Dance Umbrella Experience — a part of time these dancers will remember for a lifetime
Sarah Jane-Hicks remembers walking in the Dance Umbrella studio when she was eight years of age.
The now senior dancer had travelled with family for most of her young life before the Jane-Hicks clan settled in Nelson.
Ditto for Kate Harvey-Vieira. Another Dance Umbrella grad, who also started young.
The same for Dana Dickinson . . . started young, enjoyed the Dance Umbrella program so much she really doesn’t want to leave.
All those years of coming to the studio culminates the trio and a few other grads when the Dance Umbrella Spring Showcase Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Capitol Theatre.
“It’s definitely going to be an end of an era in my life,” Jane-Hicks, who has been dancing in one form or another since she was three years-old said during a photo shoot at the Civic Centre facility.
“It’s like the grand finale of my time in Nelson,” Jane-Hicks adds. “I’m moving on to a bigger city and furthering myself in this career path, so yes, it’s like the closing stage of my dancing with the Dance Umbrella.”
The list of Dance Umbrella grads able to soak up the creative juices of head instructor Sabbian Clover before moving on to bigger and better groups in the industry is enormously long.
Elsa Neufeld-Cummings is currently in New York at the Alvin AileyAmerican DanceTheater.
Aja Lamb-Hartley is enrolled at the Portland Festival Ballet.
Connor Clover is off to the downtown Vancouver campus of Simon Fraser University.
Emma Collinson is a teacher at the Dance Umbrella while Dickinson is headed to Capilano College in North Vancouver while Jane-Hicks is going to attend the University of Alberta – the latter two with acting or dance on their repertoire.
“I’ve grown up in dance since I was six years old . . . started Grade one and also started dance at the same time,” Dickinson explains.
“So (dance) really defines me and it’s a part of me that I’d like to continue to develop and express for the rest of my life.”
The Dance Umbrella 16th Spring Showcase has three evening shows starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The lone matinee is Saturday at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $11.
The public can expect an exceptional show with the more than 200 dancers from age three and up performing a varied program of hip-hop, ballet, point work, a little modern jazz along with a little tango flare here and there.
For the younger dancers the show is a chance to perform in front of parents and grand parents.
For the seniors, it’s one last chance to show their skills after years of toil in the studio.
But these dancers wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s like very surreal . . . it’s kind of all you think about it all year long,” Harvey-Vieira said about her final Spring Showcase.
“Every time you’re in the studio you think about this being the last year at the Dance Umbrella.”
The photo shoot was a great opportunity for the senior dancers to have a few laughs while posing for the camera.
This weekend at the Spring Showcase is one final opportunity to be with friends and enjoy the camaraderie that comes from years of dancing.
“I don’t think it will really hit me until after the show, that’s it’s done and this is my last show,” Harvey-Vieira said.
“But it will definitely be real emotional that’s for sure.”