Stepping up with music and dance

Benefit show at Malaspina Theatre to aid children suffering in Nicaragua

Jayden Holman will be performing at Stepping Up in aid of Mission 14

Jayden Holman will be performing at Stepping Up in aid of Mission 14

An evening of dance, jazz, musical theatre and comedy taking place at VIU’s Malaspina Theatre June 14 will benefit abandoned and abused children in Nicaragua.

It’s called Stepping Up in aid of Mission 14 and former resident and award-winning dancer Kiana Smith is producing the show.

The evening will feature singer songwriter Jayden Holman, musical theatre vocalist Taylor Manns,  Footclan Dance Crew (who were last year’s grand champions at the Surrey Dance Festival),  as well as performances from Smith herself.

Smith, who is currently in Grade 12 at Dover Bay Secondary in Nanaimo, won both the senior tap and musical theatre categories in the world online competition Dance Upon a Dream earlier this year.

The evening will also see performances from a number of dance academies, Dover Bay Secondary’s Jazz Band and an improv comedy troupe.

Mission 14 surrounds the endeavours of Smith’s Godfather Nick Cienski who will attempt to climb the 14 highest peaks in the world with only Sherpa support next year. National Geographic will be  filming his climbs. Cienski hopes his mission will help rescue children in Nicaragua who are literally living in the garbage dumps, working on the streets and as slaves. He has been to the country a number of times and seen how these children live first-hand, and shared his stories and photographs with Smith.

Smith is “stepping up to help,” and will be performing her first number on stairs to literally “step up.” The show takes place at 7 p.m., Friday, June 14 at VIU’s Malaspina Theatre. Tickets for the show are $15 and all proceeds will go towards the cause. Find them at Lady’s Mantle in Parksville, and in Nanaimo at Vibrant Dance Studios and Performing Fabrics. For more on Mission 14 visit


—NEWS Staff