The inaugural Just Dance Festival brought 100 dancers from Castlegar and Rossland to the stage at the Brilliant Cultural Centre last weekend.
Co-chair Edena Brown said plans for the festival began last year after brainstorming ways to incorporate a dance event locally, since the Fine Arts Festival already existed between Trail and Nelson.
Brown handled the administrative side of the festival — programs, sponsorships, etc. — while co-chair Joanne Robbins, a former professional dancer, organized the dancers and secured adjudicator Heather Morrison from Vancouver.
Morrison’s role for the weekend was to provide constructive criticism for the dancers and rate each dance out of 100. A mark from 91-100 equaled a platinum finish, 85-90 was gold, 80-85 was silver and 75-79 was bronze.
In addition to the medallions, cash awards were given for overall high score and adjudicator’s choice for performance and choreography.
Morrison, a professional dancer, specializes in hip hop and was featured on season one of So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
The dancers were a part of either Castlegar’s Turning Pointe Performance Company or Rossland’s Kootenay DanceWorks.
“In order to go into competition, you have to be a competitive dancer,” Brown said. All the group numbers from Turning Pointe’s spring reportoire were included, as well as solos and duets that dancers had prepared but didn’t make it into the show’s schedule.
Next year, Brown said they’re hoping to make the festival more regionalized and have dancers from all over the Kootenays and Okanagan come and participate.
Brown said she really appreciated all the parent volunteers who helped run the change rooms and concession to ensure the festival ran smoothly.
For more information on the festival: justdancefestival.ca.
(Story by Kim Magi, Castlegar News)