Danscene's junior-intermediate competitive dancers, part of Danscene's 22-member team, have been dancing up a storm from Niagara Falls to Brantford to Hamilton.
Competitions this year included Kick it Up in Niagara Falls, Terpsichore in Brantford, and Star Catchers in Hamilton. As well as their most recent one, Dance Odyssey in Brantford. The final competition of the 2015 season will be Dance Fest in Peterborough, May 22-24.
After each event, said Georgia VanLouwe, they got feedback, which gave them incentive to work that much harder.
There were some challenges this year for the 10-13 year old junior/intermediates. They had to work on 'legs', flexibility, three-quarters, and more.
And they improved... the whole year, said Mackenzie Squires.
Brooke Sanderson said comments backstage were one of her highlights this year, hearing encouragement from other dance studios and having the opportunity to return them. What goes around, comes around, the dancers recalled, was an often-heard phrase.
"Paying it forward," nodded Jillian McPherson.
"It gives you a chance to tell someone how good they are," said Squires.
Gathered in front of their medal, trophy and ribbon haul after three competitions – and the coveted Studio Spirit Award (giant chocolate bar) earned by the entire 22-member team – the dance students had a chance to reflect on what they love most about dance.
"It's a family," said VanLouwe. "You love each other just as much as your own family."
"You can express your feelings (in dance)," said Brooklyn Kints.
With only a couple weeks left in the competitive season, they're still enjoying the experience at their North Street Danscene studio. The awards keep coming – with several scholarships and major awards included – that will provide many memories over the years.
Other awards, like the Spirit Award, were meant to be consumed.
"Were saving the chocolate bar for the next competition," Danscene studio director Angela Farkas smiled.