Three Js ask for Yes vote

Dancers eager to experience performances on a real theatre stage

Left to right: Jorga Salmons, Jayna Burton and Jade Pitcher practice their dance.

Left to right: Jorga Salmons, Jayna Burton and Jade Pitcher practice their dance.

For Jorja Salmons, Jayna Burton and Jade Pitcher, a new theatre would mean enough seating that all their family members could attend their performances. Oh, and of course much more of the public could also be seated in a larger theatre.

Jorja has been dancing for seven years, which is amazing given she is only 12 years old.

“I dance in all disciplines, jazz, ballet, modern, tap, all of them,” she said.

For Jayna, she has six years of training under her 12 years of life and also loves all the disciplines. Jade, also 12 years old, has been dancing for seven years but said she dropped jazz from her schedule.

All three young dancers had different thoughts on the value of dance in their life, but all three agreed it’s indispensable.

“I love the exercise and learning the history of dance,” Jorja said.

“I love the music and the movement.”

Jade said she was first introduced to music through piano lessons but she transitioned to dance very early.

All three kind of wrinkled their nose but agreed they appreciated the value of discipline in dance.

Obviously something they are all very passionate about, during the entire interview they were stretching and preparing for their next dance class.

Jayna admitted to loving the stage part of dance.

“I love having my family come and watch; I love the costumes, our teachers and the other dancers who are like a second family for us,” she said.

“But most of all I love the challenges of learning new work and having something to work towards.”

For these dancers, the dancers who came before them, and, especially for those who will follow, a new theatre is what they dream of as they endure the limitations of existing facilities.

“We love to show people what we can do; performing is part of who we are,” Jorja said.

“But Correlieu theatre doesn’t have enough seating, there’s no dressing rooms, especially for the out of town competitors. Back stage is so tiny, you run into people all the time.”

Jayna saw beyond the benefits to local dancers, commenting a new theatre would bring in other performers and could be a place for local theatre to perform.

With the added attraction of better technical sound and lighting equipment, better back stage amenities and a facility that is more consistently available, the three dancers felt confident a new, bigger theatre would show off the benefits of the dance program.

Jayna’s mother Deb Burton weighed in after the girls had expressed their feelings about a new theatre facility such as the one proposed in the North Cariboo Multi-Centre.

“I have accompanied my daughter to perform on stages in several theatres in B.C., including Nanaimo, Courtney, Chilliwack and Prince George,” she said.

“These theatres are equipped with proper dressing rooms for the dancers as well as large capacity seating. I have found that these venues attract a large audience.”

She added, day to day life for a competitive dancer consists of daily trips to the studio to learn choreography, practicing the dance at home non-stop and running through it over and over again in the living room, on the sidewalk and in the halls at school.

“Watching the children step onto a big stage and perform the dances they have practiced and rehearsed continuously, with their consumes and makeup just right, is a joy to a parent,” Burton said.

“A new Multi-Centre in Quesnel for dancers, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, would be a dream come true. Please vote yes for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre.”

Quesnel Cariboo Observer