Delaney Pierre (left), Seanna Edward (middle) and Gracianah Gallicano, from Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School, were chosen to perform at the Toronto Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on May 23 with Indigenous students from across the country. (Photo - Alex Urosovic)

Penticton Indian Band students show off dance skills with Outside Looking In

A trio of Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School students danced at the performing arts in Toronto

When the curtain lifted, so did the stomach butterflies in three Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School students as they performed in front of 3,000 people at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

“I was so nervous,” admits Gracianah Gallicano, a Grade 8 student at Outma, who performed on May 23.

“I just started taking big, deep breaths and we all just were encouraging each other and hyping each other up.”

Gallicano, along with Delaney Pierre and Seanna Edward, were among 120 students, in grades 7 to 12, chosen from Indigenous communities across the country to participate in the 12th annual Indigenous Youth Dance Show — presented by Outside Looking In, a national-based organization that offers high school accredited dance program.

Using dance as a catalyst, the charitable organization pairs some of Canada’s hippest choreographers with participating schools in which the students are inspired to pursue education, engage in self-expression and celebrate empowerment.

READ MORE: Indigenous dancers from the Okanagan to bring their moves to Toronto

After being assessed on academic progress, attendance, dance performance and behaviour, the trio were chosen to the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation camp in St. George, Ont. two weeks in advance of the Indigenous Youth Dance Show, where they engaged in daily rehearsals, camp activities and team building exercises to prepare for their performances. The Outma students were the only ones from B.C. chosen to participate.

Pierre said she also was very nervous when it came time to show off their dance skills, despite spending four hours a month with her dance instructor Jordan Fassina (from Vancouver).

The trio have also spent several hours a week, since November 2018, practicing the routines on their own leading up to the performance.

“When the curtain went up, the lights were shining in my eyes so I couldn’t see too much, but oh yeah there was definitely around 3,000 in the audience. I could kind of see the first three rows, and in the first row I just saw people cheering us and smiling. It makes you feel really good,” said Pierre.

For Edward, it was more than just a dance experience.

“It was cool meeting new people from different communities and getting to know what it feels like to work with different dancers on your level and higher,” she said.

“It was so overwhelming but the crowd was there cheering us on when it came to performing. The hardest part was leaving on the lsat day because we got to know so many kids. There was a lot of emotions.”

After the experience, all three of the girls said they are interested in pursuing entering dance classes.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

City of Penticton weighs need for a manager of social development

Members of council are divided on whether the position is necessary

South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation close to attaining $20M fundraising goal

The medical foundation is $75,000 short of its goal to expand the Penticton Regional Hospital

Souperbowl Sunday is back for fifth year this weekend

Organizers say they are looking for a fourth chef to compete in round 2 on Oct. 27

100 Homes Penticton gets a new name after year of success

The campaign, run by the United Way South Okanagan, housed an additional 130 people in 2019

Penticton council urged to consider finding student housing options

Students with the Okanagan College Penticton campus presented at the regular meeting on Oct. 15

Election 2019: Tara Howse – Green Party candidate for South Okanagan–West Kootenay

Tara Howse is running for the Green Party in the South Okanagan–West Kootenay riding

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Illegal buoys to be removed from Shuswap, Mara lakes

Transport Canada enforcement action to occur Oct. 21 to 25

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Cowichan Valley brothers win big in lottery for second time

Playing same numbers net big wins over a three year period

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Most Read