Sidney dance performances showcase talents

Nerves disappear once on stage, say dancers with Allegro Performing Arts.

As competition season looms, dancers from all over the Peninsula are gearing up to put their best feet forward with performances nearly every week to get them accustomed to being on stage.

Next up, dozens of dancers from Allegro Performing Arts will take the stage at the Charlie White Theatre Saturday, March 7 for the studio’s soloist show.

“It’s a great way to get prepared,” says Nadine Cowland, co-owner and artistic director. “And it’s such a nice theatre. It’s right in our hometown.”

The show will feature high energy performances in jazz, contemporary, hip hop, tap, musical theatre and more, with intricate and eye-catching costumes.

The proceeds from the show go straight back to the dancers to help pay for those costumes, and for touring and competition costs, says Cowland.

Kitana Sivananthan, 14, is looking forward to the show at the Charlie White to ease into competition season.

“I love that it’s a small audience at first,” she says. “It helps prepare you to perform in front of an audience.”

Sivananthan has been dancing for six years, and will be performing a jazz piece for the solo show. She still gets a case of nerves before performing, she says, but “by the time I’m on stage, I get lost in the music.”

Fellow soloist Lauren Cherrie, 12, has been dancing since she was two years old, though she only strapped on her tap shoes three years ago.

Last year was her first foray into competing, and she echoes Sivananthan’s sentiments about stage fright.

“I get really nervous, but once you get on stage, all that goes away.”

Cherrie offers up a shy smile and nods when asked if she wants to pursue a professional career in dancing as she gets older.

“I want to own my own dance studio,” she says.

Allegro Performing Arts’ dance and musical theatre soloist show runs at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7 at the Charlie White Theatre at the Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave.

Tickets are $14.50, available at the box office, at marywinspear.ca or by calling 250-656-0275.

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