Candace Bruce performs with Stages Dance Company, one of 15 Greater Victoria companies taking part in Dancers4Kids Feb. 10 to raise funds for Vancouver Island children dealing with cancer. Photo submitted

Victoria dancers stage show of support for pediatric cancer

Dancers4Kids goes Feb. 10 in Oak Bay High’s Dave Dunnet Theatre

Some of Victoria’s most promising dancers will be strutting their stuff on the Dave Dunnet Theatre stage with a show that’s music to the ears of Vancouver Island children dealing with cancer.

Stages Dance Company is teaming up with Sole Sisters and KidsRun Victoria to put together Dancers4Kids. The Feb. 10 event will bring together dancers of all ages and genres from 15 Greater Victoria dance companies to support Vancouver Island children and their families that have been affected by cancer.

“This is something that does not happen in our dance community – studios usually only get together for competition, whether those are friendly competitions or more intense ones,” said Jenna Holmes, with Saanich-based Stages Dance Company who is organizing the event.

Holmes organized a similar event a few years ago to benefit Emma Grace Smith, a 12-year-old Saanich girl who had been battling brain cancer.

“When I did the Emma Grace fundraiser, everyone said this is such a good idea why doesn’t Victoria do something like this all the time? It’s just everyone coming together as a community and sharing their love of the art of dancing,” said Holmes. “What we’ve done is used that model, and we have incorporated more dance studios this time.”

Dancers with the Allegro Performing Arts Centre, Ballet Étoile, Boston Dance Collective, Dance On It Studios, Dance Unlimited Performing Arts, Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet, Ocean Rain Arts Academy, Pacific Dance Centre, Pirouette Dance Studio, Sooke Dance Studio, Spectrum Advanced Dance, Stages Dance Company, Vibestreet Dance, Victoria Academy of Ballet, Victoria Irish Dancers, as well as Ilha Ballet Academy from Courtenay will perform at the Feb. 10 show at Oak Bay High that also includes a silent auction starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the showcase and silent auction are $13 in advance and can be purchased through participating dance companies or Stages Performing Arts School (1551 Cedar Hill X Rd.).

There will also be workshops held throughout the day at Stages with renowned dancer Joanne Baker of Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.

“The workshops will be held during the daytime so the kids who are performing at nighttime get a chance to learn from the dance expert that’s coming in from Calgary,” said Holmes, adding the workshops have been divided into three levels: junior; intermediate; and 16 and older.

The workshops cost $20 and are open to anyone. Registration is available at Stages or through the website dancers4kids.wixsite.com/dancers4kids.

The showcase will raise funds for the Victoria KidsRun, which will be held May 7 at Tillicum Centre to benefit children with cancer, while proceeds from the silent auction will go to the pediatric oncology ward at Victoria General Hospital.

“I think it’s just going to be a really fun and positive evening,” said Holmes. “We’re not worried about all the dance numbers being perfect, it’s just about the kids getting out there and getting performance experience and having a good time.”

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