Success in Seattle for Kelowna dancers

Local dancers perform at the Youth America Grand Prix competition in Seattle.

Kelowna ballet dancers Kendra Haskett (left) and Lydia Jane Angel-Fox on international stage.

“It was a great opportunity for Kelowna dancers to be seen in a wider context,” is how Natasha Sarafanov described local dancers performances at the recent Youth America Grand Prix competition in Seattle.

Lydia Jane Angel-Fox, Clare Fleming and Kendra Haskett were representing three Kelowna dance schools: Sarafanov Dance Studio, Canadian School of Ballet and Creators Art Centre.

There were close to 400 dancers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia competing at this year’s event.

Angel-Fox, who just turned 15, danced what Sarafanov described as, “the best performance of her life,” at the event and was selected to attend the prestigious Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy by the Russian American Foundation in New York, with the opportunity to go to the Bolshoi in Russia as well.

“I’m really excited,” said Angel-Fox. “I’m trained in the Russian style and feel really comfortable with it, so I’m really looking forward to this.”

Fleming, who placed in the top 12 in the contemporary category, is now invited to New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix finals week this April, where she is eligible to attend a full slate of workshops with other top young dancers from around the world.

“These girls work so hard,” noted Sarafanov, “dancing before school, after school, every day on the weekends—you don’t reach this kind of level without hard work.”

Haskett, who also scored well with a strong performance, said one of the nice things about the Seattle competition was getting to connect with other dancers.

This was the largest competition she’d ever attended. “Once you get out there and start dancing, the nerves fade away,” she said.

The success of the three dancers has a lot to do with their highly intensive training. All three seek extra classes at different local dance schools.

Sarafanov, who opened her studio five years ago to share the Russian training that helped her oldest son, Leonid Sarafanov, go on to become one of the top international dancers in the world today, believes in varied training. “It’s good for the dancers because if (a teacher) gets too familiar with a dancer you might not see the same things that fresh eyes do.”

Sarafanov extended congratulations to the dancers’ other teachers—Melville Brown and Chris Larsen of the Canadian School of Ballet and Emma Donley of Creators Arts Centre.

“We just want to celebrate the fact that we did it together,” said Sarafanov.

“We’d love to have all the dance schools get together, not in competition but to perform together.”


Just Posted

Kelowna’s strategy to address homelessness making headway says city

More than $830,000 of the $2.7 million needed to get the strategy going has now been raised

Demolish it or we will, City of Kelowna staff tell owners of derelict former motel

Former Ponderosa Motel is unsafe and used by squatters, drug users and the homeless says city

Kelowna firm encourages annual medication reviews for seniors

Accessible way for families to advocate for their elderly parents

Opening a pot shop in Kelowna will be costly

City to charge a total of $10,500 just to apply and get rezoning for a store

Kelowna rapper, Mr. Wisdom addresses the opioid crisis with his music

The musician says he has lost at least 25 of his friends to date

Your morning news in 90: Sept. 25, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on cusomer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Andrew Weaver congratulates New Brunswick on electing first Green caucus

Election win means there are now three provincial Green Party caucuses in Canada

Around the BCHL: Merritt’s Matthew Kopperud nets Sun Devil scholarship

Around the BCHL is a look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

Father, 9-year-old son killed in crash along B.C. highway

RCMP say family of five was hit head-on by a pickup truck north of Williams Lake

2 B.C. police departments won’t use new saliva test to detect high drivers

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is designed to find THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Trudeau looks to restart Canada’s UN charm offensive in New York City

Freeland says the question of job retraining in the 21st century — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — is the federal government’s central preoccupation.

Most Read