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Community Matters

Fort McMurray Dance Troop Takes Centre Stage in Las Vegas

February 23rd, 2014

By Ashley Kowalewski

Lexi is a local grade 6 student. She is a bright and kind young lady who is on the honour roll. She enjoys playing sports with her twin brother, Gavin and her parents, having sleepovers with her friends, checking out things on Youtube, and everything that is fashion, arts and culture.  She is also a talented and dedicated 11-year-old  dancer who has learned that hard work pays off.

Dancing in the same group, three to four days per week, year round for almost eight years at Generation Dance Studio, earned her and her team first place in the lyrical dance style competition in the choreographers ball category in a North American dance competition in Las Vegas this December.

“At first when we arrived it felt weird because we were Canadian, but we stuck together and managed to get through it. We won first place in lyrical, dancing to a song, “Just give me a reason.” Dance is a huge part of my life. It is a great group to be a part of. I get really good vibes from my team, it is a very positive area of my life, and its cool that you can meet friends outside of school. Our troop went to Miami before also; that was pretty cool too.” says Lexi. 

“It was a really great experience for learning and performing. Las Vegas was great because it was a mix of classes and competition. The girls learned a lot about different styles and calibers and trends like acrobatics. Overall the energy they found there was amazing, they brought home high hopes for their futures in dancing and some inspiration for their future routines,” says Kaeley, Lexi’s mother. Both of Lexi’s parents, Dave and Kaeley, were born and raised in Fort McMurray, and are a huge part of the recreation community including minor hockey with son, Gavin.

“More than ever dance is being recognized as more than just a hobby, as its both physically demanding as well an artistic form of expression,” says Kaley. “The girls at Generation Dance don’t see the dance circuit as pressure. For the most part, five of these girls have become like sisters growing up together over the years. They know each other, they encourage each other, and they learn and feed off one another. In this group my sometimes-shy daughter comes out of her shell,” she says. “I highly recommend the program. The students are welcomed into this little world of expression and there is a lot of hard work and learning there, but it comes with nothing but laughter, and encouragement among each other, it is not competitive – not like the stereotypes you see in the media. At Generation, the students are at their home away from home,” says Kaeley.

“Learning and teaching in dance is really fun to me.  Dance has taught me about applying myself and growing my skills and working with a team. It has also taught me how to schedule my time around school and friends. It’s fun school when we do the dance section in Gym, then some of us dancers get to be leaders in class and show our school friends what we spend a lot of time doing. I could see myself growing up being a teacher. I like my teacher she inspires me,” says Lexi

Generation Dance offers a variety of types of dance classes for all skill levels to approximately 300 boys and girls ages 3-18 in the local area. It is owned and operated by Kim Hurley, a local resident and entrepreneur at the River City Centre. For more information on the programs available visit them at, find them on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @GDSdance.

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