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This article was published 1/11/2011 (3029 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Kayla Villebrun-Normand’s dream is to dance across the stage at the World Tap Dance Championships in Germany — but she needs some help to make it happen.
The St. Vital-based Villebrun-Normand, 15, is a member of the Canadian National Tap Team, and will perform in two team categories at the world championships from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3.
"Seeing all the different cultures — that will be cool," said Villebrun-Normand, who has been dancing since she was five at the Doreen Bissette School of Dance in Transcona.
But Mickaela McAuliffe — the assistant director at Doreen Bissette and a choreographer with Team Canada — said getting to Germany will be a challenge for the team, whose members are all from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
"It’s not cheap. It’s about $4,000 per dancer, and that’s not including each dancer taking a parent," said McAuliffe, who lives in Osborne Village.
"Dance isn’t recognized as an official sport, so (government) funding isn’t available to them."
And while many of the dancers — including Villebrun-Normand — have reached out to the community for donations, they’ve been finding it difficult to attract sponsors, as they’re not a registered charity, McAuliffe said.
"People are very generous," said Villebrun-Normand, who added she has not yet met even the halfway mark in her fundraising efforts.
She hopes others—especially local businesses — will lend a hand, so she can showcase her talent and hard work to the world.
In preparation for the world championships, Villebrun-Normand has been training an extra 13.5 hours each week, on top of her regular four hours of dance class.
Many of the dancers on Team Canada are part of Villebrun-Normand’s own team based out of the Doreen Bissette School of Dance, which has had a remarkable year.
The team took top honours in several categories at two provincial championships, as well as the Canadian National Dance Championships.
McAuliffe said the chance to perform in Germany is an incredible challenge for the young dancers.
"It’s a good opportunity for us to really branch out and see how we fare internationally," she said.
Villebrun-Normand’s mother, Ginette Normand, and stepfather, Brian Reimer, said they’re proud of their daughter and confident she’ll make it to Germany, despite the cost.
"We’ll make it work," Normand said.
"She’s going to represent our country on the world stage. That’s huge," Reimer added.
To help support Villebrun-Normand’s fundraising goal, contact her family at 256-2046.
For other ways to support Team Canada, contact McAuliffe at 995-2988.