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In the spotlight of the dance scenario, a local talented young dancer is making waves with an extraordinary string of successes.

Kate Van Rensburg, just came back from the biggest dance competition in the world called Youth America Grand Prix. Van Rensburg competed in two genres, Ballet and Contemporary, and was judged by five judges with highly respected credentials. The judges come from varied backgrounds which include The Bolshoi Ballet (Moscow), Ballet West, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Colorado Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and the Armenian National Ballet.

There were more than 700 entries and dancers ranged in age from nine to 18, competing in their respective age categories. Scores are awarded out of 100 and Kate received 90.375 for each of her solo entries.

Van Rensburg said that she always gives her best in every event she performs, no matter if it is a major competition or a small concert.

“The older you get however, the bigger and more important it becomes,” she said.

Her latest performance was in front of 4800 audience members over six performances in total. “I received the role of the Peppermint soloist in The Nutcracker after auditioning, which was a great honour,” she added.

Her love for dancing began when she was only two years old, when she started with “moms’ and tots’ ballet classes.” Van Rensburg said that dance is a feeling that cannot always be put into words but continued to say, “when I dance on stage it makes me feel like a princess because there is a whole room looking at me dance. That makes me nervous but when the music starts, and the lights are bright I feel at home.”

As someone who pushes to do the best she can while on and off stage, Van Rensburg said that she dances 17 hours a week in two different cities, Kamloops, and Kelowna, which comes with many challenges.

“Because I train so many hours, I sometimes get injured, like any athlete would,” she said. “And yes! Dance is a sport, just like hockey, track (and field) or figure skating. When you reach a certain level the training is hard on your body.”

Van Rensburg describes ballerinas as “magical” and said that dancing relieves the stress she experiences outside the studio. She also called her last performance “The Nutcracker” a wish granted.

“Dancing on stage with professional dancers, company members from Ballet Kelowna was like a dream come true.”