TISDALE — The winners of the most outstanding duet award didn’t have to travel far to compete.
Lexi Mutimer and Georgia Smith, both 10, were two of approximately 900 dancers at the 11th Annual Dance Experience, organized by the Tisdale Dance Centre. The festival took place from April 10 to 14.
“I get to dance in my own stage, in my hometown,” Mutimer said. “I like getting to watch other dancers.”
“I also like that it’s like our home stage and I know around the place, and then go shopping and I get to be in my house after, not in a hotel room,” Smith said.
Vanessa Jackson, the chair of the festival, said 13 dance clubs from around the province gathered in Tisdale
“It’s exciting to be able to host our own festival and have dancers come from all over and join them here.”
Unlike previous years, this year the dancers are performing to digital music rather than CD. Jackson said this is a small upgrade that makes the festival easier to run, as they don’t have to physically handle the music.
“It’s one of the new benefits to this festival,” Jackson said. “Our digital music was sent all via dropbox and we play it on a laptop.”
This technical change and seeing new dance groups enter are the only changes this year seen, with the festival organizers choosing to focus on upgrading what they have rather than introduce new things.
“Last year was our big 10th anniversary, so we had a few different things that year but this year is our 11th year.”
The difference between the festivals and competition is the goal of the festivals is to show the dances, rather than winning or competing.
“We do have standings: bronze, silver, gold, platinum – but everyone goes home with something,” Jackson said. “Competition would be your first, second and third placing – and here everybody gets something.”
There were end of the festival awards given out, with the Tisdale club winning 14, Melfort won 15, Nipawin nine, and Wynyard and Birch Hills four.
Mutimer likes dance for the physical activity and getting to see friends regularly, through the practices. She does tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical and modern dance. She performed 15 dances during the festival.
Smith likes dance for seeing her friends and making fond memories.
“Just, like, somebody falls or something – the whole group laughs. Or our teacher tells us a funny joke or story or something.”
She performed 14 dances over the festival which included hip hop, lyrical, modern, jazz, tap, ballet, groups. She also had three solos and five duets.