Dance Festival enters ninth year

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The Parkland Dance Festival has entered into its ninth year, giving dancers from the region a chance to compete locally against the best of the area.



The event featured all style of dance, including Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ethnic and Ballet, with 425 entries spread across two and a half days. Laurel Baker, chair of PDF, says that the goal is to give local dancers a competition that is in their home community, so they don’t have to travel long distances in order to show the skills they’ve learned.



“Our focus is to bring a high-caliber dance competition to this area of Saskatchewan,” Baker says.



For the dancers themselves, Baker says that PDF comes late in the year, and it is often the final competition for many of them. As a result, the competition is a showcase for the year’s work, and a final opportunity to show what they have been putting together over the dance season.



“It’s all that hard work all through the year, right up there on the stage.”



The event has grown over the nine years it has been running, and Baker says it also reflects the changing tastes of the students. She notes that, for example, entries in the Hip Hop category have grown significantly in the past nine years, as the style catches on with local dancers and clubs.



The ultimate goal of the event has remained the same over the years, and that is to give local dancers a chance to compete.



“When you have good competition it only makes you a better dancer, so for our dancers from our area, it’s a really good thing. So we want to see it continue and to grow,” Baker says.



The 2014 competition represents a great deal of hard work, Baker says, and she credits the volunteer board behind the PDF with putting together a dance festival that represents the region. She emphasizes that the hard work of volunteers is essential to putting the event together and that they are the reason why PDF happens every year, and says that they deserve all the credit for the success that the event enjoys.

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