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This article was published 7/7/2017 (935 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Three Maples Academy of Dance students are excited to have been selected to perform at the 2017 Canada Summer Games’ opening and closing ceremonies.
Sydney Foy, Ashley Saydack and Alexis Desousa dance together at the school and said they are looking forward to the opportunity.
"I’m excited because I’ve never done something big like this before so, I think it’s going to be a good experience to do and I think it’s going to be fun to dance with people that I don’t really know and make new friends," Saydack, 13, said.
The opening and closing ceremonies will be a celebration of sport and culture. Traditional Indigenous elements have been incorporated into the performances and the Games co-hosts — the First Nations communities of Treaty No. 1, Treaty No. 3 and the Métis Nation — will play a special role.
"We are all just really excited to have this experience at the Canada Games," Saydack added.
She added their dance skills and knowledge of terminology would make it easier for them to pick up the choreography faster.
"We have the technique," she said. "When someone says ‘point your feet’ we know how to point our feet. When someone says a type of jump, we all know what it is because we’ve been taught how to do it."
Eleven-years-old Desousa commented just auditioning for the show was already a great experience for all of them.
"In the future, if you want to go to audition for a big production, it’s good to have that experience and know what probably is going to happen," she said.
Foy and Desousa agreed it’s nerve-racking to think they’ll be part of a big celebration, but they are working hard to do their best. Both of them will be dancing in the same group and said they feel more comfortable knowing there’s someone there they can count on.
"Usually when I go to a performance, I like to know that I have someone to rely on if I ever need anything. It’s going to be good to have Foy there because I know that I can always trust her," Desousa said.
"I met somebody (at the audition), and she helped me along with it because she was really nervous too and we helped each other. I felt less nervous with somebody there by my side," Foy, 12, added.
The lineup was put together by the 2017 Canada Summer Games Host Society and Patrick Roberge, president and creative director of Patrick Roberge Productions. He said the audience would see Manitoba talent in the spotlight.
"It was a no-brainer to incorporate a large number of local talent into the ceremonies. Between the two shows, over 500 dancers and a choir featuring hundreds of voices will ignite the MTS Centre and Investors Group Field. The energy they bring to the show will be amazing," he said in a statement.
The opening ceremony, titled "We are Canada!" is a two-hour show that will celebrate 50 years of amateur sport at the Canada Games and mark Canada’s sesquicentennial. The show will also feature sports celebrities and Canada Games alumni. The performance takes place on Fri., July 28 at 7 p.m. at Bell MTS Place (345 Graham Ave.)
The closing ceremony, titled "Grand Summer Party" will celebrate the athletes’ successes and pass the torch to the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. The show will transform Investors Group Field into a summer festival site where the two-hour show will celebrate the natural beauty of Manitoba and call attention the vibrant culture of Winnipeg. The show will take place on Sun., Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. at Investors Group Field.
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti is the community journalist for The Times. Email her at email@example.com