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  • Writer's pictureAdela Cleverley

h u m a n 2022

Yesterday, the dancers of the Owen Sound Dance Academy took to the stage for our long-awaited 2022 end-of-the-year show, human.

The Academy just finished off an incredible year of dancing, learning and growing together, ending with a fantastic day of performances yesterday. This year's June show was special in many ways: it is the culmination of years of growth since the dancers last performed in person, and it is a celebration of 5 years of sharing joy in the art of movement together. And it was our biggest production yet, with two nearly sold-out shows!

It has been almost exactly three years since our dancers last set foot on stage before a live audience. The disruption and uncertainty of a global pandemic was devastating for many of our dancers, who had to adapt to lockdowns and online dance classes, with no promise of performance to motivate us, and no physical connection to feel like a team.

But our dancers did not give up; and seeing their growth through it all has been an absolute privilege. In and out of lockdowns, through outdoor dance classes and video performances, these dancers have only grown closer, stronger, and more creative and passionate. And their love of dance spread through the community until our Academy family grew as well, emerging with many new faces to smile at, and many new feet dancing patterns across the studio floors.

The theme of this year's show, human, was all about connection - be it physical, emotional, or both. It was a celebration of finally being able to dance together once more, and about the importance of a community that supports you through the toughest times. Because of these themes and because of how much we have grown together, the audience saw a lot more contact between dancers in this show than we've ever had - from clapping rhythms together to holding a little one's hand to literally supporting each other in lifts and counterbalanced shapes, the dancers truly showed how much they have grown together as a family.

The dancers spent the last two days busy at Meaford Hall, with tech rehearsals running Friday night and Saturday morning, and two nearly sold-out shows in the afternoon and evening. All of the their hard work, passion and excitement came together and the end result was everything we could have hoped for.

Thank you to our amazing professional teachers Maggie Armstrong and Michele Hopkins, and to our dedicated student teachers Alexis, Lauren, and Maya. Our dancers have been training and rehearsing with their whole hearts over this past session, preparing with mounting excitement for their long-awaited return to the stage - and for many, their very first time on stage!

This year we congratulate three graduating dancers who have been dancing together in this studio space for a very long time. Amelia, Maya, and Alexis, we are so proud to have been with you on your dance journey and so excited to see where you go next. Thank you for being an important part of our dance family all these years, and good luck in all of your future endeavours!

A big big thank you to all of our parent volunteers who helped the last two days (and the last two weeks) go by so smoothly, allowing everyone to focus on performing and having a good time. Thank you to Kristen and Derek and all of the staff of Meaford Hall for your amazing work - the lighting and sound and coordination of transitions and everything brought the whole thing to a higher level! And thank you to our two enthusiastic audiences who made our dancers feel like shining stars on stage! Thank you for entrusting your child's dance education to the Owen Sound Dance Academy, we are so proud and lucky to be where we are today with all of you. Happy 5 years, everyone!!

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