Whistler, British Columbia played host to the 2017 Dance World Cup at which hundreds of dancers gathered to compete from all over the world. Martensville’s own Sheri Turgeon was one of these competitors. The competition took place from July 3rd to July 5th and had Turgeon competing in the ‘age 20-29 category’. “It was awesome to see dancers from other countries competing against each other, ranging in ages four to 40. It was amazing how dance was the common language between everyone there, from Mumbai India, to Cancun Mexico, to China, Romania, Poland, Alaska, and Canada,” said Turgeon. Turgeon has been dancing since the age of four and has since branched into various styles including Ballet, Contemporary and Lyrical. Turgeon competed in Whistler as the only wheelchair dancer. Earlier this year, Turgeon performed a Contemporary and Lyrical solo at two “5678 Showtime” regional competitions in Lake Louise and Saskatoon. After performing the Contemporary solo to the song ‘Mad World’ in Lake Louise, Turgeon received her first invitation to attend the Dance World Cup in Whistler, B.C. She received a mark of 89 for her performance. A second invitation to Worlds was received after Turgeon performed her Lyrical Solo to the song, ‘Fight Song’, which received a mark of 91.
The success Turgeon achieved at the Dance World Cup came as no surprise as a gold and silver medal was earned through her performances. Prior to the routines, Turgeon struggled with some pre-performance anxiety as the stage was not wheel-chair accessible with a ramp. After having to be lifted on and off the five-step stage, Turgeon was able to forget about any issues as the music started. Turgeon received high marks for both of her routines, a 91.17 for ‘Fight Song’ and a 90 for ‘Mad World. “I was able to speak with two of three adjudicators after the competition and received very positive feedback from both of them!” explained Turgeon. “Other dance instructors made the point of speaking to me about how much they enjoyed my performances. Most of them had never seen a wheelchair dancer so they were quite impressed.”
After a positive experience at World’s, Turgeon plans to resume bettering herself by continuing to take Lyrical and Contemporary classes at Dance Ink in Saskatoon. Her instructor, Ashley Berrns, will also be dedicated to working with Turgeon on two new solo’s that will be brought to competitions in the following season. As this dance competition season comes to a close, Turgeon recognizes the support and encouragement received through her biggest fans, Mom and Grannie. “My Mom and Grannie have been my make-up and hair and costume crew for as long as I can remember. They both put up with my before show anxiety, and my after performance excitement. I have worked with great choreographers who have risen to the challenge of choreographing for someone in a wheelchair, and they also have pushed me to improve on both my dance skills and facial expressions,” said Turgeon. Turgeon’s fan-base consists of dedicated friends, family members, and instructors who never fail to encourage Turgeon with her pursuits in dance and continue to feed her passion.
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Sheri Turgeon at the 2017 Dance World Cup in Whistler, BC. (Submitted)