Burnaby has made a name for itself on the world dance stage. With triumphs, medals, and places on the podium, dancers of all walks hailing from the Lower Mainland have strutted their stuff among world-class dancers. What do they all have in common? They came out of Burnaby’s prestigious dance studio, Dance Collective.
Eight-year-old Anthony Juo has been dancing for three years, though he was born with rhythm pumping through his body long before that. “I have loved interpreting rhythms of different songs since I was a baby,” he said. After learning dance by himself from YouTube videos, Anthony upgraded to lessons at Dance Collective. It was not long before he became a world-class dancer, taking home the bronze medal at the IDO WorldShow Dance Championships held in Germany. He owes his win to his teacher, choreographer, and mentor, Rebecca Collins.
“I am glad and very thankful that I have the best teacher who is strict and has helped shape me to be the dancer I am today,” Juo said. “Without her dedicated teaching, encouragement, support and love, I wouldn't have this bronze medal,” he explained, adding that he was competing with Russian and European dancers who were three years older than him.
Though Juo seems to be a dance prodigy with a bright future ahead, his win is not an isolated case. In fact, Collins shapes and conditions several dancers, along with Artistic Director/RAD Examiner, Kelly Douglas, who have gone on to represent the dance studio locally, regionally, and internationally. Take, for example, Tess Browning.
Browning, 15, has been dancing almost all of her life. With a ballet teacher, Kelly Douglas, for a mom, Browning said it was a natural fit for her to “give it a try.” Eleven years later, Tess won 2nd place for her classical ballet and 3rd place for her contemporary at the YAGP Regional Semi-Finals in Seattle. As Tess prepares for the final round of the Youth America Grand Prix in New York, the world’s largest international student ballet competition, she recognizes that she owes her early success to Dance Collective. “I have had many opportunities to perform in front of an audience, which really helped me feel more comfortable and confident on stage,” Tess explained. “I am so incredibly happy to have such wonderful opportunities to help me prepare for finals,” she added.
Tess and Anthony are just two out of a force of dancers all coming out of this Burnaby dance studio, who swept the podium at the 2018 Dance Power Burnaby competition this March. To learn more about Dance Collective, visit www.dancecollective.ca, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 604-420-0204. You can also find Dance Collective on Facebook and Instagram.