The Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts is passing on its thanks by honouring four dancers who performed for the final time at the festival in 2021.
Elledae Armstrong, Emily Milliken-Heape, Emily Nelson and Amy Vardy will be graduating from the program this year, and managed to compete at a virtual dance festival.
“We have watched these young ladies perform and grow as dancers through-out the years. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments,” a news release from the festival reads.
DANCER PROFILE: Emily Milliken-Heape
Milliken-Heape moved to Quesnel when she was 15 years old, but had been dancing since she was five.
“My favourite part about dance is performing, competing and being able to tell a story through the movements,” she said. “My favourite genre of dance is acrobatics and hip-hop. This year I have been working with a gymnastics coach to improve my acrobatic skills and flexibility.”
Milliken-Heape was the recipient of the Overall Acrobatic Trophy and was the recipient of the Senior Modern Artistic Performance Award. She was also awarded the QFPA Professional Growth Bursary and will be representing Quesnel as the Stage III Senior Merited Participant for the BC Performing Arts Provincial Festival.
Milliken-Heape said she hopes to keep dancing through teaching at the ‘For the Love of Dance Studio.’
“I would also like to work towards either my nursing degree or a career as a paramedic,” she said. “Currently I am working with kids on practicing and perfecting their solos for festivals. I am also a teacher helper for the various classes that our studio offers.”
Milliken-Heape placed first in her Hip Hop and Acrobatic Solos, and third in her Jazz, Lyrical Jazz, Contemporary and Interpretive Contemporary Solos.
She thanked everyone who taught her throughout her time dancing, but added an extra thanks to Taya and Brianna, her teachers at her current studio.
“Since dancing with Taya and Brianna I have felt like I am in an environment that is supportive, caring, loving and where I can be myself,” she said. “I am so thankful to be dancing alongside some wonderful girls who I consider to be my family.”
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