WILKIE — The Wilkie School of Dance hosted a jam-packed recital in front of a large audience of parents, other family members, and community residents May 8.
Dance club president Kathy Irwin warned in her opening remarks that there would likely be some emotion displayed throughout the afternoon for three reasons: this was the first in-person recital in three years, they had a record seven dancers graduating and this was the last year for two of their longtime teachers.
To close off the afternoon’s performances, just before the grand finale, the seven graduating dancers performed a number together. They are Jayna Bottorff, Tina Elder, Emma Kowalchuk, Keira Miller, Jaymie Myszczyszyn, Justis Sittler and Emmie Suchan. Many of them also participated in various other numbers throughout the afternoon, in various genres of dance.
Tears were shed when farewells were said to Miss Danielle, who taught in Wilkie for 12 years, and to Miss Daryl, who taught for eight years.
Danielle Jamieson grew up dancing at the Dance Connection in North Battleford and is a full-time teacher at Bready School there. She holds her CDTA teacher certification for tap dance and guided four Wilkie School of Dance students to successfully complete their advanced CDTA exams.
Daryl Iverson started dancing at the age of four. While training at Dance Connection, she completed her advanced CDTA tap and advanced RAD ballet exams. Iverson is a registered nurse who is currently on maternity leave.
Wilkie dancers took part in three dance festivals this year, the Prince Albert Dance Festival, Battlefords Dance Festival and the Infusion Festival in Lloydminster, winning awards at all three. Groups winning more than one award were senior accro (Jenessa Bakken, Ira Canong, Emily Hango, Jaymie Myszczyszyn, Jazen Sittler, Tayla Skinner, Lara Suter): intermediate hip hop (Ira Canong, Leighton Forbes, Harrison MacKenzie, Samantha MacKenzie, Tyra Myszczyszyn, Danna Santi, Jazen Sittler, Tayla Skinner, Addisen Suchan): Highest Hip Hop Award in Lloydminster and Most Promising Hip Hop Small Group in PA; senior tap (Jenessa Bakken, Jayna Bottorff, Emily Hango, Emma Kowalchuk, Jaymie Myszczyszyn, Kiri Myszczyszyn, Ava Sittler, Jazen Sittler, Justis Sittler, Emmie Suchan): Outstanding Tap Group in PA, and a Choreography Award for Miss Danielle; and senior jazz ( Janessa Bakken, Kennadi Bretzer, Ira Canong, Emily Hango, Emma Kowalchuk, Jaymie Myszczyszyn, Ava Sittler, Jazen Sittler, Justis Sittler, Emmie Suchan, Lara Suter): Highest Jazz Award in Lloydminster, Most Promising Jazz Large Group in PA and another Choreography Award for Miss Danielle.
2020 graduating dancers, Jodi Myszczyszyn and Shelby Veit, who had had their season cut short as a result of the pandemic lockdown, were invited to participate this year by acting as MCs for the afternoon. The young women not only introduced each dance and its participants, but also entertained the crowd during a couple of delays, telling dance jokes and sharing dance teacher biographies.
Boyd Thunberg, who was a Wilkie School of Dance student last year when restrictions still did not allow for a year-end recital, came back to the stage at McLurg High School this year as a guest performer. Thunberg is an engineering student at the University of Saskatchewan and is a member of the U of S dance team.
Audience members enjoyed a total of 30 performances, ranging from the youngest beginners to a solo from Thunberg. Dancers showed off what they had learned in acrobatics, ballet, hip hop, tap, lyrical and contemporary dance, making for an enjoyable afternoon of varied dance entertainment.