Waterdown choreographers chosen for Canada East team for IDO Worlds

WhatsOn Aug 21, 2017 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

After last year’s dominant performance at the International Dance Organization Modern, Jazz and Ballet World Championships in Germany, the Canada East team's Waterdown choreographers are back for an encore and will be in charge of creating the routines for this year's competition, which takes place in Poland.

“We’ve got all the choreography set in this past 10 days for the children, junior and adult formations in ballet, jazz and modern,” said Christie McKay-Hofland, owner of Dancemakerz Studio, noting that two other Canadian choreographers will design the modern routines.

She, along with the studio's ballet director Irina Egorova and dance instructor Olivia Dennison, was given the choice between going back to International Dance Organization (IDO) in Europe or taking part in the IDO Commonwealth Dance Championships in South Africa in September. They opted for Poland.

“I think timing worked better for us and just the distance isn’t as far. Next time if we do it, we might consider a longer trek,” McKay-Hofland added.

This year, the dancers will head to Rawa Mazowiecka — just over an hour from Warsaw — for a 10-day trip on Dec. 1 to compete against over 40 other nations. The Flamborough-based choreographers are excited about not only performing the routines but also about the calibre of dancers they'll be taking with them.

“The other reason we chose Poland, I think, just because last year it was our first experience ... and now we know that format of competition,” said Egorova, referring to the last year's inaugural IDO choreography experience for Dennison and herself.

“We have the Team Canada bug so we’re enjoying it and things have gone well this round so we’ve been lucky with the kids that we’ve got and how smoothly things have come together,” added McKay-Hofland.

The dancers from ages eight to about 25 come from all over the country, including some from Quebec and even one from British Columbia.

The group doesn’t start competition until Dec. 6, so they will have the chance to travel and see the history of the central European country, including a possible visit to Auschwitz.

Meanwhile, for each of the jazz formations, three story lines will be portrayed.

“We’re doing Mary Poppins, for junior jazz formation, we’re doing the The Great Gatsby, and for the senior jazz formation, we’re doing Tilted,” said McKay-Hofland, noting that Tilted won the highest mark at StarQuest in Ohio earlier this year.

After holding auditions for the team, the final number of just over 50 dancers just finished a 10-day intensive camp. Once school starts, the group will practise every Sunday until they leave for competition. All of this of this is preparation for the IDO’s intense rounds.

“The qualifying round, they eliminate half — they cut half. Then the second round, they cut half again and then for the finals, they usually pick five to six teams,” said Egorova, noting the process takes place over the course of a single day.

According to Dennison, once the teams get through that round, they will place the gold, silver and bronze.

The teachers explained that both of this year's Canadian teams will represent the country well due to their dedication to their craft.

“The talent is so strong, so we’ve been fortunate for two years to have that level as high as it is,” said McKay-Hofland.

Dennison is thrilled to be going back as both a choreographer and a dancer.

“I have an idea in my head of what to expect now, which I think is definitely helpful,” she said, noting that the team members have taken what they learned last year and can work on improving their routines.

McKay-Hofland added that because they are performing to an international crowd, they will be working on creating an atmosphere that will move and inspire the audience, which will be made up of a variety of nationalities.

“There were things that I was going to go with and then I thought, ‘It’s not going to work for an international audience so we need to kind of revamp that,’” she said.

While the choreographers always looking forward to seeing the work come to life on stage, they know this is not their average competition.

“That’s probably the most important thing there, you have to perform very well and every time, as well or even better, every round,” said Egorova.

Waterdown choreographers chosen for Canada East team for IDO Worlds

WhatsOn Aug 21, 2017 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

After last year’s dominant performance at the International Dance Organization Modern, Jazz and Ballet World Championships in Germany, the Canada East team's Waterdown choreographers are back for an encore and will be in charge of creating the routines for this year's competition, which takes place in Poland.

“We’ve got all the choreography set in this past 10 days for the children, junior and adult formations in ballet, jazz and modern,” said Christie McKay-Hofland, owner of Dancemakerz Studio, noting that two other Canadian choreographers will design the modern routines.

She, along with the studio's ballet director Irina Egorova and dance instructor Olivia Dennison, was given the choice between going back to International Dance Organization (IDO) in Europe or taking part in the IDO Commonwealth Dance Championships in South Africa in September. They opted for Poland.

“I think timing worked better for us and just the distance isn’t as far. Next time if we do it, we might consider a longer trek,” McKay-Hofland added.

This year, the dancers will head to Rawa Mazowiecka — just over an hour from Warsaw — for a 10-day trip on Dec. 1 to compete against over 40 other nations. The Flamborough-based choreographers are excited about not only performing the routines but also about the calibre of dancers they'll be taking with them.

“The other reason we chose Poland, I think, just because last year it was our first experience ... and now we know that format of competition,” said Egorova, referring to the last year's inaugural IDO choreography experience for Dennison and herself.

“We have the Team Canada bug so we’re enjoying it and things have gone well this round so we’ve been lucky with the kids that we’ve got and how smoothly things have come together,” added McKay-Hofland.

The dancers from ages eight to about 25 come from all over the country, including some from Quebec and even one from British Columbia.

The group doesn’t start competition until Dec. 6, so they will have the chance to travel and see the history of the central European country, including a possible visit to Auschwitz.

