Senior dancers recall friendships formed, second family 0
Kevin Rushworth photo Along with all other age groups, the senior dancers at Turning Pointe Dance studios in Hillcrest ready themselves for the upcoming Festival of the Stars.
Stepping out onto the brightly lit stage, the dancer takes her position, fuelled by a sudden rush of adrenaline. As the music begins, she feels the music and forgets about the world around her, instead solely focusing on the dance.
Expressing her emotions on stage-regardless if it's sadness, anger or elation-the dancer spins a personal story, built from years of dance growing alongside her.
For many of the senior girls at Turning Pointe Dance studios-each performing a variety of styles-dance and the community which surrounds it has become their lives.
Having danced for close to 10 years, Chelsea Kocsis, 17, said she enjoys dancing for its atmosphere and the support system which acts like her second family.
"It's something you do since you were little," she said during a recent practice. "It's not something you get into because everyone else is. (Dance) is something you have to be good at and you grow with it and it grows with you."
Though this Pincher Creek dancer performs ballet, jazz, lyrical, pointe, tap and hip-hop, she said she has come to enjoy ballet a lot more this previous year.
"I like competing because it's what you've been building to for the entire year," she said. "It's fun because of the adrenaline."
Much like her sister, Brianne Kocsis said she has been dancing for 10 years and friendships made at Turning Pointe dance studios have become crucial.
Having become more comfortable and confident in herself this dance season, Kocsis said her goal on stage is to open up more-a goal which takes incredible amounts of practice.
"After you've been dancing for so long, you have to feel the music to dance," she said. "When you're dancing, you just forget about everything else just focus (on the dance)."
For Tristan Zeller, 20, dancing has become an outlet for her emotions, regardless of how she feels that day.
"It's (about) having a really bad day or even a really good day and coming and being able to express my emotions," she said. "It can all come out through your dancing."
On stage, she said it's almost as if she is floating above everything else and has no other problems other than the two and a half minute dance solo.
When asked about the community support for her sister Shaylee, who has been diagnosed with a rare neuropathy of the small intestine, Zeller said she was without words.
"I'm honestly speechless of the support and recognition everyone has given her," she said. "She's the best thing in my life and I really appreciate and respect everyone for seeing her the way I see her as a young, beautiful, mature woman."
Though she said her condition has been tough, Zeller said the good vibes and love sent from the community is helping her sister to remain motivated and push towards health.
With a love of both hip-hop dancing as well as lyrical styles, Zeller said she has come to appreciate lyrical's more emotional side.
"With everything going on with my sister, it feels so good to have an outlet like that where I can be crying in the middle of a dance and it's totally and perfectly acceptable," she said.
Kimberlee Wiebe, 17-who lives in Lundbreck and goes to school at CCHS-said she has loved the environment and the people she dances with. Practicing three days a week and on her own as well, becoming a stronger dancer has become crucial.
"It's (about) the motivation and the way I feel when I do something better than the day before," she said. "I love achieving a new goal."
Though worried about her pointe solo in the upcoming Festival of the Stars, Wiebe said once she seps out onto the stage, it simply feels right and nerves start to disappear.
The Festival of the Stars takes place on Saturday, April 21 with two shows, one of which begins at 2 p.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m. at the Bellevue MDM complex.