Will third time be lucky for Angella Slaunwhite?
The 17-year-old White Rock dancer has made it into the PNE talent show again – now known as the Star Showdown – this time as a competitor in the youth category.
In 2005 and 2006 she successfully auditioned for the finals in the Kids Talent Division of what was then the Star Discovery Talent Search, although the grand prize eluded her.
The Earl Marriott student will perform her lyrical solo during the semi finals, Aug. 20, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the WestJet Concert Stage in the fair’s Central Park.
Her talent should stand out from other competitors for a number of reasons. Not only is she a dancer in a contest usually overrun with singers, but she is also presenting a solo with a powerful emotional story, set to Pink’s I Don’t Believe You.
“I’m a cheerleader who has just broken up with her boyfriend – I come on wearing his jacket,” she said.
“I find it easier to perform a number with a story. You’re telling it through your actions and I find a story captures the audience more.”
Slaunwhite, who studies dance with Sheila Fergus at Artistic Edge in Fraser Heights, has come a long way from her 2005 jazz solo performed in cowgirl costume to Shania Twain’s Any Man Of Mine.
At that time her principal focus in dance – she started when she was only three – was in jazz and ballet.
“Now it’s everything – including hip hop, modern, lyrical, contemporary,” she said, adding she also enjoyed a foray into musical theatre at Marriott in Grade 10.
But she’s just as determined as she was when she was 11 to make dance her career.
“I love it – it’s really physical, and so much fun expressing everything through your body and movement,” she said.
“I love performing and it’s really great dancing before a big audience and having the lights and music and everything come together.”
Slaunwhite is going into Grade 12 in September, but she already has a post-secondary direction in mind.
“I pretty much have it planned out,” she said. “I want to study business and dance at university, so that I can open my own dance studio and run it.”
The only question is where she will study, she said.
“I’ve heard there is a good dance program at UBC, but I might also look at Simon Fraser or UVic.”
Her plan is based on experience she’s already had, she noted
“I’ve been teaching a lot at my studio, and I’ve been running dance camps on my own at home. I already have a clientele that’s waiting for me to open up a studio.”
But a desire to teach won’t outweigh her love of performing, should the PNE contest bring a more high-profile performance opportunity her way.
“I would definitely do that,” she said.