Arden debuts More Vibe Dance Fest
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 06:00 am
This weekend a flurry of about 1,000 dancers will take over the Arden Theatre at the inaugural More Vibe Dance Festival.
“The hotels in St. Albert are booked up and you’ll probably see sparkly ballerinas, b-boys, munchkins, pirates, train conductors and page boys eating in restaurants,” laughs festival organizer Tash Daniels, founder of Whitecourt’s Illusion Dance Co.
More Vibe is an extension of the Dance Vibe Festival Daniels co-founded four years ago with Crystal Tanguay of Edson’s Essence Dance Studio.
Targeted at young dancers from rural areas and small towns, the festival shies away from competition while focusing on providing experience and positive feedback.
“There’s a lot of small towns around Edmonton, and in small towns there’s not as much access to training and festivals. There are so many studios in need of something like this,” Daniels explains.
When demand began to outstrip Dance Vibe Festival, Daniels and Tanguay simply broadened the focus and turned it into a secondary fest.
As an educational tool, festivals get students excited about dance and motivate them to keep performing.
“And it gives them confidence,” Daniels says. “I have tons of shy students that get up on stage and have fun. And kids get to meet kids from other towns, and because there is no competition they form friendships and cheer each other on.”
Costumed dancers from three to 18 will celebrate a diversity of expression through hip-hop, jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap and modern.
“Hip hop is usually the biggest category. A lot of people enter and a lot of people like to watch it. It’s new and fresh. Jazz is the next big category,” Daniels says.
In a silver-haired twist, the Gravity Dance Force tappers of Tofield will also perform a special number on Friday night at 8 p.m. The average age is 67.
“They’re just fantastic to watch,” Daniels chuckles.
The public is invited to attend More Vibe running March 22 to 24. Just sit back and enjoy movement and music. The festival is on Friday, from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 per day.