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CIS Dance Fest 2012: So You Think They Can Dance?

Niky Johnson

As Ontario’s independent schools prepare for the fourth annual CIS Dance Fest, other schools have shown they want a piece of the action and have started their own dance festivals. CIS remains the first of its kind, however, to offer this opportunity to students of all ages.

Kids perform at the 2010 CIS Dance Fest.

Kids perform at the 2010 CIS Dance Fest. JON CURRIE/OUR KIDS MEDIA

After seeing the tremendous excitement the CIS Dance Fest generated among hundreds of private school students, the TDSB and TCDSB have since created their own dance festivals to offer a similar opportunity to their students. As the saying goes, “Imitation is the best form of flattery,” and it is always a compliment when our very own CIS community is the target of such flattery.

CIS Dance Fest 2012

The CIS Dance Fest will showcase approximately 200 dancers from grades 6 to 12 performing a variety of pieces on Sunday, May 6 at Havergal College. Performances range in style from breakdancing to ballet and everything in between.

This year groups will showcase styles never seen before at the CIS Dance Fest, including Vietnamese fan dancing and bellydance-Bollywood fusion. And who better to be in charge of it all than the students themselves. Students are able to choose everything from the music and moves they want to perform, as well as the costumes and a charity of their choice to dance on behalf of.

Participants get a free lunch and an event T-shirt. Groups that perform particularly noteworthy pieces will be awarded a donation to their charity by the judges, who also provide encouraging individual feedback to all participants.

The Dance Fest Appeal

While many adults would shudder at the idea of shaking and shimmying in front of a packed audience, the students have many reasons for rushing to the stage.

Some perform because they enjoy dancing, others like the social aspect of creating something with their friends, and many simply enjoy balancing their busy lives with fun non-academic activities. Plus, with no auditions, everyone who wants to take to the stage has that opportunity without the fear of rejection.

Our Kids Media is proud to support the ever popular CIS Dance Fest for another great year. For anyone else who wishes to support the CIS community’s budding dance stars, tickets will be sold at the door for $10 each at the Havergal College’s Legacy Theatre from 1-2 p.m. on May 6 (with the show starting at 2 p.m.). All are welcome!

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Is your child interested in dancing and would you encourage them to join an event like this? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!

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About Niky Johnson

Niky Johnson is the artistic director of the CIS Dance Fest. She has been in this role for four years and is a dance instructor for the CIS community.

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