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The Sea to Sky Dance Collective introduces benefit production, 'WILD'

'Something really magical happens when women come together and collaborate,' says dance director
DanceBrian Aikens
The dancers from left to right: Laure Lejeune, Kristen Walters, Devyn Skye, Emilie James-Lessard, Cierra Rhode, Dayna Goldman, Erica Otto.

The Sea to Sky Dance Collective is set to present a benefit production, WILD, inspired by the work of a girl-centred charity.

WILD, funded by the Squamish Arts Council, will be a performance art event with contemporary ballet, live music and storytelling.

The event is inspired by the non-profit Girl in the Wild and will help generate revenue for them.

The dancers will take to the Eagle Eye Community Theatre stage on May 12th and 13.

They could not be more excited.

"It's vital that people, especially children, see adults who are not professional dancers performing," said Erica Otto, assistant director of the Sea to Sky Dance Collective.

"In the dance community, there's this sense that if you don't go into dance as a profession, your career ends when you stop dancing out of high school, but that's not true. Adults can participate in a meaningful way."

The WIlD benefit production is only one part of what the Sea to Sky Dance Collective does.

Once the curtain drops on this upcoming performance, the collective will open up weekly drop-in classes again for adults with any or no dance background.

The dancers on stage help choreograph the dance and have separate careers. Otto hopes the production will inspire women to come to the classes and incorporate more dance into their lives.

"Dancing is such an important human expression and it should be accessible to all," Otto said. "I think that folks should be excited to see the show because there really hasn't been anything like this in the community."

Before collaborating with Girl in the Wild, the Sea to Sky Dance Collective cycled through charities they supported with their drop-in dance sessions. When the collective discovered the work of Girl in the Wild, which provides free adventure-based learning opportunities for girls in the wild spaces of British Columbia, they decided to base the hour-long performance around the work of the charity.

"We hope that what we have put together will touch something inside viewers. And that they can connect to this experience of suffering and pain and move through that. We also hope that audience members are inspired to dance with us afterwards," Otto said.

The collective will dance alongside singer/songwriter Alex Badger and youth dancers from the Squamish Dance Centre. The production will also include visual art projections from the past Girl in the Wild participant, Louise Albright.

"This has been a labour of love, barely labour because it has been a passion project for us," Otto said.

While this is an opportunity for some dancers to perform on stage again, for others this will be their first time.

"Something really magical happens when women come together and collaborate," Otto said. "There's not just this softness of nurturing, but the fierceness of it as well. We are advocating for what we care for, not just in the context of the group, but through the dance as well."

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To purchase tickets, go here.