Fourteen-year-old Sierra Sward is one of several of extremely talented dancers from Chilliwack heading to the world championships of dance in Europe next week.
The teenager hasn’t danced much or competed outside her dance studio in Chilliwack.
But she’s been told she has “stage presence” and that’s a huge part of making an impression on international judges.
“I’m honoured to be able to represent Canada on a national team,” she tells The Progress. “It’s going to be awesome.”
An audition for a spot on the national team last spring started the ball rolling. She found out in an email that she made the first cut. A second audition in June clinched it, even though it was intimidating to dance with so many critics watching her every move.
“It was scary knowing that everything was on the line at that audition.”
At the end of this week she’ll be wowing the crowd at Team Canada’s ‘Gala for Gold’ preview show on Friday, Nov. 29 at the Massey Theatre.
Three dancers from Creative Outlet dance studio who made it onto the team are heading to Poland for the Worlds, while two others are flying to Germany for tap competitions. Many more from the Fraser Valley were proud they made the national team as well.
In Poland, Sierra will be compete in modern, ballet and jazz styles.
“We do lots of competitions at home, but going to the Worlds is definitely going to be different,” she says.
What will she do to combat nerves?
“I’ll probably try to breathe, and not stress about it.”
Sierra’s mom, Kris Sward, says she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter, who only started dancing four years ago, and the other dancers from Chilliwack. She’ll accompany them for the trip.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them on stage,” she said. “We’ll have a big canadian flag and t-shirts.
“The people I speak to about it say it’s the Olympics of dance. So it’s a pretty big deal.”
Team Canada’s ‘Gala for Gold’ preview show is Friday, November 29 at the Massey Theatre in New West. Ticket prices are $19.95(+ sc) if any remain, 604-517-5900.