches in Buffalo, and is familiar to many on the team, as well as Cathy Duncan, who teaches on a freelance basis at Rising Star. She choreographed Kemp's winning solo.

That familiarity has added to the experience for all three dancers.

"They know what to expect and what to do," said Perron.

And what they expect is plenty of hard work, aching muscles and great memories.

They will be given one day "off" during the trip. Although they'll be exhausted from practice and performance and will still have to spend part of that day in the studio, they will be set free for several hours. They plan to do plenty of shopping in those precious few hours. "I'm going to buy lots of cool German clothes. No-one here will have clothes like mine," said Cornelius.