Cloverdale dancers headed to Germany

Maya Zalo and Shayleen Dignall will be dancing with Team Canada at the International Dance Organization World Dance Championship 2015.

Maya Zalo

Come out and support two local dancers heading to Germany.

Tap dancers Maya Zalo, 13, and Shayleen Dignall, 18, are headed to  Germany to compete with Team Canada at the International Dance Organization (IDO) World Tap Dance Championships 2015.

IDO has a membership of more than 90 nations, representing more than 250,000 dancer from six continents.

There’s also world championships for ballet, jazz and lyrical, modern and contemporary, show dance and hip-hop at six different locations around the world.

The tap world championships are held in Reisa, Germany. There are seven to nine judges from different countries.

Zalo and Dignall leave for Germany at the end of November. The competition runs from Dec. 1 to 5.

Dignall said the teams hope to perform their routines multiple times.

“When we get there, we compete it and if we make it to the next round, that’s semi-finals and if we make it to the next round, that’s finals. So we hope to compete our dance three or four times. If we only get to do it one, we didn’t do too well.”

The girls found out they made Team Canada in May and they have been practicing at a studio in Langley since July.

The team rehearses ever second weekend for two hours on Saturday and Sunday until October when the practices are scheduled every weekend leading up to the trip.

The hours are long, according to Dignall.

Zalo said she was excited when she found out she made the team.

“It was like one in the morning. I heard my mom’s phone go off and I was like, ‘is that it?’ because I had been waiting for it. I looked at (the email) and it was like, ‘congratulations!’”

She is in the junior group. She has been tap dancing for 10 years, but she said it can sometimes be a challenge.

Dignall has been in dance for the past 13 years, but she has only been in tap for the past seven or eight years.

And like Zalo, Dignall was just as excited when she found out she made the team.

“I had a spare in the morning, so I hadn’t checked my email because I’d slept in, so my dad phoned me and he was like, ‘check you emails, check your emails!’”

The girls aren’t the first dancers from the studio to make it to Team Canada, though.

“Being at Dance Xpressions for 13 years, I’ve seen how many successful people come out of it. I’ve seen people go to Germany,” Dignall said. “I just hope that I can do that as well, especially with going to Germany and hopefully I can come back with a gold medal.”

For Zalo, she just feels honoured to represent the country.

“I want to try to do some of the other teams because there’s hip-hop and lyrical,” (LAST NAME) said. “I don’t know if I would make it for those ones, but I would love to try.”

Their studio Dance Xpressions, is holding a Pub Night at Rusty’s Neighbourhood Pub (17770 Highway 10) on Sept. 18  at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $20 which includes dinner and a drink. They can be purchased at the event or from the studio during the first week of classes.

There will be a silent auction and a 50/50 draw.

All proceeds go to help support Zalo and Dignall with their overseas trip.

Dance Xpressions studio director Keeley MacDonald (CAVANAGH?) said the studio has the fundraiser every year to help with travelling costs for competitions, but this year they are happy to raise funds for Zalo and Dignall.

“We have not set a goal, but it would be so great if we could raise between $500 and $800 per dancer.”

Both Zalo and Dignall have GoFundMe pages.

The studio is also looking for more donations for the silent auction. For more information on that call 604-574-2277.

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