She won’t know until the end of March, but signs are looking good that Celine Blais might be dancing her way through Quebec this summer.
The 19-year-old Bollywood belly dancer and instructor at Get Bent Yoga and Dance recently travelled to Gatineau, Que. to audition for a French dance competition show called Revolution.
“They were pretty excited and impressed that I came all the way out from B.C., so it was pretty neat to represent the West a little bit,” Blais said while waiting for a plane in Calgary after spending a few days visiting family following the audition.
The whole audition, start to finish, took about three hours. One of the hardest parts was answering 50 written questions about herself in French. Blais, who is bilingual, attended Francophone school growing up but it’s been a while since she’d done any writing.
“I’m pretty capable, pretty comfortable, but for some of the vocabulary I had to get out the Google translate,” she said. “There were people there organizing it and they came over after I’d been there for awhile and said, ‘Are you OK? You’ve been there for awhile.’ That was pretty cute.”
When she got called in to audition, she found herself in a giant conference room with six judges on the panel. Dancers were allowed to dance for as short as 90 seconds or as long as three minutes.
“A lot of people were doing the 90 seconds, especially the larger troupes. But I decided I’m going to do the max amount of time and see how that goes and see if they like it. I did the whole piece and put in a lot of variety to show them what I can do,” she said.
Although the judges cutoff some dancers, Blais was allowed to finish her entire three-minute dance.
After she was done, while still trying to catch her breath, the judges started asking her questions.
“They were really interested in the form of belly dancing that I’m doing. And there’s this mentality that there isn’t French in other parts of Canada, so they were curious about that. They thought my accent was cute,” she said.
After answering all six judges’ questions, Blais was taken by another judge into a smaller room and videotaped answering some questions.
“They wanted more footage and had more in-depth questions. They wanted to know about me personally and kind of about my family, the studio I danced at. It was quite a bit more in-depth,” she said.
Blais won’t find out until the end of March if she and Bollywood belly dancing, which was developed at Get Bent in Penticton, earned a spot on the show. If she did, she’ll spend the summer in Montreal and will have a chance to win a $100,000 scholarship.
“Being in Montreal in the summer, that wouldn’t be so bad,” she said. “But no matter what, it was great to be able to experience that and showcase belly dancing.”