Dance studio

Old Widdifield Dance Studio traditions come alive at West Ferris

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Old traditions from Widdifield High School have made their way into the dance studio at West Ferris Middle and High School.

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After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, West Ferris’ dance class spent hours in the studio perfecting their steps and moves for the Dancing for a Purpose Show.

“There has been nothing for the past two years. The students were preparing for our last Widdifield when Covid shut us down,” said West Ferris dance teacher Jocelyn Bell-Summersby.

“This year, our grade 10-12 dance class is getting organized and a variety of artists from the school are participating.”

The collaborative evening of performances will take place Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the West Ferris Auditorium.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

While the students are thrilled to return to the stage in front of a live audience, the opportunity to raise money for a good cause is simply ‘icing on the cake’.

The money raised will go to a charity of choice determined by the family of Jack Lyons.

Jack died suddenly last month. He was 17 years old. His sister, Hannah, is one of the dance performers who will appear on stage.

“It’s a 20-year tradition that started at Widdifield in the Arts Nipissing program and moved to Arts Nipissing in West Ferris,” Bell-Summersby told The Nugget on Thursday.

“The old traditions we loved so much must have happened to us when our school closed and we moved to West Ferris.”

She said the ability to “have bums in the seats” provides an opportunity to educate the public about special charities that provide support to local families.

The local charity that will benefit will be announced on May 17.

Hunter Whitehead, a 12th grade student at West Ferris, plays a prominent role in helping his peers prepare for the show.

He said it takes a lot of preparation and time to listen to music and create a routine.

“The choreography has to flow well and it has to look good to the dancers performing it. I listen to the music five to 10 times and then let my body flow to the beat of the music.

Whitehead, who attended Widdifield, said the transition “went smooth” and students from Widdifield and West Ferris “grew together as a family”.