Manitoba

Hero's welcome for winning Sagkeeng dance group

A roar of approval welcomed a trio of dancers who arrived home, fresh from winning the television competition show Canada's Got Talent.

Sagkeeng's Finest wins national talent show

Sagkeeng's Finest comes home

10 years ago
Duration 1:17
Manitoba First Nation dance group lands at Winnipeg airport after winning the Canada's Got Talent competition.

A roar of approval welcomed a trio of Manitoba First Nation dancers who arrived home, fresh from winning the television competition show Canada's Got Talent.

The group, Sagkeeng's Finest, performed high-energy jigging dances to win the approval of the judges.

Brothers Dallas and Brandon Courchene, along with Vince O'Laney, beat out 11 other finalists to win the top prize, including $100,000, a sports car worth $105,000, and more appearances on television.

Jigging is a traditional art form in the community of Sagkeeng First Nation.

The young men have been jigging for a few years, but they only decided to form the trio this past August, when they first heard about the show.

Earlier in the day, prior to leaving Toronto for home, one of the dancers talked about the excitement of the moment, on Monday, when they learned they were winners.

"My mind went blank. I just started jumping," O'Laney told the CBC's Donna Carreiro around midday Tuesday.

"Then I started thinking about all the people that supported us."

He explained that the group's dance moves, based on traditional jigging, are the result of lots of hard practice and credited a Sagkeeng drama and arts program for spurring their interest.

"We signed up for jigging and we've been excelling in it ever since," he said, adding he never thought it would lead to a television dance show. "I just love to dance."

He said he was looking forward to meeting everyone back home.

"It's a major accomplishment," he said.

The competition includes a $100,000 prize, which he said will be shared with his partners and they have been thinking about establishing a dance studio in their community.

"We need somewhere to practice and maybe we can take up teaching … the kids," he said.

Premier Greg Selinger has invited Sagkeeng's Finest to perform at the Manitoba legislature Thursday at 12:30 p.m. CT.

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