A Tribute to Musicals was the theme for this year's Danceworks dance recitals this year. After thirty weeks of hard work, dedication and preparation, three sold-out performances showcased the talent of the many ages and categories of dancers on stage.  

Danceworks Co-Owner and Administrator Vanessa Klassen described what the Friday night and Saturday afternoon and evening performances mean for the dancers, whether it's ballet, contemporary, hip-hop or theatrical movement. 

"It has been a time for the kids to shine on stage and they are doing a fantastic job. It's always so exciting to see the energy that comes down after they're on the stage. They're so excited to have gone on stage and done it and conquered and some of them are battling nerves and it’s their first time on a big stage and in front of a whole ton of people. And when they can do it, it's an amazing feeling."   

Dancers on stage

Klassen thanked the instructors for their hard work and described the preparation for this final performance. 

"They have been working with these kids for 30 weeks and so it starts with teaching new moves but after Christmas, they start with the recital stuff. So, these kids have been working on it for quite a while. We start doing costume ideas just before Christmas as well. We've been thinking recital for a few months already and it's great to see it come together and to see what is produced out of it."  

This was Milo Klassen's final recital. He started dancing when he was seven years old and has learned a lot.  

"Dance is a discipline that involves a lot of different aspects of yourself as a human, so you have the physical aspect of training and trying to improve your physical ability, which is like the same thing you experience in any sport. But then you have the musicality, and music is a deep part of human connection as well. You have the community around it, and I think the community around dance is a really positive one. Some of the strongest friendships I've made in the last seven years have been from through dance."   

Danceworks Dance TroupeMilo Klassen with fellow dancers on stage at the PW Enns Centennial Concert Hall.

A special farewell curtain call brought out the large graduating class with recognition given to the group who has competed and performed for several years together. Hugs, tears and good-byes were shared amongst the group, as they leave the program and take another step into the future.   

Part of the evening's fun is the costumes, Vanessa noted. 

"It is a fun part, but yes, there are a lot of costumes and a lot of glitter and sparkles, and one of the best parts about recital for sure." 

Dancers on stage

She wanted to make sure to say a special thanks. 

"Just to thank you to parents because without them and their support, this definitely could not have happened either and a huge congratulations to our dancers because they have done a tremendous job."  

Milo recommends others join the welcoming community of Danceworks, adding it's a great opportunity for connection and growth as a person.