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Lethbridge dance class hired for Mini Pop Kids gig

A group of 19 dancers at Lethbridge’s Joys Dance Factory is leaping with joy as it prepares for its upcoming performance with Canada’s best-selling music group for kids on Thursday.

Owner and teacher Joy Ackerman says the music chosen for the Mini Pop Kids production helps her students find the joy in dancing.

“The numbers are all songs that have been redone for younger children,” Ackerman says. “And it’s a really positive experience for them to come to a concert, it’s not too long and it’s all the songs that they love to sing.”

The kids aren’t entirely new to dancing, but taking the stage with professionals in a major production is a big step beyond the dance recitals they’re used to.

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Highschool student Ella Richards is one of two performers who also helped mentor the younger dancers.

“This is a cool opportunity that doesn’t necessarily happen very much,” Richards says. “For us to be selected as one of the studios to bring our dancers, it’s pretty exciting for us to get to have an opportunity like this as almost professionals to get to perform with the mini pops.”

Richards also believes the performance could lead to bigger things for the dancers.

“For a dancer who was looking to pursue a career in dance, it shows that you have experience in working under these pressures ,” she explains, adding there isn’t a lot of time to learn the choreography with the Mini Pops before the production.

Getting to this point was a lengthy process with auditions originally happening in January. Since then, there have been weekly rehearsals.

The experience has offered Richards a chance to see things from the perspective of her teacher, Mrs. Joy – especially because Richards is usually the student.

“But then it’s given me the opportunity to look at what it’s like to be a teacher and to see how difficult it is.”

There are two performances on Thursday at the Yates Memorial Centre, with one at 2 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. Tickets are still available but are limited.

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