Adam Kveton Photo Eleven of 15 Qualicum Beach School of Dance performers are seen here before heading out to Disneyland on May 14. The group is performing a fundraising show at the Whalebone Theatre at Ballenas Secondary School on April 22.

Dancers to perform in Parksville before meeting Mickey

Qualicum Beach dancers aim to dazzle in Disneyland

Parksville and Qualicum Beach residents will get a sneak peak of the show that’s taking local dancers to Disneyland during a final fundraising performance on Saturday, April 22.

A group of 15 dancers from the Qualicum Beach School of Dance are headed to Disneyland for the second time in the school’s history.

The trip will see the young performers put on a 30-minute show for tourists on a Disneyland stage, and they will also participate in three dance workshops, said the school’s owner and artistic director, Shari Selva.

“We’re there for five days, and we basically have five big events that we have to do,” she said. “So each day there is a dance component, and the rest of the day (the dancers) get to play and relax.”

In addition to providing a valuable look into what being professional performers is like, it’s also a chance for the dancers to bond and have some fun in what is essentially a five-day working holiday.

But before they get the chance, the dancers have a last bit of fundraising left to do.

“We’ve been working on this (show) since September, along with doing multiple varieties of fundraising functions and bottle-drives galore,” said Selva.

The community has been very supportive of the fundraising efforts, she said, but the school’s performance functions both as a thank-you and a last push for funds.

The dancers will present their show, Icons, at Ballenas Secondary School’s Whalebone Theatre on April 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door.

About 95 per cent of the dancers are relying on fundraising support for the trip, said Selva. The money goes towards travel fees, costume costs and other expenses.

The performance is an ode to singers and musicians like Queen, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Madonna and others who helped to shape modern music, said Selva. It includes tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical styles of dance.

The Icons show was choreographed by two of the school’s newest teachers: Jeremy and Tiffany Miton. They danced professionally aboard cruise ships.

The April 22 show will also include performances by QBSD dancers.

The show will be the first public performance of Icons, and a chance to test-run the piece before presenting it on what amounts to a world stage, with audience members from around the globe.

“To see the response from the crowd for them up on the stage, dancing and performing, and from the Disneyland staff, it’s pretty rewarding,” said Selva.

Six of the group of 15 dancers are returning to perform at Disneyland for the second time, while the rest will get their first look into the behind-the-scenes workings of the land of make-believe.

To be invited to perform, the school had to send in an audition video, demonstrating the abilities of their dancers.

“For us as teachers, it’s good to know that we’re at the level that Disneyland thinks is acceptable to go on their stage, and we’re pretty well-considered staff members of theirs for the week,” said Selva.

She said she hopes the dancers return from the trip with an even greater passion for dance, and a greater sense of friendship with each other.

The groups heads to Disneyland on May 14.