It started as a typical dance workshop for 11-year-old Allison Chevrier.
Mixed in with an intermediate class of 12 to 14 year olds at the Triple Threat Dance Convention in Toronto, the Micki’s Dance Connection student was excited to be learning from renowned dancers like Dancing With the Stars alumnus Edyta Sliwinska.
Part way through the October workshop, Sliwinska called Chevrier over.
“I was scared,” Chevrier said. “I walked over and she gave me a piece of paper and asked me to fill it out. I had no idea what it was for.”
The convention was no ordinary workshop. Sliwinska was blind auditioning hundreds of dancers for her upcoming show, Dance Star.
Chevrier was one of only six performers chosen to dance in the theatrical production.
“I had no clue of it,” Chevrier said. “I was really excited because I’ve never been in a show or anything outside of my dance studio. It’s amazing. You are being chosen by a lady from Dancing With the Stars.”
Dance Star, which stars Sliwinska and her fellow Dancing With the Stars alumnus and husband, Alec Mazo, tells the story of Sofia, a young dancer who dreams of stardom. The production runs Feb. 1 to Feb. 11 in the Avalon Ballroom Theatre at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.
The show boasts an all-star cast, featuring So You Think You Can Dance performers Denys Drozdyuk, Ashleigh Di Lello and Ryan Di Lello, as well as The Voice season two contestant Angel Taylor and American Idol season four finalist Anthony Fedorov.
Chevrier will join the cast for 13 shows, performing modern contemporary and ballet routines in scenes that involve Sofia as a young girl.
“I find it amazing because you’re watching these people on TV and then you’re actually beside them dancing,” Chevrier said. “It’s unreal.”
The honour is well-deserved, according to Micki’s Dance Connection owner Michelle Long.
“She has incredible talent, she has one of the best work ethics of all the girls, she is a great self-learner and motivator and she has natural ability to go with that,” Long said. “She’s got it all. The smile, the stage presence and I think they saw that. She’s one of our star dancers here.”
Dancing is life for the Grade 6 St. Basil’s student. Chevrier started dancing at two years old and entered her first competition at five. Now, she’s in the studio at Micki’s three hours a day, five days a week, dancing tap, jazz, acro, ballet, hip-hop and lyrical, as well as assisting with classes.
“I wish I could clone her,” said dance teacher Vicki Fletcher. “She is the hardest worker and very dedicated. You can tell she loves (dancing).”
When Chevrier’s not at the studio, she can be found dancing around her home.
“I find that (dancing) is a way to express my feelings,” Chevrier said. “I like to dance to the music because I love it so much.”
With the upcoming Dance Star show, Chevrier has had to up her practice time, spending hours at home learning routines on her own from an e-mailed video and dance steps sent by Dance Star production team Dancing Pros Inc.
“It’s a lot of work to prepare,” she said. “It’s pretty hard because the steps are new to me, but it will all be worth it in the end.”
Chevrier will head to rehearsals to practice with the cast for three days in late January before the show debuts Feb. 1.
Tickets to see Dance Star range in price from $44.30 to $72.55 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.ca. Since the show is inside the casino, entrance is limited to those 19 and older.