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Dance Academy puts on a show

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Toes will be tapping and heels kicked up when the Whistler Dance Academy hosts its first year-end show on June 22 at Millennium Place.

All 150 girls in the academy will be part of the show, demonstrating their skills in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop and musical theatre. A group of mothers will also be putting on a special performance.

According to Trina Eby, the founder and artistic director of the academy, the girls range from the youngest beginners at age five to girls that are almost at the professional level.

"We hope to bring the level of the academy up, year by year," said Eby, who teaches dance at the university level.

"I’m interested in getting a professional dance company started in Whistler eventually. We’re not at that level yet, but over the years we can help make some really good dancers.

"The girls are interested. They are becoming more keen as they become more educated about dance, about the possibilities that exist out there. Of course, we’re already starting to look outside the community."

Almost 30 girls from the academy will be heading to Banff, Alberta, in July to compete at the Western Dance Championships after gold medal performances in Vancouver and Abbotsford in Hip Hop and Jazz.

All proceeds from the year-end show and silent auction will go towards the academy, which is a non-profit society. The money will go towards competition fees, costumes, and hiring special presenters and instructors.

For example, next year the academy will be bringing Peggy Baker, an internationally famous dancer, to Whistler to host a workshop.

"When you bring a pro company to Whistler, people will get an idea of what’s involved. It’s an entertainment and an art form," said Eby.

There will be two shows on the Saturday, a matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening performance at 7 p.m.

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