A young Burnaby dancer is on a mission to spread the word: Dancing is for boys, too.
And he’s wearing a world medal around his neck to prove it.
Anthony Juo returned from the 2017 IDO World Showdance Championships in Riesa, Germany with hardware – a bronze medal in the boys’ solo category, where he went toe to toe against dancers from the Czech Republic, Russian Federation, Belarus, Slovenia and Poland.
Anthony, who dances with Dance Collective, was part of Team Canada Dance West, led by head choreographer Danielle Gardner. His medal-winning solo, The Hunt, was choreographed by Rebecca Collins.
Anthony’s mom, Shirley Chiu, said Anthony is grateful to Collins, who has been his longtime mentor and teacher, and for the support and encouragement of his teammates.
She noted it’s important to Anthony to be a role model for other boys, because the stereotype still exists that dance is for girls.
“He’d like to continue to work hard, and using himself as an example to encourage more and more boys to enjoy dance,” Chiu wrote in an email to the NOW. “Dance is an unspoken, beautiful language to connect your soul, body and music. It gives you the space to share your energy, joyfulness, thoughts and feelings. He always wants to bring happiness to his audience.”
The family is also grateful to all the people who contributed to the fundraising for Anthony’s trip to the worlds, including individuals, friends and local merchants including Shoppers, Superstore, Save-On Foods, Anton’s Pasta, Permai B.C. Association, Romao Roofing and Almost New Furniture.