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Dancer making French connections once again

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Kildonan Meadows dancer Tamara Reid has been to France twice to train in a variety of styles.

PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON Enlarge Image

Kildonan Meadows dancer Tamara Reid has been to France twice to train in a variety of styles. Photo Store

Tamara Reid is making graceful strides toward becoming a triple-threat performer.

The 17-year-old Kildonan Meadows resident recently completed her second round of training in Paris, France at the Centre de Danse du Marais. In order to attend, the Collège Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau student earned a scholarship worth $500 at the iDance Convention in February.

The scholarship, given out by B.C.-based SDF Productions, punched her ticket to the 2013 Paris Dance Tour held Aug. 4 to 12.

Reid noted she specializes in hip hop and lyrical dance — two styles that are opposite from one another.

"I love them both just as much because they’re opposites," she said. "Lyrical can be a smoother movement, it’s soulful. It’s between jazz and ballet — it’s really graceful and delicate, you feel really beautiful when you dance.

"Hip hop is more hardcore, hitting things. You get to feel really dirty — it’s awesome."

In Paris, Reid learned a variety of styles ranging from ballroom to ballet. Reid, who has been dancing since she was three and has been training out of the Winnipeg Dance Force studio since she was nine, is appreciative of the chance to try her hand — and feet — at a wide variety of styles among new friends from all over the world.

"Every single different style always helps any other style that you’re doing. It keeps you more grounded. It’s always strengthening you and keeping you open-minded and versatile," she said.

Reid also attended the Paris tour in 2011, and noted she’d come along as a dancer in the intermediate years. She said she felt like a "hyper chihuahua" the first time she was over, and saw the classes through a new set of eyes this time around.

"I couldn’t believe that I got to go back again two years later," Reid said. "I felt like a completely new person being there. I saw things that I didn’t see before. It was amazing all over again."

Peter Huck of Winnipeg Dance Force, who has worked closely with Reid since 2010, said Reid is also proficient at tap dancing. He said dance is becoming more demanding — in addition to nailing the moves technically, dancers must also have a solid base of acting in order to tell the story behind the moves.

Huck said Reid has those aspects locked up, and she can sing to boot.

"She’s really leading up to becoming a triple-threat," Huck said. "We saw a lot of performance growth in her, especially last year. We gave her a little more opportunity because she was showing a lot of great responsibility.

"We featured her in some of our pieces and she responded to that very well."

Reid said, as of now, the two career options she’s considering include dancing on boat cruises or, standing at five-feet-ten, perhaps even trying out for the Rockettes in New York City. However, she said she still has her Grade 12 year to finish.

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