Thirty-seven Central Alberta dancers and three dance instructors are on the trip of a lifetime and will have the opportunity to perform on a cruise ship this week.
The troupe, from Dancer’s Edge Studio, ranging in age from seven- to 19-years-old, set sail aboard the Carnival Glory on Feb. 3 from Miami, Florida. They will return Feb. 10. The Caribbean cruise will travel to Mexico, the Grand Caymans and Mahogany Bay.
While on board, the dancers are set to perform a 30-minute number with eight dances in total entitled ‘6 O’clock News’ for hundreds of guests. Their performance includes tap, jazz, musical theatre and lyrical.
Heather Buelow, owner/operator and dance instructor at Dancer’s Edge in Blackfalds and Lacombe said she has been looking for an opportunity for her dancers like this.
“This is the first time our studio has had the opportunity to do something like this. I was looking for something and came across this program called ‘Dancing at Sea’. There are a few similar programs to this one but what attracted me to this particular one is that we dance on the actual main stage,” she said. “The dancers will also have the chance to watch all of the other shows on the ship as well just to get an idea of what they do.”
Family members are also traveling with the dance troupe – in total 112 people including parents and grandparents of the dancers are on board which makes the performance all the more special.
“The dancers are so excited to go and they were vibrating. It’s a great opportunity for them.”
The night before their performance, which will take place Feb. 9, the dancers will put invitations to the show under all of the guest room doors. They are also hoping to perform a flash mob to get excitement building amongst the guests for their performance.
While on the ship they will also get to meet the captain. They will also have the opportunity to have a workshop with some of the professional cruise ship dancers who regularly perform on the vessel.
“This will give the dancers an opportunity to see the dance world and to help open their eyes to the possibilities and to show them what is out there. Also being able to work hard at something, perfect it and perform it in front of a large crowd – it will really give them self-confidence.”
She added she hopes her dancers come away from the experience with some new perspectives.
“I hope they come away with a sense of adventure and knowing that there is more than just our tiny little studio out there.”
Buelow said she is looking forward to seeing her dancers shine on stage.
“To see the dancers on stage is going to be amazing. I will probably be bawling. They are all my kids and to see them do that will be something that is so special,” she said. “Some of my senior dancers could have this as a job potentially – it’s a first step for them. I will be extremely proud.”
This is the first time the studio has traveled to perform and Buelow is already looking ahead to future opportunities.
“We are now hoping to plan something like this every two years because the families do have to pay for their own trip. Our next future trip is to dance Disney World in two years which will be exciting.”
In addition, the dancers will be performing the number they are set to showcase on the cruise ship at the upcoming Central Alberta Family Expo at Westerner Park on March 23-24.