January 10th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 2
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Local dancer hits podium 5 times in Poland competitions
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Herald contributor photo
Pictured above are Tori Wakaluk (centre) and her parents Dawn and Darcy at Hotel Ossa Congress and Spa in Rawa Mazowiecka, Poland, which was the venue of the International Dance Organization’s World Ballet, Jazz and Modern/Contemporary Championships. Tori travelled to Poland at the beginning of December 2017 to represent Team Canada West at the competitions. Her dance and performance skills got her on the podium a total of five times, where the team was awarded first, second or third place.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
Tori Wakaluk was one of 25 dancers in all of Western Canada to be selected to represent Team Canada West at the International Dance Organization’s World Ballet, Jazz and Modern/Contemporary Championships, highlighting her dance abilities and passion for the performance art.

After receiving several awards in the top 3, Tori proved that her spot was well deserved.

The 16-year-old travelled to Poland at the beginning of December to participate in the championships after several months of attending practices and training.

It was an opportunity to work with renowned choreographers, meet other dancers and participate in a large-scale dance competition.

Arriving in Poland on December 2 was the kickoff of eight full days of performances for Tori, dancing as many as four times in one day.

“There was no down time,” she says. “I didn’t really leave the building in eight days. We were busy all the time, but that’s okay because it wasn’t really what I was there for. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
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Tori danced a total of eight times in three formations, three small groups, a duo performance and a solo. The entire Canada West adult team of 25 performed in the three formations, but choreographers also selected specific dancers they felt had special potential to perform additionally.

By the end of the week, Tori made podium a total of 5 times, hitting the top three spots for her performances. Her small jazz group placed first in that category. Tori and her respective team also placed second in the jazz formation, second in the ballet formation category, third in contemporary and third in the small pointe category.

Team Canada West was on the podium 21 times overall and in total, brought home 3 gold medals, 9 silver and 9 bronze.

Tori made many valuable friends and connections, both on Team Canada and with dancers representing other countries.
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“It was so hard and it was challenging, but I learned so much and I made connections with other dancers that I think I will have for a long time. Just having those connections in the dance world is so good,” she says. “I felt like the whole experience was something so different that I’ve never done with people that I don’t know at all, so it pushed me to be a better individual and more independent.”

But it was as much a learning experience as it was a journey of making friends and connections.

“Watching the other countries and the other dancers was really eye-opening because you got to see how each country presents themselves and interprets dance in their own way,” she says.

Tori is currently in Grade 11 at Crowsnest Consolidated High School and, after a merited holiday break, is back at practices and training for upcoming performances and competitions with her dance studio, Turning Pointe.
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January 10th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 2
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