Fourteen-year-old Brianna Godsoe has earned a spot on Team Canada ShowDance West to compete in the World Dance Championships taking place in Reisa, Germany, Nov. 20–25.
Godsoe grew up in Quesnel and relocated to Penticton last year to have the opportunity to dance more competitively. She says she lived with her aunt and uncle last year, and this year her mother moved with her. Her father, sister and extended family all live in Quesnel.
In spring this year, she saw an ad online, calling for dancers to audition for Team Canada. The auditions happened to be at her dance studio in Penticton. Godsoe says she put a resume together and had headshots taken in preparation for her audition.
“It took a month to find out, but I got an email that I got accepted onto the team.”
Godsoe won one of 25 spots on the western Canadian junior show dance team. She says show dance is a mix of jazz and acrobatics.
The team is led by Danielle Gardner, a former World Champion dancer and finalist on So You Think You Can Dance Canada. This is her fifth year as head choreographer.
“Being offered the opportunity to bring together amazing dancers from all over Western Canada, who have not danced together, to form them into a team, and then to watch them proudly representing Canada on the world stage is indeed a treasured gift,” says Gardner.
Godsoe says she’s really enjoyed working with the champion dancer. She and her mother travel to Langley every Sunday, leaving Penticton at 6 a.m., to make it to the team’s 2.5-hour rehearsal. The rehearsals last 11 weeks.
“[Gardner is] a really good teacher, she’s super positive and nice.
“It’s good to learn from different teaches and choreographers. Everyone had something different to offer.”
At this point, so close to the championships, it’s all about the details, Godsoe adds.
“We make sure everyone is doing the same arms on the same count, we are making sure it looks perfect.”
This year’s western Canada team is comprised of dancers from Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody, Kamloops, Kelowna, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mill Bay, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Penticton, Powell River, Quesnel, Richmond, Salmon Arm, Sechelt, Surrey, West Vancouver, Vernon and Lethbridge, Alberta.
Godsoe, a Grade 9 student, says the trip to Germany will be her first visit to Europe.
“This is definitely the biggest competition I’ve ever done.”
She says dancing keeps her busy; she goes to school and then doesn’t get home from dance until 9 p.m. most nights.
“It’s pretty tough. It’s hard to do both, keep my grades up, but I’m doing alright.”
As her move to Penticton shows, Godsoe is passionate about dance and she’ll continue to be involved after she finishes school.
“I’d like to choreograph or teach dance in the future… I want to keep my options open but I want to be in the dance world after high school.”
Has working with choreographer Gardner made her want to try out for a show like So You Think You Can Dance? Godsoe says she’s game.
“That would be so fun.”
The 14-year-old clearly has big ambitions, and her first test is on the horizon, as she gets set to jet off to Germany. But her devotion to dance is clear.
“I like that there’s always something to work towards. It’s a good way to express yourself.
“It’s the best feeling in the world, to let go and dance.”