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Young dancers ‘shine’ at skills showcase event

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The gymnasium was abuzz with excited little dancers in black bodysuits, older dancers warming up, and organizers scurrying to get everything set up for the first annual S.H.I.N.E. skills showcase for Masterworks Studio on March 1.  

The venue was Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute’s Red Gym and the event’s purpose was to encourage Masterworks’ dancers and musical theatre performers to ‘shine’ with their skills, hard work, integrity, nobility  and excellence (check the first letter of each of those five phrases). Three professional dancers were brought in to adjudicate, giving feedback to each class as they presented portions of their performance pieces, as well as awarding medals for excellence in technique, teamwork, musicality, entertainment, and effort.

The event achieved its goals.  Students had a chance to show their skills to fellow students and family, gained experience in performing, and heard both encouragement and challenge from the judges.  Parents seemed to agree the event was a welcome opportunity to observe their kids’ progress up-close and get a taste of the upcoming year-end recital on May 24th.

Masterworks Studio is a downtown dance studio, which operates under the umbrella of Youth for Christ in its modern, spacious facility at Main Street and Higgins Avenue.

Directors Kristie Sidwall and Teri-Lynn Friesen hope that the S.H.I.N.E. event will grow to include fun and fundraising for the studio’s subsidy and sponsorship programs.

Masterworks provides transportation and sponsorship to approximately 40 students and subsidizes another 14.  As well, students from St. Aidan’s school in the North End, enjoy two sponsored classes and one class at a subsidized rate every Friday.

Being part of the community is important to Masterworks. While it contributes through events such as its annual summer carnival and camps, the studio is grateful to be on the receiving end of  help this winter as it prepares for its upcoming musical, Annie Jr.  

Through donations of money, props, expertise, and time, production of the Broadway show is under budget. (The company are still looking for a cathedral-style radio and a wheelchair for Pres. Roosevelt).

The show will be unveiled at the Forrest Nickerson Theatre (inside the Deaf Centre, 285 Pembina Hwy.) on Saturday, March 22. Showtimes are 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students.

See yfcwinnipeg.com/programs/masterworks/ for more details.

Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for the North End. You can contact her at sonyajoy@gmail.com

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