Local dancer and grade 12 G.P. Vanier student Dharma Knudson. Photo by Karen McKinnon

Valley dancer representing Canada at hip-hop championships

In October, local dancer and grade 12 G.P. Vanier student Dharma Knudson, with her team of Canadian dancers, will be travelling to Brondby Denmark to compete on a world stage, hosted by the International Dance Organization (IDO).

IDO is a World Federation with membership of over 90 nations, representing more than 250,000 dancers from six continents. This event is an Olympic-style event with only one gold, silver and bronze medal being presented on the podium and the World Championships National Anthem being played as the top three medalist flags are raised.

Knudson, who has been dancing since she was two years old, trained at Valley Dance Centre until grade 10 and has been training with Campbell River’s CRDanceXtreme since.

When Knudson learned she had secured a spot on the team, her summer plans quickly shifted direction and previous plans of celebrating graduation and working have now become one of dedication to travelling to rehearsals in Langley BC, intensively training with the team under direction of Paul Otterbein, choreographer and preparing for the world stage competition in October.

Summer will also be about fundraising and obtaining sponsorship for this elite event and preparing for the magnitude of being a Comox Valley and Canadian representative.

Team Canada Dance National Director Mrs. Bonnie Dyer states that Canada has been quite successful in all dance disciplines at the World Championships and this is mainly due to the high standard of training that local studios offer.

“It is also great to see the best of the best in Canada that come from various studios all working together as one team with one goal……and that is to represent Canada,” she adds.

There is no government funding for the opportunity, so each dancer must raise funds on their own. Many avenues to support Knudson have already begun. Cash donations are welcome and can be made directly at any local Coastal Community Credit Union to cvteamcanada account.

Bottle donations can be made at the Courtenay Return-It Depot at 493 Puntledge Rd. Account # 472 Team Canada HipHop. A bottle drive is scheduled for July 29 and as Knudson is the only Comox Valley representative going to Denmark, volunteer drivers, collectors and sorters are more then welcome for helping with this event. If interested please email cvteamcanada@shaw.ca or drop your bottles off at the depot on that day.

More information on Team Canada can be found at teamcanadadance.com By supporting this local youth you can share in the pride as she represents the Comox Valley and our country on the world stage.

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