An unknown musician once said the way to get to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice. The same could be said about how a dancer could find their way to the Dance World Cup.
Between June 24 and July 3, thousands of accomplished young dancers, from more than 60 countries, will converge in San Sebastian, Spain to compete in what could be considered the pinnacle of dance competitions. One of those competitors is Kincardine’s own Kenzie Moore.
Just 18 years old and a student at KDSS, Moore was a student at the Kincardine Gymnastics Club from the age of seven until age 12. A friend urged her to try out for a local dance program, which was when her dance career began. She found the dance styles of acro complementary to the skills she had learned at gymnastics and began taking lessons in acro and contemporary dance.
“My friend motivated me,” said Moore. “She had gone to this dance program so I tried out for Danceology in Lucknow.”
She has been training and competing at the studio ever since.
Jenna Andrew and Courtney Dunlop are the owners/instructors at Danceology. They are impressed with both her skill level and her personality.
“Kenzie goes above and beyond as a student, student teacher, and all around team player,” said Andrew and Dunlop. “She has an air of grace that not only attracts the littlest dancers to strive to be like her, but also encourages our most advanced dancers to rise to any challenge presented. Her positive attitude is contagious and her smile can be felt by anyone that is lucky enough to be in her presence. She exudes a leadership quality that excels our expectations and she brings out the best in everyone she meets. She continues to demonstrate an advanced level of technical achievement, showcasing a level of talent and performance that many dancers spend years working towards. The ongoing support from her family has not only shaped Kenzie into a truly beautiful human, but also presented her with opportunities that will last a lifetime. We are so proud of Kenzie for always following her dreams, believing in herself and for making every person she meets feel like the most special person in the world.”
It was after Moore submitted a video from a virtual competition in early 2021, where she had earned top marks for her performance, that she learned she had earned an invitation to try out for the Canadian World Performers troupe. She received her acceptance to compete with the Canadian team at the Dance World Cup on Sept. 24, 2021.
The Canadian team pulls dancers from across the country. With COVID restrictions still in place, the dancers have been meeting monthly in person, often over holiday weekends, to allow the dancers as much time together as possible to train and practice. Since Thanksgiving weekend, 2021, Moore and her teammates have been meeting in North York.
Moore says the practices are intense, especially after spending so many years with the same teammates and teachers. She will be competing as part of a group in the disciplines of acro and contemporary dance, as well as a solo artist in acro.
“It was a new environment, new people, new teachers and new choreographers,” said Moore.
She says practice time now is spent getting the routines “clean and clean and clean, with the hope it gets to the point it needs to be by June.”
Moore is a disciplined competitor and has learned to balance high school, part time jobs and her training – no easy task – and continues to train and compete at Danceology. She said it was “hard at first” but she adjusts her mindset to tackle the task at hand.
With less than two months until the competition, Moore is excited about what she is about to experience, saying “I am so, so grateful, so lucky I am able to do this after (two) years of no competitions at all.” She hopes to return a better person for the experience, with new friendships and great memories.
Moore won’t be making this trip on her own. Her mother, Gemma Moore, and many family members are taking the trip along with Kenzie on June 22, to cheer on their daughter and the Canadian team. Gemma says the event will have a very “Olympic feeling” to it, opening with a parade of dancers and a very fun atmosphere. She says she “wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
Dancers are expected to pay for their own transportation, accommodations and fees associated with the Dance World Cup, including costumes and training. Gemma, who has estimated her daughter’s trip alone will run in excess of $5,000, has set up a gofundme page at gofundme.com/f/help-send-kenzie-moore-to-the-dance-world-cup. Anyone wishing to contribute to the fund is welcome to do so.
And when the competition is over and life returns to normal, Moore has set her sights on a career in speech pathology. She plans to continue to dance, and says the University of Guelph, where she will be studying arts and science in the fall, has an excellent varsity dance team, and she has full intention of trying out for the team.
Tammy Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent