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This article was published 16/11/2018 (498 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
After years of practising dance at Steppin' Time Dance Studio, a Brandon teen will have the opportunity to showcase her talents in Warsaw, Poland.
Kennedy Crane is one of five dancers from Brandon who will be representing Team Canada Dance at the World Dance Championships.
"I'm nervous and stressed, but I feel very proud to represent Canada," Kennedy said. Her dancemates, Kaitlyn Lepper-Bacon, Sienna Denys-Peters, Sydney Huston and Brooklyn Adams, will be joining her.
The 15-year-old currently attends École secondaire Neelin High School. Her mom, Jennifer Crane, said that sometimes it’s hard to believe how much she has progressed in dance.
"I keep reminding myself that she’s only 15 years old, and these girls are 15 and 17 years old," Crane said. "For them to excel at such a young age and to get to have the opportunity and the privilege to go into compete for Canada is amazing, and we’re so very proud."
The best dancers from around the world will be there competing for the world championship. It will be a great learning opportunity for her, Kennedy said.
"(I know) that not many people get to experience representing their country internationally," she said. "I feel the high expectations, but (I) know when the time comes, I’ll put the stress aside and be confident in my training and ability."
The teenager first started dancing when she was three years old.
"We were looking for something for her to be involved with at a young age," Crane said. "My husband has always, and me too, believed that you want to encourage your kids to be involved in something. Not only does it create discipline, it gives them a group of friends and it also keeps them busy."
When her daughter was six years old, she really started to enjoy it, Crane said.
"I remember her looking at some of the older girls and just saying, ‘wow, someday I’m going to be performing like that,’" she said.
Two years ago, Kennedy spent the summer at the School of Alberta Ballet to hone her skills on the dance floor.
Through the dancing she has done at Steppin' Time Dance Studio in Brandon, she has also really grown as a person, her mom said.
"She has definitely become more independent. I mean, they have to do stage makeup and have their hair a certain way, and have their tights and leotards they’re responsible for wearing and have their shoes in good condition," Crane said. "She had to learn at an early age that discipline, and also poise and grace."
Kennedy has also had to invest a lot of time into becoming a better dancer, spending more than 20 hours a week at the studio in Brandon.
"We often tease about setting up some cots for these kids at the studio so they can live there, because they do spend a lot of time there," she said.
It also involves a lot of driving around for Crane and her husband, to make sure her daughter is where she’s supposed to be.
"I feel like I’m a taxi sometimes, driving back and forth in the car as my husband does, but we’re really happy to do it, because she loves to dance," she said. "This is where her core group of friends are."
Besides rehearsing for their upcoming Poland performance, the five girls have all been working toward fundraising the $4,000 price tag that it will cost them to get there. They’ve gone to local businesses to ask for support, and have done a few fundraisers with Booster Juice. Together, the teens have also been putting on dance camps for a younger age group. The registration fee for the camps will help to fund them on their trip.
The championships will take place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 10.
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