Smoky River Dance Society’s fourth annual Dance Recital concludes a stellar season


Tom Henihan
Express Staff
The Smoky River Dance Society’s (SRDS) fourth annual Dance Recital wrapping up the 2016/2017 season was performed to an appreciative and enthusiastic audience in the G.P. Vanier gym on Sunday April 23.

Along with being SRDS’s only fundraiser of the year, the Dance Recital is also an opportunity to showcase the dancers at the end of what has been an exceptionally successful season.

At the Peace River Festival March 25 – 26 SRDS senior modern group won gold with distinction.

Peace River was followed by a remarkable turn at the Westlock Festival April 8 and 9, where SRDS won 6 gold, 8 silver, was selected most promising in the musical theatre and hip-hop categories and selected most outstanding in the lyrical category.

Also at the Westlock festival, Holly Russet received the adjudicators’ choice and Daysha Tokerz received the award for most outstanding.

The approximately sixty members of the Smoky River Dance Society society go through meticulous training throughout the season in wide range of disciplines: jazz, ballet, creative movement, hip-hop, and two new disciplines introduced this year, lyrical and boy’s crew.

It is also important to note, that apart from the intensive instruction through the year, which is apparent in the inspired, beautifully choreographed performances on stage that a lot of other disciplines and demanding logistics go into staging recitals and the running of a dance society.

Some of those extracurricular disciplines involve makeup, hair styling and costumes along with the logistics of coordinating travel to festivals outside the region.

To fulfill many of these functions, parents and family members of the dancers contribute their time and talents as volunteers.

At the fourth Annual Recital event flowers were for sale and an extensive variety of items donated by local individuals and businesses were available through silent auction.

The Smoky River Dance Society’s two instructors are Alysia Sharpe who teaches ballet and Brogan Severson who teaches all other disciplines choreographed the April 23 recital.

After four years as instructor with SRDS, this was the last season for Alysia Shrape who is leaving the dance society to pursue new endeavours.

Although the April 23 recital marks the official end of the season, approximately 30 SRDS dancers will travel to the Standing Ovation Dance Festival in Unchaga Hall Dawson Creek, taking place from the 5 to the 7 of May.

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