Friday, June 14, 2024

Victoria teens heading to Hip Hop World Championships in Poland

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This dynamic dancing duo are taking their moves all the way to Poland!

Long-time best friends and dance buddies, 16-year-olds Vaeh Elliott and Dominick Canard recently made it onto Team Canada and will be competing in this year’s International Dance Organization World Hip Hop, Popping, and Breakdance Championships!

The competition will take place in Kielce, Poland from October 21st to 28th and is often referred to as the “Olympics of Dance.”

“This is one of the biggest opportunities I have ever experienced and I’m more excited and

grateful than words can describe,” said Elliott. 

(Vaeh Elliott / GoFundMe)

It all began in daycare for Elliott and Canard, they quickly became best friends and started dancing by the time they were in kindergarten.

Now, over a decade of friendship has passed and they’ve continued dancing throughout their school careers — including at Vibestreet Studio, a local hip hop institution where they currently dance.

It’s been said that anytime these teenagers find an opportunity to be in the studio practicing their skills, they take it!

In the recent 2022-2023 competition season, both dancers competed in both large and smaller crews and were highly successful in each. 

Additionally, this talented pair began choreographing for their school teams this year as well, taking their dances to local competitions and performances. This sort of thing aligns with what Elliott does on the side as a teacher assistant and staff member for Vibestreet, teaching summer camps and making plans to teach for the upcoming season.

When Victoria Buzz reached out and asked what their favourite part about dancing was, their answers were passionate and reflected their dedication to the sport.

“Dance is a place where I’ve always felt accepted and…has always been something that could cheer me up even after the worst day,” Elliot told Victoria Buzz.

Canard had similar sentiments and expressed how much he loves performing with friends.

“[Dance] gives me a chance to express myself and it’s an escape from the outside world,” he said.

“The passion for me comes from performing with all of my friends. They encourage me everyday.”

(Young Vaeh Elliott and
Dominick Canard / Courtesy of Jill Taylor

According to the release, Team Canada Dance choreographer, Roberta Beirman, has been a long-time hero of the two young dancers.

In fact, she is one of the most sought-after hip hop choreographers in Canada and has been hugely involved in Elliott and Canard’s education to date.

Both dancers are thrilled to be training with her again in the lead up to the World competition in October.

“Dancing for Team Canada is an absolute dream,” Canard said.

“I can’t wait to represent our country on an international stage.”

(Dominick Canard / GoFundMe)

The dancers are working hard to make this competition possible — including balancing funds on top of the intense rehearsal schedule. 

Unlike other countries, Team Canada Dance does not receive financial assistance from the government and so the responsibility is placed on the dancers and their families. 

There are multiple efforts in the works to help raise funds for the teens including bottle drives, dance classes, go-fund-me pages, and a stand-up comedy night.

If you wish to attend the Comedy Night Fundraiser, it will be taking place on August 26th at the Odd Fellows Hall from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

It’ll be hosted by local comedian Morgan Cranny with five local stand-up comedians ready to give you an evening to remember!

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

(Vaeh Elliott and Dominick Canard / Courtesy of Jill Taylor)

Additionally, you can visit their Go Fund Me pages to sponsor the dancers as they prepare for the competition of a lifetime!

Businesses interested in corporate sponsorship please email or call Deanna at 250-213-8087 or DeannaNElliott@shaw.ca.

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