Cornwall Ontario — Since the beginning of May, the 2013 Step Into Motion (SIM) dance festival has been touring schools across the Upper Canada District School Board, bringing students new dance opportunities.
Students and staff from St. Lawrence Secondary School (SLSS), and Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School (CCVS), as well as a number of local and Toronto-based dance professionals, have been offering students a one-hour showcase of dance, followed by first-class dance workshops.
Some of the SIM dance professionals include The Travelling Stage
Ottawa), Double Creation
Casselman), Beat Central Dance Company
(Cornwall), Team Rhythm Works
(Toronto), Moon Runners
(Toronto), Raoul Pillay (Toronto), Jocelyn Jacques (Cornwall), Ashley Mitchell (Cornwall), Pascalina’s Dance Studio
(Cornwall), and JWSD (Smiths Falls/Brockville).
The SIM team plans on touring a total of 24 schools by the end of May.
SIM chair and SLSS teacher Gisele Paquette said this is the sixth year of SIM, but the first year that the production has travelled off-site.
“I approached students at SLSS in the dance program, and students and colleagues at CCVS in order to prepare a travelling show with a variety of dance styles,” she said. “The response has been wonderful. Students and staff have enjoyed their experience of having us in their school.”
Paquette said this year’s SIM has also been an excellent leadership opportunity for the students who are involved in leading the tour.
“Our dance students have become not only dancers but leaders in the schools,” she said. “They have been assisting workshops, as well as presenting dance workshops to students. Step into Motion this year has demonstrated how well everyone can dance and express this art form from the beginner to the very advanced.”
SLSS student dance leaders said their experience with this year’s SIM tour has helped them to create many great memories.
“My experience has been amazing this year,” said Emily Ladouceur-MacDonald, grade 12. “Seeing the kids’ faces while we danced was awesome because we could see how much they enjoyed it. Plus, we could see that all the hard work we have put into this tour has paid off.”
“We had lots of fun dancing and we worked very hard,” said grade 11 student Kianna Alguire. “The highlight of the tour was how much the kids enjoyed it. They gave us hugs when we left and begged for us to stay. They wanted autographs and they looked up to us. We felt like role models. It was amazing.”