The Surrey girls on Team Canada Dance (from left to right). Top row: Madison Thomas, 16, Jorden Hall, 18, Ryan Van Andel, 17, Taryn Mulvihill, 15, Jayda Bhinder, 14. Bottom row: Angelina Pratap, 14, Ahria McNichol, 10. (Joti Pratap/Submitted photo)

Otterbein thrilled with performance from Team Canada Dance

Seven girls from Surrey traveled to Denmark for the international competition

A trip around to the other side of the world in Denmark was memorable and successful for Team Canada Dance.

Earlier in October, seven girls from Surrey were part of 60 members from Team Canada Dance who traveled to Copenhagen-Bronby in Denmark for the IDO World Hip Hop, Electric Boogie and Break Dance Championships.

The trip of a lifetime for this team actually put them behind the eight-ball compared to the rest of the competition.

“We were all walking dead for the first three days of the trip,” said Team Canada Dance head coach Paul Otterbein. “The jet lag was terrible.”

With most of the top competitors coming from within Europe, Team Canada was at a disadvantage.

It still didn’t seem to affect their performance all that much.

Although Otterbein was still recovering from jet lag when we talked, he was more than thrilled with the results from Team Canada.

“It was a terrific experience for the entire team,” Otterbein said. “We overcame some obstacles and put on a spectacular performance.”

The junior dance team finished sixth against 31 teams, while the adults finished eighth of 29 teams. The children’s team also finished eighth out of 15 teams.

All three teams make the ‘playoffs’ in a tournament that has a sudden death format.

Team Canada medaled a few categories. The junior battle group, which featured some of the girls from Surrey, ended up with a silver medal.

“The girls from Surrey were incredible. Each one of them had a great performance, and they all added to the success of our team,” said Otterbein.

In the electric boogaloo duos, Team Canada ended up with two silver medals.

Otterbain was thrilled with results especially with some of the hurdles the team had to endure. Aside from the jet lag, a few members of the team were also sick on the trip.

“We had a bunch of troopers on the team,” he said. “Everyone battled.”

Sport Canada responds to lack of funding for dance

Despite their great performance, Otterbein and the rest of Team Canada Dance are still fighting for athletic recognition within Canada.

One of the main concerns that members of Team Canada Dance voiced heading into their competition in Denmark was the lack of funding for dance in Canada, despite the fact that they train upwards of 20 hours per week in preparation for competing internationally.

The Now-Leader contacted Sport Canada regarding a lack of funding for dance, and they responded by saying dance isn’t eligible for funding based on the Sport Funding and Accountability Framework.

The only way a program, such as dance, can be considered for funding if they don’t fit the framework is if they finish top-16 in a World Championship sporting event that is also in the Olympics.

While dance isn’t currently in the Olympics, different dance groups are vying for their spotlight in the Olympics. Pole dancing was recently considered a sport by an international sporting body earlier this month. Breakdancing was also added to the ‘Youth Olympic Games’ in Dec. 2016.



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

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