They have been rehearsing since August, and now two Penticton sisters are representing their country on the world stage next week.
Emma and Nicola Hopley are heading to the International Dance Orginization’s World Dance Championships in Riesa, Germany.
The Olympic-style competition has 23 countries competing.
The sisters auditioned in Abbotsford months ago, and weeks later they received word they would be heading to Germany.
“It was kind of surprising because it’s such a big opportunity. It was just really exciting for us,” Emma said.
“We didn’t expect to make it at all, we originally just did it for the experience of an audition and it just kind of kicked in that we were actually on the team,” Nicola said.
Both are performing in the show dance style, which requires a clear narrative in the performance.
They will be participating in a small-group dance, a large-group dance and a duet together, with Nicola taking on a solo dance as well.
“It still doesn’t feel real yet, we leave next weekend,” Nicola said.
The two will have to make it through multiple rounds until the finals determine if they will walk away with gold, silver or bronze.
Neither of the sisters have been to Europe before.
“It’s kind of nerve racking because we’re the only team going from North America,” Emma said.
The two are the only competitors from the Okanagan joining Team Canada West. The team is made up of 42 dancers, mostly from the Lower Mainland.
“It’s kind of a once and a lifetime opportunity,” Nicole said.
The two have been working with contemporary dancer and choreographer Danielle Gardner, once a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance? Canada.
Both have been working with Gardner since August and have enjoyed their time .
“She tells you what you’re doing, but you have to interpret it your own way,” Nicola said.
They will be performing a large-group dance called Coal Miners, a small-group called Hot Knife and their duet is entitled Evolution of Power. Nicola’s solo dance is Final Goodbye.
The sisters also worked with their hometown choreographers from Okanagan Dance Studios Shannon Coté, who choreographed the duet and Tracy Bourne, director of OK Dance Studios, choreographed Nicola’s solo.
“We just wanted to thank our choreographers from our studio, Danielle and our mom and our dad for this opportunity,” Emma said.
Both sisters have been dancing since they were four years old and plan to continue hoping to land work as choreographers after attending post-secondary dance programs.
The two head to a showcase fundraiser in Langley this weekend to help fund the trip.