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Invigorate, a new show produced by 306 Elite Dance Company, presents 27 performers from dance studios across Saskatchewan. The company, established in 2016, creates a community among young dancers who may normally compete against each other.
The show runs nightly to sold-out audiences from Aug. 26-28 at the Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon.
“It’s just really cool watching everyone come together from different studios… and support each other and learn from each other,” said Kennedy Elder, artistic director and founder of 306 Elite Dance Company. “I think it’s important to show everyone what happens when you put your ego aside and you dance with people that you compete with.”
“It’s nice to break the barrier [between dance studios] and come together as a province and show what each of us have learned and what we have to offer,” said Katherine Lacelle, one of the dancers in Invigorate.
Audiences can expect to see several dance styles at Invigorate, including contemporary, jazz, jazz funk and hip hop, as well as fusions of these styles. In addition to 306 Elite Dance Company members, the show will feature two guest performers from Toronto. The performers range in age from 11 to 18 years old.
“I’m excited to show what we’ve been working on for so long and provide that entertainment for people,” said Lacelle, who is dancing in nine different pieces at the event, about Invigorate.
“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer,” said Elder, who choreographed the production. “It’s definitely going to be a great experience.”
Elder commented that the title of the event, Invigorate, is a good reflection of both the show and the dance company itself. “We are big energy people,” she said. “We are exciting and inspiring and refreshing.”
Elder resides in Toronto but grew up in Saskatchewan and travels back to her home province two to four times a year, usually when dance studios are on their breaks. During these periods, she holds in-person training opportunities and rehearsals in Saskatoon for 306 Elite Dance Company members. Several dancers will travel to Saskatoon from other parts of the province to participate. “A lot of the out-of-towners will stay with the in-town people,” said Elder.
When Elder is in Toronto, the dancers continue to train with their home dance studios. “Your home studio comes first… I’m not here to teach you how to point your feet and how to stretch your legs,” said Elder. Instead, Elder builds onto the dancers’ foundations and also provides “the tips and tricks of the industry, so to speak…. all the things I wish that someone had told me… how to pick up choreography quickly, how to write a resume, how to thrive in an audition.”
Looking beyond Invigorate, Elder plans to return to Saskatchewan in December, at which time the next training session will begin for 306 Elite Dance Company dancers.
“The people that are in the company are so amazing and they’re such wonderful people to be around,” said Lacelle.
“It’s really been a journey to watch my students grow as people and just become better humans… more aware, and more in tune with themselves and their feelings and their energy,” said Elder. “I’m very proud of my team. I’m very proud of my work.”
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