Great Canadian Dance Challenge coming to Vernon

The deadline is approaching for local dancers to enter the Great Canadian Dance Challenge

The deadline is approaching for local dancers to enter the Great Canadian Dance Challenge, which comes to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre April 19 to 21.

The GCDC, which partnered with Shaw Communications to broadcast their 2012 championship nationally, is open to all dance studios in Canada. Dancers who enter the competition have the opportunity to win $150,000 in cash awards, as well as youth dance scholarships to the Edge Performing Arts Center, one of the world’s premier dance schools located in Hollywood, Calif.

“You do not have to be the best to win big awards and recognition at this event, as the adjudicators are looking for enthusiasm, passion and fun in their dancers as well as a meaningful performance and clean choreography,” said Donna Burridge, artistic director of the Great Canadian Dance Challenge.

New for 2013 are exclusive opportunities for young dancers to be spotted and recruited by da Costa Talent agency from Toronto and Vancouver, as they are currently seeking young actors and dancers for commercial dance.

“Each time we visit a city there is always a handful of dancers who have what it takes to make a career of the performing arts. While all dancers walk away with a medal, trophy or cash prize, it’s these dancers that we send to Hollywood to work with the best,“ said Burridge.

The festival tours 15 locations across Canada from late March until July 7 when the nationally televised grand championship is held in Kelowna.

“The level of dance at these events is typically outstanding,” said Eddie Garcia, who will be one of many judges during the 2013 tour.

Garcia is also a choreographer for stars such as Jennifer Lopez, the late Michael Jackson, Paula Abdul, Adam Lambert and Brandy. Currently, Garcia teaches at the Edge Performing Arts Center and has appeared in several feature films such as Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, directed by Chris Columbus (director of the first two Harry Potter films) and his latest, the Smurf movie.

“The calibre of young talent at these events is so exciting and entertaining that we are in our sixth season of awarding scholarships to Canada’s best emerging dancers to study with the world’s best choreographers at the Edge,” said Garcia.

Not only are there many opportunities for dancers to be in the spotlight, but also local businesses are encouraged to participate in this event.

There are still a few sponsorship opportunities left. All funds raised locally will go directly back into the local dance community in the form of branded cash prizes and dance scholarships.

“It makes for a really great event when the dance community sees who is supporting them,” said  marketing director. Joseph Gates. “ It’s ethical marketing and a real win-win for everyone involved.”

Deadline for dance entrants is Jan. 10. For more information, online studio registration and dates visit