If dancing was an Olympic sport, a local 11-year-old would set her sights high.
After recently being scouted to perform in the Northern Start Talent Search at Edmonton’s Capital EX and bringing home the runner-up prize, dancer Claire Welikoklad is excited to see what else she can accomplish in her young dancing career.
Having an early start at the tender age of three, Claire was prepared for her first tap solo Pretty Little Angel Eyes, choreographed by Jaimie Bingham, for the event on July 22.
Her talent was developed by learning to dance jazz, ballet, lyrical and musical theatre at Red Deer’s Strive Dance Academy.
“I like moving my feet,” Claire said. “
I like tap more because I think it is harder and it is easier to practise than other dances.
“And when you are dancing, you don’t really think about anything,” she said.
Claire’s mom, Jodi Welikoklad, explained that her daughter was scouted at the competition Dance Power Edmonton.
Strive Dance Academy received a list on which dancer was eligible to compete at the Northern Star Talent Search. Dancers can choose whether they attend the event, Welikoklad said.
“I said to Claire we’ve just done four competitions and told her: ‘I don’t think you need to do this’ and she got all mad at me and said ‘I want to do my solo there.’
“So we keep joking that if it wasn’t for her making me let her do it . . . luckily we did because she did so well.”
Claire was right on mark with her solo and was excited about doing so well.
“I was shocked,” she said.
The Strive Dance Academy, an incorporated, non-profit competitive dance studio, has been operating for about four years and was created to provide a studio for Central Alberta dancers who strive for excellence in dance. The studio has approximately 60 students.