It's been a sweet year for 16-year-old Rebecca Moore, and it's about to get sweeter.
The Tillsonburg dancer auditioned for the Canadian national hip hop team in Whitby several months ago, a team that would be competing at the International Dance Organization (IDO) World Hip Hop Championships in Rimini, Italy, October 20-25. It was a friendly, cooperative tryout – she recognized many of the dozen dancers and parents from hip hop competitions, and she was recognized.
"It was nice to see everyone again," said Moore. "And I met new friends."
After warming up she was the first to give the two choreographers her resume.
"Then I went straight to the front. For me, the more I'm in the front, the more I can concentrate. The dance was pretty easy – I'm into that style of hip hop."
Moore also auditioned in Whitby for a Canadian team that would compete at the IDO World Jazz, Ballet and Modern Championships in Mikolajki, Poland in December. She was the only senior dancer at the audition, so she was placed with the juniors.
"I guess I'm on the junior team, but I don't mind. I'm fine with that – as long as I'm on a team."
Weeks went by before she heard anything about the tryouts.
"I was waiting and waiting... then I was just sitting on the bus one day thinking 'I don't think I made it' because it's been a while and I thought they would contact us earlier. I thought that's okay, I can always audition again next year. Because I'm not going to stop. I'm not going to stop chasing my dream, because dreams actually do come true..."
En route to school, she got a call from her mother, Tammy. A very, very excited mother.
"She said you just made Team Canada for hip hop, and I started crying. I was so happy I was crying. I had no words. My friend was looking at me like... and I had no words, I was speechless."
Two days later she found out she was also confirmed for the World Jazz, Ballet and Modern team.
"We had found out about that earlier, but they do another cut so we decided to wait. Then they sent out another email saying 'congratulations you are fully on the team.'"
That means she is representing Canada for two national dance teams – in the same year.
"It's crazy," Moore smiled. "And I love it because people have shot me down saying 'oh you're not going to go anywhere in life.' So now I get to prove them wrong, which is my favourite part."
If there's a second favourite part, it's the chance to experience authentic European cuisine.
"The food – I'm going to try every single little thing. And then I'm going to wear it off (dancing)."
With school done for the summer, she will be doing more training in Toronto.
"Rehearsals are every Sunday, then maybe once a week if we need it."
To help meet her dreams, the Moore family has been aggressively fundraising.
"A bottle drive, then the first day of Turtlefest I did a booth in front of Bulk Barn," said Moore on the second day of Turtlefest after dancing on stage with her Tillsonburg studio, Danscene. "And later on I'm having an adult dance (Friday, August 14, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.) and teen dance."
In addition to setting up a gofundme account (Opportunity of a Lifetime - http://www.gofundme.com/w82fyw), the Moores braved the rain to operate the barbecue at Zehrs on June 27, with another Zehrs barbecue on August 8. They have a car wash and barbecue planned Saturday, July 4th at Danbrook Automotive (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and ongoing bottle drives.
"My friends at Danscene are very supportive," said Moore. "I'm just glad that Danscene is my family – forever will be – and I'm just so grateful for their support."