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Local teen takes talent to Germany for international dance competition

Moose Jaw's Hazel Hutchinson represented Canada in an international tap competition at the end of November
Hazel Hutchinson, preforming at a previous competition. (supplied)

Hazel Hutchinson is back home after an exciting trip overseas, as a member of a prestigious team of dancers who took the stage at the World Tap Championships in Riesa, Germany. 

The championship is hosted by the International Dance Organization, which has over 250,000 members from six continents. The four-day tap competition is considered the Olympics of the dance world, with gold, silver, and bronze placings in each category. 

From Canada, two groups of dancers competed as a part of Team Canada Dance, representing the “best of the best” from either the western provinces or the eastern provinces of the country. 

Hutchinson submitted her audition via video, and was one of 24 talented dancers selected for Team Canada West, alongside team members from Alberta, B.C., and Manitoba. 

The dancers competed both as a group and as individuals and while Team Canada didn’t place for any medals this year, the Team Canada East group and one soloist from Team Canada West did make it to the finals in their categories. 

For Hutchinson, age seventeen, returning home without having placed has not soured the experience. 

“Unfortunately, Team Canada West didn't make it into the finals, but I mean, it was a good experience anyway, so I don't really regret anything,” said Hutchinson. 

Hutchinson has been dancing at Dance Images by BJ for 15 years, and receiving the call to be on Team Canada Dance is certainly a highlight for her. She was honoured to be able to represent Canada on an international stage.

“There's no better feeling than to be able to represent your country in something, especially something so prestigious as this competition was,” said Hutchinson. “I'm just really grateful and really humbled to be able to get to do something like this. It was something that I'll remember forever.”

The entire trip was invaluable, said Hutchinson, and she is more than willing to do it all over again next year. 

“If the opportunity ever came up again, I would jump on that,” said Hutchinson. 

Dancers are able to audition for the team each year, for a chance to return to the competition, and Hutchinson already has her eye on the future.  

“I'll definitely be thinking about that for next year and in years to come. I'd say that's something I want to do again,” said Hutchinson.

For now, Hutchinson is just glad to have had the opportunity to take her tap shoes overseas for the first time.

“I met lots of awesome people and some new best friends that I miss already, but it was just an amazing experience to meet other people from different countries and see how tap dancing is around the world,” said Hutchinson.

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