Edmonton dance company gives outdoor performance to seniors

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WATCH ABOVE: A group of Edmonton dancers is going on "tour," but that looks very different in a pandemic. Morgan Black caught a few performances, where the sidewalk was the stage and the spectators were seniors. – May 6, 2020

A group of Edmonton dancers is taking its performances off the stage and onto the sidewalk.

After the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled dance competitions for the season, Dance Theme‘s Shari VanderWoude wanted to find a way for her dancers perform some of the numbers they had been working on.

The studio owner decided she would take the students “on tour” to local seniors facilities.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: How Edmonton seniors are coping with self-isolation

“Those kids work all year long to get to the competition. We knew the residents would love it,” said VanderWoude.

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“The kids were very excited to perform. They got all ready in full costume and makeup.”

A little performer poses on May 6, 2020. Morgan Black/Global News

On Wednesday, residents from CapitalCare Dickinsfield gathered inside the building or around the corner outdoors to watch the 11 dancers perform.

“The seniors are stuck inside. They don’t get to come outside as much as us,” said tap dancer Nolan Turnbull. “They don’t see this a lot so it’s nice for them to see the youth doing something for them.”

Parents chipped in to help make the set-up, bringing a small board for some performers to tap dance on and crafting homemade signs.

A dancer performs outside for Edmonton seniors on May 6, 2020. Morgan Black/Global News

The Dance Theme students gave two performances on Wednesday afternoon, each for a separate group of seniors in the building.

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“I want to teach the kids to give back to seniors, help make them smile. I think we need to respect our elders and know that they are here, and keep them happy,” said VanderWoude.

READ MORE: 80-year-old woman celebrated by hospital staff after recovering from COVID-19, pneumonia

VanderWoude hopes the students can perform for more seniors.

If you have a location to suggest, you can get in touch with her at

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