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From the Shelburne Free Press - July 23, 2015

Dance Fuel dancers from Shelburne participate in closing ceremonies of Pan Am Games

Two local dancers from Dance Fuel in Shelburne will be performing in this Sundays Pan Am Games Closing Ceremony. This adventure for dancers Brianna Lewis and Cheyenne Wilson began at the end of last year when their dance teacher Lori Gray, also owner of Dance Fuel, encouraged them to answer an open casting call for Dancers needed to perform in the closing ceremonies of the Pan Am Games that were coming to Toronto.

On that cold day in February, Brianna and Cheyenne spent an entire day down at the National Ballet of Canada auditioning with thousands of others in what Gray calls “An opportunity of a lifetime”! The dancers went through auditions which were similar to what you would see at the beginning of the season, on the show “So You Think You Can Dance”, where choreographed routines are taught in a short time frame then dancers are required to perform them in front of judges who decide if they are good enough to move onto the next round.

At the end of the day the girls left the auditions exhausted however still thrilled that they even had taken this chance to be able to perform at such an amazing event that sees 41 Nations with 7,500 Athletes competing in hopes of going to the 2016 Summer Olympics being hosted in Rio de Janeiro Brazil August 5 – 21.

After what seemed like ages Brianna and Cheyenne received emails from the organizers that they had been chosen to perform. They were given quite a full schedule of rehearsals which were held from July 7th up to July 25th at the CBC Studio on Front Street in Toronto. A total of 9 rehearsals, a put together, and a dress rehearsal all leading up to this Sunday’s performance. Both Brianna and Cheyenne would both like to thank their dance teacher Lori Gray from the bottom of their hearts, for not only teaching them proper technique, but allowing them to be individuals and creative which has allowed them to grow not only as dancers but as leaders at their dance studio as Assistants, which is helping to teach the new dancers to intermediate dancers in classes and even allowing them freedom of choreographing some of the dance numbers that are performed in Dance Fuel’s year end recital.

They also want to thank her for always pushing them that little bit harder and for encouraging them at every dance competition and dance recital in their many years of dancing with her. They want to especially thank Gray for being the one to drive them back and forth not only to the first audition but also to the majority of the rehearsals. They girls also wanted to send a big thank you to Gray’s sister Louise and her family as well as Gray’s friend Michelle for opening their arms and homes to them in Toronto making access to all of the rehearsals possible, because without them this opportunity would not have been possible.

Watch the Pan Am Games this Sunday being held Rogers Centre and who knows maybe you’ll see the local talent perform!

By Michelle Austen
Shelburne Free Pess
July 23, 2015