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VIDEO: Soo Dance Unlimited celebrates 'coming back home' as studios reopen

Senior Comp Team stepped up to the plate – literally – dancing on a baseball diamond at Strathclair Field this past season

The latest lockdown was lifting and outdoor exercise classes/training for up to 10 people was announced, and Soo Dance Unlimited's Senior Competitive Team stepped up to the plate...literally.

Soo Dance Unlimited (SDU), like all dance studios in Ontario, have had a tumultuous couple seasons – an abrupt cancellation of a promising 2019-2020 season, with lockdowns and health guidelines creating obstacles for 2020-2021. A tough blow for the over 235 dancers who love to perform each year in their annual recital, and even more so for the Competitive Team who also perform at two out-of-town competitions each year.

SDU Owner/Director Christine Cloutier was proud that 2019 was their most winning season yet, accumulating multiple Dance Off Champion Titles, countless Choreography Awards, Top Scores in all categories and levels, Judges Choices awards, Studio Spirit awards and more. With goals and standards set high for the next season, it was hard for it to all come to a halt - especially for the Senior Competitive Team, who've been dancing together since the age of three and would all be graduating in 2021.

After the announcement of the 10 people allowance and some quick communications, SDU's resident dance instructor/award winning choreographer Lauren Kinney held class and began choreographing for the Senior Comp Team...on a baseball diamond at Strathclair Field. Knowing the Seniors would have wanted one last performance, she started the piece to showcase the Graduates, which then transformed into what SDU knows as “the finale”- where at the end of each recital, the competitive team performs a collaborative dance to close the show.

Kinney (who also produced a Santa Claus "Parade" in December 2020 and a virtual performance called "Wintersong" in March 2021) began the project with assistance from Nicole Beaton (current staff member and SDU video projects editor) and Miranda Leonard (former staff member and choreographer). Videos were sent out for students to learn the dance at home and outdoor recording locations were scouted but as luck would have it the re-opening would allow for recording to happen in the studio (with masks and limited filming capabilities).

With a “finale” vibe, this new video is more of a “coming home” celebration as studios are able to open again and dancers can get back to doing what they love, together. It was definitely not how any of them had imagined their final performance but for the Senior Competitive Team this project allowed them to dance all together for the first and last time in two seasons.

SDU is excited to be planning a full season, with classes starting Sept. 13. Registration for recreational and competitive levels is available online here. From toddlers to adults, SDU is certain to have the perfect class for every one.