Entertainment

BC Annual Dance Competition celebrates 25 years in Prince Rupert

The best dancers in B.C. will be in Prince Rupert beginning on Sunday for the 25th BC Annual Dance Competition. - File photo
The best dancers in B.C. will be in Prince Rupert beginning on Sunday for the 25th BC Annual Dance Competition.
— image credit: File photo

Planning a week-long competition that draws hundreds of dancers each year is no easy feat.

And that means there's no rest for BC Annual Dance Competition organizers, the Jazz Productions Association of B.C.

"The competition ends on Saturday, and we get together the very next Monday to start going over next year's plans," said Jennifer Kloppers, who is co-president of the association along with Debbie Sutherland.

It's a huge undertaking, with the competition costing approximately $100,000 to put on each year. Most of the money goes to pay for prizes and scholarships, with the rest paying for the rental of the Lester Centre of the Arts and adjudicators.

The Jazz Productions Association's 14 board of director members immediately start fundraising following the gala's wrap-up, with approximately 80 parents of competitive dancers helping with various fundraising activities and events each year.

But it's well worth the work to give young talent an opportunity to perform, walk away with cash prizes and scholarships or even compete in Australia's largest dance competition.

This year's BC Annual Dance Competition is the 25th annual, starting on Sunday, May 4 and ending following the gala on Saturday, May 10.

An estimated 245 dancers are registered for this year's event, dancing in 720 different performances. Prince Rupert dancers will be joined by students from Terrace, Smithers, Prince George, Burnaby and Surrey, with one former-Prince Rupert dancer traveling from Alberta to participate.

"This will be one of the biggest competitions we've had in a long time as far as performances go," said Kloppers.

"There's very little times for breaks; everyone will have to be up early in the morning and might be there until 10 o'clock at night. It's a lot of dance this year."

As per usual, the furthest competitor will come from Australia as part of a reciprocal agreement organizers have with Showcase Dance Championships, which has the competition's top senior dancer perform at the BC Annual, with the Senior Performer of the Year traveling to Australia the following year to take part in the Showcase Dance Championships.

Cash and scholarship winners will be announced at the gala, including the Australian trip winner and Junior Performer of the Year, who will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

For its 25-year anniversary the Jazz Productions Association will give out special gifts to registered competitors, with surprise prizes also being given out throughout the week.

There will also be cocktail hour before the gala this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary, with ticket holders being able to enjoy champagne and hors d'oeuvres while socializing before the big event.

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