Meanwhile, for each of the jazz formations, three story lines will be portrayed.

“We’re doing Mary Poppins, for junior jazz formation, we’re doing the The Great Gatsby, and for the senior jazz formation, we’re doing Tilted,” said McKay-Hofland, noting that Tilted won the highest mark at StarQuest in Ohio earlier this year.

After holding auditions for the team, the final number of just over 50 dancers just finished a 10-day intensive camp. Once school starts, the group will practise every Sunday until they leave for competition. All of this of this is preparation for the IDO’s intense rounds.

“The qualifying round, they eliminate half — they cut half. Then the second round, they cut half again and then for the finals, they usually pick five to six teams,” said Egorova, noting the process takes place over the course of a single day.

According to Dennison, once the teams get through that round, they will place the gold, silver and bronze.

The teachers explained that both of this year's Canadian teams will represent the country well due to their dedication to their craft.

“The talent is so strong, so we’ve been fortunate for two years to have that level as high as it is,” said McKay-Hofland.

Dennison is thrilled to be going back as both a choreographer and a dancer.

“I have an idea in my head of what to expect now, which I think is definitely helpful,” she said, noting that the team members have taken what they learned last year and can work on improving their routines.

McKay-Hofland added that because they are performing to an international crowd, they will be working on creating an atmosphere that will move and inspire the audience, which will be made up of a variety of nationalities.

“There were things that I was going to go with and then I thought, ‘It’s not going to work for an international audience so we need to kind of revamp that,’” she said.

While the choreographers always looking forward to seeing the work come to life on stage, they know this is not their average competition.

“That’s probably the most important thing there, you have to perform very well and every time, as well or even better, every round,” said Egorova.

Waterdown choreographers chosen for Canada East team for IDO Worlds

WhatsOn Aug 21, 2017 by Julia Lovett-Squires Flamborough Review

After last year’s dominant performance at the International Dance Organization Modern, Jazz and Ballet World Championships in Germany, the Canada East team's Waterdown choreographers are back for an encore and will be in charge of creating the routines for this year's competition, which takes place in Poland.

“We’ve got all the choreography set in this past 10 days for the children, junior and adult formations in ballet, jazz and modern,” said Christie McKay-Hofland, owner of Dancemakerz Studio, noting that two other Canadian choreographers will design the modern routines.

She, along with the studio's ballet director Irina Egorova and dance instructor Olivia Dennison, was given the choice between going back to International Dance Organization (IDO) in Europe or taking part in the IDO Commonwealth Dance Championships in South Africa in September. They opted for Poland.

“I think timing worked better for us and just the distance isn’t as far. Next time if we do it, we might consider a longer trek,” McKay-Hofland added.

This year, the dancers will head to Rawa Mazowiecka — just over an hour from Warsaw — for a 10-day trip on Dec. 1 to compete against over 40 other nations. The Flamborough-based choreographers are excited about not only performing the routines but also about the calibre of dancers they'll be taking with them.

“The other reason we chose Poland, I think, just because last year it was our first experience ... and now we know that format of competition,” said Egorova, referring to the last year's inaugural IDO choreography experience for Dennison and herself.

“We have the Team Canada bug so we’re enjoying it and things have gone well this round so we’ve been lucky with the kids that we’ve got and how smoothly things have come together,” added McKay-Hofland.

The dancers from ages eight to about 25 come from all over the country, including some from Quebec and even one from British Columbia.

The group doesn’t start competition until Dec. 6, so they will have the chance to travel and see the history of the central European country, including a possible visit to Auschwitz.

Meanwhile, for each of the jazz formations, three story lines will be portrayed.

“We’re doing Mary Poppins, for junior jazz formation, we’re doing the The Great Gatsby, and for the senior jazz formation, we’re doing Tilted,” said McKay-Hofland, noting that Tilted won the highest mark at StarQuest in Ohio earlier this year.

After holding auditions for the team, the final number of just over 50 dancers just finished a 10-day intensive camp. Once school starts, the group will practise every Sunday until they leave for competition. All of this of this is preparation for the IDO’s intense rounds.

“The qualifying round, they eliminate half — they cut half. Then the second round, they cut half again and then for the finals, they usually pick five to six teams,” said Egorova, noting the process takes place over the course of a single day.

According to Dennison, once the teams get through that round, they will place the gold, silver and bronze.

The teachers explained that both of this year's Canadian teams will represent the country well due to their dedication to their craft.

“The talent is so strong, so we’ve been fortunate for two years to have that level as high as it is,” said McKay-Hofland.

Dennison is thrilled to be going back as both a choreographer and a dancer.

“I have an idea in my head of what to expect now, which I think is definitely helpful,” she said, noting that the team members have taken what they learned last year and can work on improving their routines.

McKay-Hofland added that because they are performing to an international crowd, they will be working on creating an atmosphere that will move and inspire the audience, which will be made up of a variety of nationalities.

“There were things that I was going to go with and then I thought, ‘It’s not going to work for an international audience so we need to kind of revamp that,’” she said.

While the choreographers always looking forward to seeing the work come to life on stage, they know this is not their average competition.

“That’s probably the most important thing there, you have to perform very well and every time, as well or even better, every round,” said Egorova.