Green is the theme as hundreds of students join together in dance
Sharing Dance Day, encouraging everyone to get moving, closes with nationwide number focusing on nature
Hundreds of young dancers came together Friday morning to perform a routine they've spent months learning, joining thousands of others across the country, for Sharing Dance Day.
This is the fourth year the Royal Winnipeg Ballet has been involved in the nationwide event that aims to encourage people to take part in dance.
"You know I think a lot of people think of dance as something not accessible to them — ballet is highbrow or elite," said Arlene Minkhorst, director of the RWB.
"Dance is movement, it's very natural. Anybody who has had a young child and turns on the radio knows that a young person moves, and I think dance is a very natural thing for us," she said.
The crowd was treated to performances by the RWB, Winnipeg's Contemporary Dancers, B.O.S.S. Dance Team, Q Dance and African cultural performers from Folklorama.
The event finished off with a group performance of the official Sharing Dance Day choreography, which was learned through free weekly classes at the RWB or by online tutorials.
The event is aimed at people of all ages and levels of ability and can be performed standing or seated.
"Dance is for everybody. You'll see some people here in some wheelchairs, you'll see people here kinda just bouncing up ... any age, it's for everyone," said choreographer Eugene Baffoe.
Baffoe, or GeNie as he's known in Winnipeg's hip-hop community, was one of two choreographers chosen to create the dance to an original music track.
This year's dance theme was environmental stewardship. The dance uses movement to tell a story about the relationship between humans and nature.
"Our impact as humans on the earth, what nature is like in its simplest form, and our impact on it and how we can bring it back to where it was in its natural state," said Baffoe.
'Connection through dance'
Grade 6 to 8 students at Amber Trails Community School joined the dance day for the first time this year.
"The most important thing was coming together as a community and expressing ourselves and who we are as dancers and just worrying about ourselves and not other people around us," said 13-year-old Nadijya Duplak.
Harleen Kaur, 13, also loved the experience and said the best part was meeting new people.
Lynden Swan said he felt most connected to the theme of this year's dance.
Sharing Dance Day events were also held in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver with more than 20,000 participating. The event is free and anyone can attend in person or join online.